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Being green is good business

Most of us have improved our environmental performance at home. But when we go to work it’s a different matter, after all you can’t be green and turn in a profit, can you?

Well actually you can, starting with all the things that you do at home.

Once you’ve remembered to take your environmental mindset to work with you, the benefits roll in. It’s cheaper to get your printer cartridges refilled than buy new ones and cheaper still to save your emails to disc rather than print them out.

You wouldn’t open the window rather than turn down the thermostat at home, so why do it at work? Having taken the easy wins and established that being green really is good for your business; it’s time to take some harder decisions.

The most obvious one is transport. Surely the days of the SUV as a status symbol must be numbered? Apparently the Mitsubishi “Pajero” is being renamed the “Montero”, because “Pajero” is Spanish for… (I’ll give you a clue, rhymes with merchant banker). A Freudian slip if ever there was one.

Do I practice what I preach? My previous company vehicle was a Mercedes C200 Auto, emitting 225g CO2/km, and as I drive 20,000 miles or 32,187 kilometres per annum, that equated to 7.24 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

I now drive a Toyota Prius, emitting 104g CO2/km, equating to 3.35 tonnes of CO2 per annum, i.e. a saving of 3.89 tonnes. I would have needed to plant 35 trees to offset the difference in the global warming impact between the C200 and the Prius.

But that would have cost me money, instead I no longer pay the congestion charge, my road fund license is only £15, I spend less time refuelling, my fuel bills are down and so is my company car tax.

Saving the planet isn’t costing me the earth.