As an SME owner you spend most of your time trying to keep your head above the water, surviving if you like. Strategies like ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), Carbon Neutral, Carbon Zero, Recycling etc often seem the responsibility of large organisations and governments. In many ways they are since every business needs to be competitive in the market and unless regulation forces a company to do something they rarely do it voluntarily. The corporate strategy for all listed business is to maximise profits for the shareholders meaning money is normally not spent on things that it does not have to do. That is why government policy, governance and regulations are so important in order to build a framework that all business have to follow. It makes the playing field level for all businesses when this happens.
It was good to see the chief executives policy address in Hong Kong last week committing Hong Kong to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. How this will be achieved will soon be announced by the Environment Bureau as “The Hong Kong Climate Action Plan 2050”.
But should we wait for this. Can I be competitive and still try to make a difference as a small business owner. The answer is yes although you are more limited in Hong Kong than some other countries like the United Kingdom.
Firstly achieving something like “carbon neutral” is an aspiration that should be aimed for and is unlikely to be achievable in HK until infrastructure changes. In the UK you can switch your electric provider to a “green” one, one who produces all its electricity from renewable sources. In HK we do not have that luxury. The good news is the players in HK are already working towards this goal.
There are however other things that you can do:-
- Change all light bulbs in the office to LED ones.
- Move to the cloud for all your systems and storage.
- As you renew desktop and laptop computers spend that little extra on low watt computers.
- Review your IT equipment and upgrade firewalls and switches to low watt versions.
- Maintain air conditioning units properly and replace very old ones with more efficient ones.
- Switch off computers at night and weekends.
- Print your namecard with a Green Printer or better still stop using them and go digital.
- Stop sending out paper invoices, go digital.
- Don’t print letterhead paper and make all letters digital with digital signatures.
- Upgrade your in house printer or copier to a latest model that is energy efficient and uses renewable toners or inks.
- If possible go paperless.
- Don’t throw old computer equipment away, contact a recycling company.
Most of the above don’t cost much and some even save money but all have a small part to play. SME’s are in most countries a huge part of the economy so we cant leave it to the big organisations only. These policies need to be implemented by management of all organisations so do your part and work towards a better world together.
If you need assistance with upgrading computer equipment or going to the cloud please contact FunctionEight at email@example.com