How Business is Embracing Sustainability

0 comments | Posted by: Gerry McColl on March 17, 2016 | Categories:


Putting sustainability issues front and centre.

The world is facing a number of environmental and sustainability challenges  From global warming to resource efficiency, the UK has always been at the forefront of the effort to tackle these issues. The business sector understands its environmental impact and is taking action to be a part of the solution; creating a greener and more sustainable economy.

Sustainability is no longer just an afterthought in commercial planning. It is now central to operations. This allows businesses to reduce costs, enter new markets and improve their corporate reputation. It affects everyone in a business from the Chief Executive to those on the shop floor.

Companies are looking at ways to cut waste. They are looking to reduce energy usage and source raw materials which improve sustainability. Many businesses are going even further in their commitments, by reusing all waste or backing a global price on carbon, for example. For most businesses, sustainability plans extend beyond their daily operations and into the entire supply chain.

Setting ambitious targets to cut their carbon emissions

All businesses use energy, and manufacturing processes such as melting steel or firing bricks use a significant amount—with the average yearly energy bill for a large industrial user costing almost £10 million.

To mitigate this, many businesses are committed to cutting energy use and setting ambitious targets to reduce their carbon footprint. Some business sectors are aiming to cut their emissions by 81% by 2050.

Building greener homes

Businesses are not only cutting their own carbon emissions but creating the plans and products to build zero-carbon homes.

Homebuilders are using more sustainable materials and innovative products to construct homes that have zero, or even negative carbon emissions. Using cutting-edge energy efficiency measures and harnessing renewable energy, the UK’s housing stock is becoming ever greener.

Helping schools, hospitals and public buildings to reduce carbon

Business is helping to make our public buildings greener by sharing knowledge, skills and resources. Whether this is by educating children on global warming or providing solar panels for schools, programmes like British Gas ‘Generation Green’—which helps over 13,000 schools across the UK by providing classroom resources, education experiences and sustainable energy technologies—contribute towards protecting the environment for future generations.

Innovating to provide low-carbon solutions

Business isn’t taking a back seat in the transition to a low-carbon economy. It’s innovating to give the UK a leading edge by developing technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen power or demand response. The UK has established itself as an attractive place to invest in developing CCS, which is the only way to reduce emissions and keep coal and gas in the UK’s long-term energy mix.

Government is also playing its part. The Scottish government achieved its 50% target of generating half of its electricity demand from clean sources, such as wind power, a year ahead of schedule.

At AnswerConnect we think sustainability is very important and we encourage our associates to sign up to our in-house programme, “SustainableU,” which looks at positive ways each and every one of us can play a part in reducing our carbon footprints and being more local and organic in our food choices.

Call AnswerConnect at 0800 802 1609 or register here today to ensure your clients are greeted by capable, responsive professionals 24/7/365.


Redrafted by Gerry McColl

Remote Working

0 comments | Posted by: Ben Allen on December 15, 2015 | Categories:

Remote Working

Figures suggest that over 85% of people working today have had to endure the often arduous commute to the office. An average of 204 hours a year; 18 months of our lives are spent commuting to and from work. And, according to experts, it’s not only our time that is affected but also our health. Studies suggest that a higher risk of depression and anxiety, increased cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels can all be linked with those people who embark on extended commutes daily. These, combined with less sleep, physical pains and, thus, a general decline in all-round life satisfaction, make remote working a clear model for the future – and one that has it’s roots in our past. Communities  in years gone by were built on being able to walk to work. Nowadays that is less and less viable but with the advancement of technology we have a new way to have that work/life balance that is so desired.

Why then, I ask, are so many of us are continuing to engage in this antiquated model when there is a more efficient, healthier and cost-effective way of doing things? Unfortunately it is just the norm. Only 13% of office workers currently have the ‘luxury’ of being able to work from home. But why? Have a look at what you do in your office today – could that not be done from your home? With today’s technology the answer would most likely be ‘yes’.

As well as our own specifically designed technology there are numerous media services out there that can connect staff face-to-face, encourage online collaboration and track work progress.

From our point of view and having read studies into remote working – staff that work from home are actually more productive, take fewer sick days and enjoy a quieter working environment than their commuting colleagues. This combined with the benefit to the company itself in not having to have a large head office, the reduced cost in employee lateness, absenteeism, and staff turnover makes for an all-round better model.

On a personal note, you may wonder why I would choose to work from home? Having worked from home for the last 3 months I have seen all the benefits that it has to offer. No commute, greater flexibility and more time to do the actual work whilst wasting less time with all distractions that go along with working within a social, office environment. I have more time before and after work to do the things I love with the people I love and I save money on lunches and travel expenses. Through Skype and G-chat, for example, as well as our own, self-developed software I am still able to form social and lasting bonds with my colleagues wherever they are.

So lets get down to figures. According to The Telegraph, workers spend £2500 on lunch each year. The cost in time alone for the 25.9 million non-home workers in the UK is astronomical. These workers are cumulatively missing out on £148 billion a year in the unpaid commuting time that it takes to get into the office. Now add the cost of that travel. The average salary for an Office Administrator is £16,587 per year. We pay on average one sixth of our pay for travel alone. That’s another £2764.50 per year. A potential £5000 that you could save by working from home. Now tell me it is not worth the money invested in remote working.

The Bigger Picture

It is not only employers and employees that benefit from remote working, the environment also benefits greatly. In the political arena today, one of the top priorities of all the major powers of the world is cutting carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. The cost not only on the environment, but also on mankind, has reached a stage where it is increasingly harder for mother nature to recover from the devastating effects.

We have started to take notice.The powers that be have realised that should we continue on the same path, the world as we know it will no longer exist. In 1960 the UK had a staggering 11.15 metric tons of carbon emissions. Through understanding and commitment, by the year 2010 we managed to reduce that to 7.86 tons. The carbon footprint of an office worker that has to drive 4 miles or more to work, take a bus journey of 7 miles or more, or have a train journey of 16 miles or more has a greater adverse effect on the carbon footprint than a home worker who uses utilities for the one room needed for up to 7 hours. That includes heating on for the full 7 hours 365 days (which we wouldn’t suggest!)

At the moment the number of office workers in the UK that are home based is low. If companies changed their mentality and adopted our remote working model it would mean less vehicles on the road, less congestion for the vital services and a cleaner healthier lifestyle.

Together We Can Make A Difference

All the factors that I have outlined promote the amazing work we do here at AnswerConnect. We strive for a better future for the people we employ, the clients we work with and the environment. Remote working has a positive impact on the work force as well as a company’s financial growth. It has the capacity to greatly reduce the carbon footprint on the environment and, as a company, we strive to stay mission focussed on these three key areas –  People, Planet and Profit.

If you are an employer or employee and you had doubts about the concept of remote working , I hope I have made you think about the possibilities of how we can improve your business and have a happier more effective work force.

Call 0800 802 1069 or click here today to change the way you work for the better.



Written by Mark Mccallum