Windmills at a rural windfarm

How can you make your business more sustainable?

23 July 2020
Premierline’s parent company, Allianz Group, recently held their sustainability week, examining some of the different ways that businesses in the UK can be more sustainable. The theme of this year’s sustainability week was “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Virtually”, focussing on how to be sustainable working digitally, or whilst working from home.

All digital equipment needs energy to run, and the more functions that you need from your equipment, the more energy you will need to use.

Mailbox Management

Items that you have in your mailbox, such as emails and calendar reminders, take up some of your storage capacity, which takes processing power to sort and store either locally or in a datacentre.

Regularly go through items in your mailbox and delete the items that you don’t need anymore, which will create more room in your inbox and reduce your processing power, leading to less energy usage – every little helps!

Sharing files

Sending large files in an email can also fill up your mailbox, again requiring more energy to process the items and store them individually in each recipients mailbox.

There are other file sharing methods that you can use to send files to colleagues that use cloud storage to store the file in a single place on a cloud server so that you can email a link to a single location. Often file-sharing services will automatically delete files after a short period. This will save energy in processing files locally and storing files in your inbox.

Email subscriptions

Subscribing to an email from a website can be a fantastic way of finding industry news and resources for your business, but most of these emails are likely to sit in your inbox, unread.

Instead of having to delete, or ignore, these emails, unsubscribe from them, which is usually a simple process, but will save plenty of space in your inbox. 

There will usually be a link at the bottom of the email that you can click to unsubscribe, which may take you to a web page with various options on which emails you want to unsubscribe from.

Instant messengers

Consider using an instant messaging service to communicate with colleagues instead of sending emails, especially if the message is only short.

Take a look at some of the leading messaging software and how they compare with each other here.

A standard email uses the equivalent of 0.3g of CO2 emissions, potentially rising to 50g if there is a large attachment. 

If every adult in the UK sent one less email each year, it would save 16,000 tons of CO2 per year – the equivalent of 81,000 flights from London to Madrid.

By making some simple changes at work, you will be able to help the environment. Take a look at some of the ways that you can make your business more sustainable using “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”


The idea of Reduce is that you can still do some of the things that are convenient, but by doing them less often, you will be making a difference in saving the environment.

  • Single-use plastics – plastics that are only designed to be used once, such as bottles, are thought to be some of the most harmful products to use due to the pollution caused by manufacturing them and their wasteful nature, being only used once.
  • Transport – Whether using a vehicle for business or commuting, they are unfortunately a large contributor to higher CO2 levels. If possible, consider dropping vehicle use in favour of walking or cycling for a few days out of the week.
  • Energy consumption – any unused electrical items should be turned off at the plug, as even when they are not being used, they can still draw electricity from the socket. Unused electrical items left to draw energy are estimated to cost UK residents hundreds of millions of pounds every year.


If you have to use items that could be deemed to be bad for the environment, consider how you may be able to use some of these items again.

  • Re-useable products – Instead of using single-use plastics, consider using re-usable items, like water bottles, containers or glass, all of which are sturdy materials that can be used again.
  • Glass – As a material, glass is 100% recyclable, so use glass products wherever convenient.


If you can’t reduce usage or reuse an item again, then make sure that it is recycled properly.

  • Correct recycling waste – Wherever you have bins in your business, use two different ones at each point, one for general waste and one for recycling. They should also be clearly labelled so that people around your business know which bin to use.
  • Compost bins – For food waste, implement a compost bin that can be used to recycle food.
If food waste was a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the United States.

Here are some other tips on how you can help make your business more sustainable with digital methods.

Going paperless

It is estimated that 35% of trees cut down are used for paper, which equates to 4 billion trees, or 2.47 million a day.

At Premierline, we have adopted a policy of digital by default, meaning that we will aim to find a digital solution instead of using paper. Adopt this practice in your business by emailing documents, receipts or invoices to customers instead of printing or sending a letter.

Renting equipment

When running a business, you will most likely need to use certain equipment for certain activities. If there is something that you don’t need to use regularly, consider renting the equipment instead of buying it new.

Renting equipment means that you can use it for the time that you need it, without having to contribute to the pollution from having to manufacture the product.

Invest in green energy solutions

Technology can help your business become more sustainable by monitoring your energy usage.

Investing in smart lighting, smart water meters and smart energy meters will help to keep energy usage down, helping the environment and helping you to save money.

For the first time since 1882, the UK spent 67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes, between May and June this year, without using coal to generate electricity.

It's important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.

Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK's most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.

It is important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built. Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to ensure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
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