The business world is frequently held up as one of the biggest offenders in the energy crisis. While this is certainly the case for some companies, increasing numbers of businesses have got behind the green agenda and are doing their best to be eco-friendly. Technological advances make the process that bit easier and can help every business do its bit for the planet.

Remote conferencing software

The coronavirus pandemic saw one of the largest shifts to home working in history. Even as vaccinations turn the tide, this doesn’t look like a trend that will suddenly be reversed. Video conferencing software including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and even Slack help businesses to keep their workforce out of the office. This benefits the environment in several ways. It cuts down on the daily commute, which is carbon-intensive, and it also decreases waste. Employees who travel to work eat out, often using lots of plastics in the process. Working from home has been a godsend for some people, but its beneficial effects on the planet will likely be its lasting legacy.

Water comparisons and audits

These are fairly new innovations and products of deregulation within the water market. Businesses weren’t always able to switch their water supplier, and as such, were often trapped with inefficient tariffs. Deregulation gave businesses the chance to switch and at the same time carry out a water audit to better understand their usage, look for leaks and generally become more water-efficient. Comparison tools like make the process straightforward and offer an audit as standard. The ability to undertake an audit and switch suppliers has put water usage into a much sharper focus. Not only are businesses more aware than ever of how much they’re using, but they’re looking to cut down wherever possible.

Eco search engines

Eco search engines are in their infancy, but they are being widely adopted by businesses and have the potential to drive real change. These search engines vary in scope, but the general principle is that every search contributes towards a green cause. Ecosia is perhaps the most famous example. It functions exactly like Google, but 80 per cent of all revenue surplus is put towards planting trees. GEXSI donates 100 per cent of its revenue and prioritises carbon-neutral operation. The list of choices continues to grow, but businesses that adopt these search engines as their default can make a big difference.

The Internet of Things

A wide-ranging concept, the Internet of Things refers to a network that’s fitted with sensors to monitor performance and energy consumption. In a business setting, this can refer to anything from a collection of servers to the whole building, including lights, air conditioning and computers. Keeping track of energy consumption in this way has a couple of big advantages. Making savings becomes much easier when you know exactly where the bulk of your energy is being consumed, but there’s another, less tangible benefit. Too many businesses don’t even think about their energy usage. Being able to monitor it exactly, minute by minute, puts it at the forefront of the company’s consciousness. In turn, this encourages action.