An increasing number of businesses are introducing measures to reduce their impact on the environment.
This is driven in part by pressure from customers, employees and local communities concerned about the state of the planet we are passing onto the next generation and in part by the need to comply with a raft of environmental legislation.
But there are also sound business reasons for adopting green measures. Businesses can benefit from significant cost savings, greater efficiency, and possibly reduced insurance premiums by introducing improved environmental practices.
And in some sectors at least having green credentials can provide a competitive edge and strengthen your position in the marketplace.
FPM's Environmental Policy
FPM Accountants LLP recognises that environmental protection is integral to our position as a responsible business. Our Environmental Policy provides a framework to help us to become sustainable and to manage the impact of all aspects of our operations on the environment.
Our commitment is to:
- Continuously improve our environmental performance and integrate recognised environmental management best practice into our business operations.
- Reduce our consumption of energy and improve the efficient use of those resources.
- Establish environmental objectives and targets and measure performance against them.
- Measure and take action to reduce the carbon footprint of our business activities to meet our objectives and targets.
- Manage waste generated from our business operations according to the principles of reduction, re-use and recycling.
- Manage our business operations to prevent pollution.
- We will minimise consumption of natural resources and wastage of materials as far as economically practicable.
- Give due consideration to environmental issues and energy performance in the acquisition, design, refurbishment, location and use of buildings.
- Ensure environmental, including climate change, criteria are taken into account in the procurement of goods and services.
- Comply with all relevant existing environmental legislation and regulations and corporate codes of conduct.
- Work towards ISO 14001 accreditation.
This statement represents our position on environmental issues and the policies and practices we will apply in conducting our business. It is reviewed on an annual basis and we remain committed to reducing our carbon footprint and being an environmentally responsible organisation.
Did you know?..
- An average business wastes 20% of the energy it uses, much of which could be avoided by simple energy saving measures;
- Many businesses could save 50% of water charges through implementation of simple and inexpensive water minimisation measures;
- Modern Energy Management Systems can save up to 60% on the energy cost associated with running a computer network.
Therefore we would recommend that all businesses, irrespective of size or sector, should develop an Environmental Policy. If you need any assistance, please contact Michelle Hawkins, Partner, FPM, on 028 3026 1010.
Measures to assist in becoming Environmentally Sustainable
There is Government help available for small businesses to invest in green technologies. For example, business can now receive interest free loans worth up to £200,000 to buy new energy efficient equipment, such as lighting, boilers and insulation.
It is estimated that there is £1.2bn in funds available from various sources to help businesses with projects such as introducing recycling schemes, switching to green packaging, purchasing hybrid vehicles, installing solar panels and many more.
There are various tax advantages for businesses adopting green policies. For example, enhanced capital allowances enable a business to claim 100% first year capital allowances on spending on qualifying plant and machinery in three areas:
- Energy saving plant and machinery.
- Low carbon dioxide emission cars and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
- Water conservation plant and machinery.
There are also other tax incentives aimed at encouraging businesses to reduce vehicle use and emissions, such as lower vehicle tax for vehicles with lower emissions, reducing fuel duty on alternative fuels and tax and NIC breaks for green travel arrangements.
There is an accreditation available for manufacturers of environmental equipment and for any company achieving this accreditation their customers in turn will secure 100% capital allowances on purchasing this. It is therefore a major marketing tool and is an area that could impact our clients immediately. The Government has set out in it's Energy Technology List guidelines of what products would qualify for the scheme and how companies could apply to get their products onto the list as well the criteria that needs to be adhere to for qualifying.
Other tax incentives are available for those who have undertaken a new build in the last tax year to obtain accelerated capital allowances for environmental aspects of the build. FPM can assist in determining the eligible items of capital expenditure on submitting the claim.
How many of the following apply to your business:
- Have you checked how you can improve energy efficiency, water conservation etc. in your buildings and equipment?
- Can you introduce more environmentally friendly materials into your manufacturing and / or packaging processes?
- Can you harness technology and automate processes to increase efficiency and reduce waste?
- Can you introduce more energy efficiency, environmentally friendly IT equipment?
- Can you encourage a green culture throughout your business – switching off equipment when not in use, using printers more efficiently, controlling heating and air conditioning etc.?
- Are your janitorial supplies environmentally friendly and energy efficient?
- Do you have a comprehensive recycling programme?
- Have you considered ways you might reduce vehicle use?
- Can you upgrade your vehicle fleet to reduce emissions and take advantage of tax breaks?
- Have you considered introducing green travel arrangements for employees such as those recommended by HM Revenue & Customs?
If you have answered No to any of the above questions, it is time to start working on your Environmental Policy.