BT Business has launched a guide to help SMEs use technology to achieve sustainable business practices that deliver environmental and commercial benefits.
Small businesses represent 41.7 per cent of UK employment, and BT argues that it is vital that they are as active in tackling climate change as larger companies.
The company said that, by adopting some or all of the actions outlined in the guide, SMEs could collectively save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions annually and play an integral part in addressing climate change.
BT is also encouraging small businesses to pledge to tackle climate change and demonstrate their commitment to making changes which will have a positive impact on the world.
"The 4.5 million small businesses in the UK are the lifeblood of the economy and can make a big difference to tackling climate change," said Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business.
"In our guide, we demonstrate how small steps can make a big difference. SMEs using IT and communications technology to act in a more sustainable way will benefit from reduced costs, enhanced reputation and greater productivity."
The five recommendations are as follows:
Use conferencing to reduce travel for meetings
If every small business in the UK replaced 10 meetings a year with audio conferences, small businesses could collectively save more than 1.7 million tonnes of CO2. Cutting down on travel would also cut expenditure on air tickets, train tickets and petrol.
Reduce unnecessary trips back to the office by using mobile
Using mobile communications can ensure that employees do not have to make additional trips back to the office following meetings. With a reduction in employee car travel by the equivalent of two working days a year, small businesses could collectively save more than one million tonnes of CO2.
Shut down computers and other electrical kit at the end of the
If every small business in the UK forgets to switch off just one PC monitor at night, they could be collectively wasting enough energy for every person in London to microwave at least two dinners each. As well as helping the environment, turning off equipment cuts electricity bills.
Use recycled stationery and save paper
If every SME in the UK switched to recycled paper, small businesses would collectively save billions of litres of water.
Take-up flexible working
By supporting the equivalent of one employee working from home for just one day a week for one year, small businesses could collectively save 516 million kilos of CO2.
The guide has been launched as part of Small Business Week 2007, a campaign dedicated to highlighting the importance and needs of small enterprises in the UK.
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