89 www.gogreen-project.eu ▪ Adopting a company-wide switch off policy. Turning the thermostat down by 1°C can reduce annual heating bills by up to 8%. Using energy-efficient lighting the business can save about 2,000€ per year. Leaving computers and lighting on overnight or setting the production machinery on a standby mode instead of power off, would cost over 900€ per year. ▪ Adopting a policy that prioritizes the eco-management of business waste disposal, materials reuse and recycling. In addition to reducing waste by improving process efficiency, the SME can reuse already-generated waste or production leftovers, and pass it along to other SMEs or large companies that may find it useful. This reduces the cost of waste disposal. Also, the SME can reduce cost by considering the source of their own raw materials and switching to recycled ones. Organic material could be composted and incorporated to the land (carbon storage in the soil). ▪ Investment in more eco-oriented product packaging trying to avoid plastic, since it heavily affects the business carbon footprint. The business can reduce costs by reducing the volume of packaging through applying innovative packaging techniques and also by switching to local suppliers to decrease shipping distances. Reestablish relations with current suppliers by considering their practices, products and services in terms of GHG emissions, environmental footprint and impact on climate change. Share information about potential common benefits by turning green. ▪ Investment in a basic general training for their staff about GHG emission and sources, effect on the environment, renewables, technology applications and efficient use of energy, in order to increase the general sustainability awareness of the staff. ▪ Investment in an initial training for staff about the application of specific everyday practices that can save energy and reduce waste production. This relates to actions that can be followed by owners, managers, and staff in building a culture of sustainability. The training practice will include the categories of transportation (personal and business related), office material, energy efficiency, food and waste generation. ▪ Creating a yearly competition with a Green Staff Award for the winner, that will be given to the employee that shows either the best GHG reduction results or the most innovative approach for reducing GHG emission. Award will consist of an honorable mention/distinction plus a small economic reward. Exact rules should be decided by the business owners (management) and agreed with the staff representatives. Apart from the above clear objectives of the business owners (management), more wide and general aspects to discuss and negotiate would be: ▪ Costs involved in measuring, monitoring and managing carbon emissions. But the financial opportunities of reducing emissions are clear. For example, it has been estimated that introducing energy-efficiency measures can reduce a SME’s energy costs between 18% and 25%. ▪ A monitoring process/protocol to quantify how much carbon dioxide the business is generating. It will give the SME owners access to real-time data-related insights about how and where they use their energy. This transparency allows businesses to be smarter and more energy-efficient, providing them with an easy way to be more sustainable. ▪ Energy efficiency improvements can deliver attractive returns on investment. Renewable energy can increasingly be purchased for the same price as fossil-fuel energy, or less.