Today (Friday 22 April 2022) is Earth Day – celebrating our beautiful world while making a global rallying call to protect it.
This year’s theme is ‘Invest In Our Planet’, examining the link between business and the environment.
As the official Earth Day website explains: “Unless businesses act now, climate change will ever more deeply damage economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and job prospects, and impact us all”.
We know that reversing climate change needs deep, systemic change at international government level. It’s easy to feel that our small actions here in Sandwell are a drop in the ocean compared to the work that needs to be done.
But we all have an impact and we all have a part to play. So here we suggest five simple things you could do now to reduce your company’s environmental footprint – not just on Earth Day but every day.
1. Make a pledge (and follow it up with action)
You can sign the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge, pioneered by the West Midlands Combined Authority, which positions your business as a leader in the net zero carbon economy and helps you prepare for climate change impacts. By signing, you’ll gain access to business networks and guidance to help you achieve your pledge commitment.
2. Consider going electric
The electric vehicle revolution is underway. Car charging points are ever more ubiquitous across the country, and in March we reported that Sandwell Council had secured £300,000 of funding to install more across the borough. In early April, Sandwell Council hosted a webinar with the Energy Saving Trust for Sandwell SMEs interested in switching to electric vehicles, exploring benefits, incentives and practical considerations. You can watch it back on our YouTube channel.
3. Tell the council you support a boost to walking and cycling in Sandwell
During the pandemic, Sandwell Council put in place temporary changes within the borough, designed to help people with social distancing while walking and cycling. The council is now starting consultation on permanent changes, predominantly to increase the space given to pedestrians and cyclists, making Sandwell towns pleasant to visit, reducing the presence of private cars, increasing trade, boosting the local economy, and improving air quality within the region. You can find out more, register for updates, and have your say at the Sandwell Active Travel website.
4. Check your recycling
As well as lowering emissions, Sandwell businesses can save money on their waste disposal by recycling business waste. Take a look at Sandwell Council’s page on business recycling and waste collections.
A small action you could take at work is to collect your colleagues’ crisp packets and take them for recycling to Lightwoods House or the Sandwell Recycling Centre in Oldbury.
5. Commit to buying something locally
If your business can source the goods and services you need locally, this will lower your carbon footprint, help sustain jobs, and retain and recycle money in our region.
Read our #MadeInSandwell profiles to learn about dozens of talented and diverse businesses in our borough who might just have what you’re looking for.
We share environmental business programmes and relevant event listings on our Going greener page, which we update almost weekly. Bookmark it today and do tell us about other resources we can add.