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Top ten tips for keeping your business green

GO GREEN:Andrew Skeene, Global Forestry Investments co founder.

IT IS important for every business to consider environment in their daily practices. Not only can this be cost effective but it also helps to reduce the carbon footprint. As a business we are always striving to be green in every department.

Our company is a sustainable forestry business with projects in Brazil and offices in London, New York, Sao Paulo and Dubai. We purchase forestry land in emerging markets and plant trees. We then sell sections of land and trees to investors. For each tree an investor purchases, we will purchase a second tree in a protected area. The trees we plant will remain completely untouched and go towards reforesting the depleted Brazilian rainforest.

Top environmnetally friendly tips:

1. This may sound obvious but one of the biggest changes you can make to your carbon footprint begins before you even reach the office; use public transport, walk or cycle to work. If there is no alternative but to travel by car, you could arrange a car share system with colleagues. We read recently that a typical commuter produces a staggering five tonnes of CO2 each year by driving to work.

2. Online video conferencing calling such as Skype is another way to help reduce your carbon footprint. Skype is easy to use and completely free, which will not only help the environment but could also save your business considerable travel costs.

3. Four-day weeks can further reduce travel and power costs. Long working days may not be for everyone, and of course this may be unfeasible for some businesses, but if a four-day week is possible you could save 20% of travel costs and carbon emissions... and of course everyone loves a long weekend!
Online video conferencing calling such as Skype is another way to help reduce your carbon footprint

4. E-invites and E-newsletters are not only a fast efficient way of reaching your clients and customers, but they will also save huge amounts of paper waste and postal cost. When holding an opening evening or an event, we recommend sending out e-invites rather than postal invites. The cost of printing, paper, ink and postage can soon add up and often invitations are thrown away and the paper is not recycled. Creating a PDF invitation and e-mailing this to your audience is much more cost effective and dramatically reduces the amount of waste.

5. No Press Packs. Instead invest time and money into your website. This is the logical port of call for your business' audience, and can be far more visually engaging than a dated press pack. A well-produced PDF document will do the same job, whilst also being fast, simple and free.

6. Work off-peak. Power used during certain periods has lower carbon footprint and lower cost. From 10pm till 6am is the cheapest time but is obviously not convenient for most businesses. However, if you can start the day a little earlier and work from 6 am to 12 pm, and do your most power-consuming tasks during this time, it will make a small but meaningful difference in reducing your carbon footprint.

7. Buy Energy Star rated products for your business. Investing in energy efficient equipment such as computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances will not only make a big difference in reducing your footprint but it will also cut the cost of your power bill.

8. Using laptops instead of desk computers will make your office more energy efficient as they consume a lot less power. Laptops can consume up to 80% less energy than desktops.

9. Small changes make a big difference: Do not leave taps dripping; always close them tightly after use. One drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year. Produce double-sided documents whenever possible. Turn lights off when not in use. These tips may seem obvious but can often slip our minds, and can add up to major energy savings when put into effect.

10. Invest in carbon credits. Buying carbon credits with ethical, environmentally active companies is a great way to help you offset your emissions. At Global Forestry Investments we offer carbon credits to all our customers.

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