How To Make A Business More Sustainable And Access The Tax Relief Available
With sustainability now a global issue, we all need to tackle this together and that includes businesses of all sizes as well as individuals. There are numerous ways of making a business become more sustainable and eco-friendly and if its environmental approach is sufficiently improved then tax relief is available too as an additional benefit.
However, while we probably all know what we should be doing, and that is to change to more sustainable practices, the thought of doing so can sometimes be a little challenging especially those first few steps. No doubt the questions of where to purchase sustainable material and how to make sure they are not any less cost-effective than other options may put some businesses off from even trying to become more sustainable.
Sustainability and My Own Businesses
So, let’s take a look at the ways in which I try to make my businesses more sustainable than others can try to.
My businesses involve five active websites so I have chosen a hosting company that has adopted an eco-friendly approach to all that they do, from supporting different environmentally focused charities to planting trees to help to offset the carbon emissions deriving from each website.
Clean green energy
Whether you run your business from home or have multiple locations, changing to an energy supplier that only uses renewable energy will make a massive contribution to both your own and the world’s sustainability.
Keeping a regular eye on incoming and outgoing emails and making sure they are kept to a minimum and frequently deleted will keep your digital footprint in check especially if a large workforce is involved.
Even if, like mine, your own business is digital, you will no doubt frequently receive marketing material and PR products from other companies that involve a great deal of paper and packaging. Whilst you can’t stop this sort of mail from arriving, you can make sure it is effectively and sustainably dealt with by having appropriate recycling practices within the workplace. Your business will become so much more eco-friendly if you make it easy for everyone to recycle everything from paper to plastic.
Businesses – why bigger is not always better
It’s a good idea to try to use services and products offered by small businesses rather than larger companies because those small businesses are usually much more eco-friendly and adopt a much more sustainable approach to their operations.
So What Tax Relief Is Available For UK Businesses That Become More Sustainable?
Various schemes have been put in place by the UK Government that try to encourage businesses of all sizes to become more eco-friendly and environmentally aware and this sometimes involves increasing the tax burden on those that fail to adopt sustainable practices.
One way of doing this is to impose additional taxes on those businesses that have to turn to landfill to dispose of their waste and this should encourage every business to consider each step of their operations to establish where changes could be introduced that would avoid incurring additional taxation for waste that it is not recycled.
In contrast, some business may be able to claim certain tax relief if they adopt a sustainable approach. For instance, although an aggregates levy is payable by businesses that drag rock, sand or gravel from UK waters, tax relief can be claimed if that material is then either used in industrial or agricultural processes or is exported.
How you can access tax relief or avoid paying further tax Let’s look at some ways your business can do this.
1) For those businesses that can prove they are using less energy, tax relief is available
2) If you purchase and use only technology that allows your business to be more environmentally friendly, tax relief is available
3) Apply to schemes where you can show or prove that your business now operates more efficiently due to changes in your approach
4) Apply to schemes to demonstrate that the waste your business produces is less damaging in terms of the environment
The Sustainable Innovation Fund
To help businesses that have suffered as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue with their work that contributes to the development of sustainable technology, a Sustainable Innovation Fund has been set up in the UK.
Simple Steps To A More Environmentally Friendly Business
There are some really simple steps that businesses can take to make their operations more sustainable such as:
1) Ensuring employees recycle everything where possible and perhaps set up a green challenge to make them more competitive to ensure maximum recycling
2 ) Abolish the use of single-use plastic products by not having plastic cups available for coffee or water
3) Make sure the packaging for your products is recyclable and always include instructions on how this can be further recycled by the receiving customer
4) Try to make sure your suppliers have also adopted environmentally friendly approaches
5) Take a look at how waste is dealt with across your entire business to establish if this could be improved
6) Sign your business up to the Government’s Energy Efficiency Scheme