How can companies be more sustainable?

For many years, sustainability has been a major concern for businesses and consumers alike. In the UK, the average business uses between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of energy every year. This is around the same amount of energy used by nine average family homes.

Similarly, it’s estimated that businesses produce 43.9 million tonnes of waste, which accounts for a quarter of all waste in the UK.

So, how can companies be more sustainable? This includes lowering the amount of waste they produce and the energy they use to decrease their carbon footprint.

In this post, we’re going to explore the ways businesses can become more sustainable, including sustainability project ideas for companies to give your business a head start on new initiatives.

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Are companies becoming more sustainable?

Many companies are knuckling down on reducing their carbon footprint to become more sustainable. In fact, a 2022 study found that 80% of businesses were planning on increasing their investments in sustainability.

This doesn’t only apply to major companies, as more than half of SMEs have invested in sustainability in the past year. This shows that business leaders are recognising the importance of becoming more sustainable and are keen to expand the ways they lower their environmental impact.

Do customers care about sustainability?

Something that’s driving businesses to make sustainability-focused decisions is how customers use it as a factor when deciding which products and services to buy.

A report revealed that 81% of people prefer to buy from sustainable sellers. This means that companies that overlook their environmental responsibilities risk losing business to competitors that invest in becoming more sustainable.

It’s also worth remembering that sustainability goes way beyond environmental factors, but also includes ethical, social and political considerations, as well as health and wellbeing. Each of these contributes toward a business’ reputation and can influence brand loyalty.

How does sustainability affect a business?

To increase sustainability, it requires investment, perseverance and plenty of communication. However, the effects it can have benefit the environment, the community and – thankfully – your business.

Sustainability affects your business in the following ways:


  • Greater reputation and brand image
  • Better employee engagement and job satisfaction
  • Increased employee retainment
  • The ability to meet customer expectations
  • Long-term cost saving
  • Increased efficiency
  • Compliance with regulations
  • More opportunities for investment
  • A stronger supply chain

What are some ways in which a company can be more sustainable?

Below are five sustainability ideas for companies looking to make a difference:

1. Use energy efficiently

The average business could reduce its energy consumption by up to 25% relatively easily. All it takes is the implementation of a few energy-saving measures:

  • Improve building insulation
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Use energy-efficient technologies
  • Install timers on lights
  • Switch off all equipment when not in use
  • Install a smart thermostat
  • Offer employees training on energy efficiency

2. Recycling and reducing waste

Recycling and reducing waste is a great way for a business to make a sustainable impact and requires minimal investment.

  • Introduce clearly-labelled recycling bins
  • Reduce paper use
  • Limit unnecessary printing
  • Compost food waste
  • Promote reusing and recycling
  • Use eco-friendly packaging
  • Communicate ways employees can do more to recycle

3. Support ethical supply chains

An ethical supply chain works in a way that treats the environment and the workforce involved in a way that is positive and fair. To ensure your supply chain is ethical and sustainable, consider the following:

  • Does it abide by a code of conduct?
  • Is there a focus on human rights?
  • Does it have a process of due diligence?
  • Are audits conducted regularly?
  • Is it completely transparent?
  • Does it source responsibly?
  • Are there strong relationships across the supply chain?

4. Encourage sustainable transportation

It’s estimated that 98% of an employee’s carbon footprint is a result of their commute. Similarly, the reason for 15% of all car journeys is for commuting, which shows just how far businesses still have to go.

The good news is that there are plenty of initiatives businesses can take advantage of to make a huge difference.

For example, you could provide your employees with an electric car salary sacrifice scheme that allows them to drive an EV and save between 30% and 60% of the usual cost (more on that below!).. It also costs businesses nothing to run an EV salary sacrifice scheme but has a huge amount of benefits.

There are similar schemes that encourage employees to cycle to work. Employees should also be encouraged to use public transport and walk to work if possible.

5. Engage employees in sustainable practices

As part of introducing new sustainability measures at your company, it’s also important to ensure employees are engaged and doing their part. There are plenty of ways you can do this, including:

  • Providing regular training
  • Communicating your sustainability strategies and what employees can do to help
  • Offering incentives
  • Allowing regular remote work
  • Providing access to sustainability schemes, such as an EV salary sacrifice scheme
  • Get employees involved in planning sustainability projects

Introducing a salary sacrifice EV scheme at your company

A salary sacrifice scheme allows employees to sacrifice a portion of their gross salary in exchange for an electric car. Subscribing to an EV in this way means employees pay less tax, which allows them to save as much as 60% on subscription costs.

As an employer, introducing an EV salary sacrifice scheme won’t cost you a penny. However, it’s a highly valuable perk that ensures you’re doing what you can to make your organisation one that prioritises sustainability.

Signing your business up is quick and simple. Just create a business account, sign the agreement, and then roll out the scheme. There are no admin headaches and your business isn’t liable for anything. And remember, it doesn’t cost your business anything either.

Check out our employers’ guide to salary sacrifice for more information.

Bringing up a salary sacrifice scheme to your employer

An employer might have doubts about whether an EV salary sacrifice scheme is right for them, assuming that offering one will have an administrative and financial impact. But, that isn’t the case at all – if you’re keen for your employer to consider an EV salary sacrifice scheme, share the advantages with them:

  • It will improve the business’ environmental impact
  • There is zero net cost to the business
  • There are no additional admin tasks
  • The business will attract and retain top industry talent

This is on top of the benefits for employees that utilise the scheme, including access to an all-inclusive EV subscription package and up to a 60% saving. Browse our range of electric cars to see which EVs you can drive through a subscription.

Share our guide to salary sacrifice for employers with your employer so they can browse the range of benefits for themselves.

Plus, we’re currently offering an excellent referral scheme – for every successful company booking – the referee (that could be you!) will get a £250 Amazon voucher.

Ready to find out more?

Here at elmo, we offer your employees an affordable and flexible alternative to electric car leasing, with the added benefit of substantial savings. Not only that, but you’ll be doing everything you can to improve your business’ sustainability strategy.

If you’d like to sign your business up to our salary sacrifice scheme or you’d like more information, contact us today.

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