By reducing energy use and using resources more efficiently, you can cut your business operating costs and limit your carbon footprint. As more and more customers seek climate-friendly products and services, boosting your company’s environmental performance can also increase revenue.
Seeking expert advice and reviewing your company’s energy performance regularly is important, particularly as energy efficiency technology is improving all the time and various capital financing options become available.
Energy saving tips
- Develop a plan
- Plan to reduce, re-use and recycle
- Get everyone in the company involved
- Set targets and rewards for achievement
- Turn off computers at the end of the working day
- Turn off power to lights and equipment when not in use
- Turn off screensavers and install stand-by (sleep mode) on computer monitors
- Install energy efficient lights
- Fix leaking taps or pipes
- Install flow restrictors on taps and shower heads
- Review and adapt cleaning methods to conserve water
- Upgrade your hot water system
Adjust air conditioning
- Re-use or recycle waste paper, cardboard or packaging
- Turn your waste into an income stream by selling it to companies who want it, or turning it into a new product
- Buy refurbished printer cartridges and recycle used cartridges
- Use mugs, glasses and cutlery instead of plastic, paper or Styrofoam
Reduce transport costs
- Use natural ventilation and fans wherever possible
- Close all windows and doors when air conditioning is on
- Switch off heating and cooling after closing hours
- Set air conditioning systems between 24°C - 28°C in summer
- Upgrade your heating and air conditioning system
Monitor your progress
- Source goods and services locally
- Use public transport or car pooling
- Form workplace cycling or walking groups
- Use phone/video conferencing
- Coordinate company dispatch/receipt procedures
- Purchase vehicles that meet minimum greenhouse ratings (using the Green Vehicle Guide)
Seek assistance to get started
- Track progress against agreed targets
- Measure and evaluate results on a regular basis
- Modify or expand the program to meet new targets
- Apply for awards or accreditation to recognise your company’s environmental performance, for example:
- Have an auditor assess the energy performance of your business. Make sure you choose one who carries out audits in line with the Australian Standard for energy audits (AS/NZS 3598)
- Attend environmentally-focused business forums
- Participate in business partnership programs
If you want to encourage your workplace to make some changes, you can download our Green Office Tips (PDF) flyer for your noticeboard.
Tasmania is expected to experience less severe climate change impacts than other parts of Australia, and while there may be challenges, there will also be opportunities. As the climate changes into the future, Tasmania's cool climate advantage will be enhanced, presenting opportunities for what we produce, and the types of industries we maintain. Most changes that are expected to occur can be planned for and managed. Through forward planning, innovation and flexibility, businesses will be able to increase their resilience to changing circumstances and capitalise on new opportunities as they arise.
- Make the most of climate information such as real time weather reports on smartphone applications so that you can take action when extreme weather is forecast.
- Connect with peak bodies for your industry to stay up to date with the latest in climate change adaptation relevant to your business.
- Build relationships with research institutes like CSIRO, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture to explore new scientific developments that could help your industry.
- Be aware of planned burns in your area. The Tasmania Fire Service and Parks and Wildlife Service both publish this information.
- Talk to your suppliers and customers about their plans in case of natural disasters.
- Know your physical risk. This could be by checking the long-term climate change projections for your area or reviewing coastal hazard maps.
- Know your financial risk. Consider the cost of adapting to future changes in climate or investing in infrastructure to lower your physical risk. The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) has published a guide, Climate change adaptation in industry and business, which provides businesses with information to develop climate change adaptation governance, climate change risk assessment and financial disclosure.
- Prepare plans for the risks that are most likely to affect your business:
- Put a bushfire plan in place: increase bushfire minimisation regimes like clearing excess vegetation from around property and power lines and consider building with materials that have a low bushfire risk.
- For coastal businesses, put a plan in place to prepare for extreme tides and storm surges.
- Prepare disaster recovery plans for computer equipment and critical business supplies.
- Consider a heat health plan if your business involves outdoor workers, children, the elderly or others who are at risk in heatwaves.
- Ensure you have adequate insurance.
- Design buildings that are resilient to risks like bushfire, sea level rise and flooding.
- Investigate options to diversify your products or crops. This could give you greater tolerance to changing conditions, longer harvest windows, or open up new varieties of crop not previously grown in your area.
- Install fire suppression systems for valuable assets like heritage-listed structures and erosion-prevention measures for assets near the coast.
- Consider installing green roofs, walls and facades, which can reduce peak flow of water run off during storms.
- An alternate power source could keep critical business activities going in a natural disaster when power lines are damaged.
- Land management and restoration can help prepare your property for climate extremes. Repair and prevent erosion of creeks and rivers in preparation for extreme rain, plant trees and shade plants to stabilise soil and protect livestock from heat stress. NRM South and Good Life Permaculture produced the following fact sheets on landscape repair and management:
- Consider multiple locations in case one is cut off by natural disaster. Could you set up a temporary office at home or somewhere else?
- Installing infrastructure, such as netting of fruit, can protect crops from hail or solar radiation as well as pests.
- See the latest projects in business and industry, supported by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office.
The Tasmanian Climate Change Office has worked closely with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a suite of resources to help Tasmanian businesses prepare for, respond to, and recover from, natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. The resources, including a Business Continuity Plan template, factsheets and checklists, are available on the Business Tasmania website.
More information for your business is available on our Resources for businesses page.