Survivial Skills for Freelancers

Environmental policy? Behave – I’m a freelancer!

Does your business have an environmental policy?

I don’t mean some going-through-the-motions greenwash document that you write and then forget about. I mean a proper commitment to reducing your impact on the planet.

“I’m a freelancer. What’s the point? I can’t make a difference on my own!”

Tell me about it.

Truth be told, I’m a bit of an eco worrier. And no, that’s not a typo.

I find David Attenborough docs almost too hard to bear these days, let alone some of the hardcore stuff shared by environmental activists such as Extinction Rebellion.

It’s so easy to decide there’s no point trying.

But just the process of thinking about the things you do each day can lead to positive changes.

Me, myself and I

I wrote my own one-page environmental policy a few years ago. And while these things are embedded in my day-to-day routine, the summary itself has never seen the light of day.

The idea of sharing it made me feel a bit cringey and uncomfortable.

Isn’t it a bit… worthy?

But then I heard a talk at a local networking event, and it got me thinking.

If I can get over myself and share the steps I’m taking to be more sustainable, maybe it’ll encourage others to do the same.

So here’s my utterly-imperfect-but-it’s-a-start commitment to treading lightly.

(Even if it does still make me cringe just a little bit.)

Sarah Townsend Editorial Limited

Environmental policy

I am committed to operating my business in a way that is mindful of the environment and to taking action to keep my impact on the earth’s resources to a minimum.

To help me do this, I promise…

  • to buy 100% renewable electricity from Good Energy*
  • to generate my own electricity using solar panels
  • to make my next lease car 100% electric (it’s on order!)
  • to use public transport to attend meetings and events wherever possible
  • to work from public spaces rather than heat my home
  • to recycle all paper, ink cartridges and other recyclable materials
  • to make a monthly donation to UK environmental charity, the Woodland Trust
  • to minimise the amount of paper waste I produce by only printing documents when necessary, and always using both sides of the paper
  • to always stick on an extra layer before putting on the heating (I’m a big advocate of double tights and double socks!)
  • to use recycled paper for the printing of any business stationery
  • to minimise my use of water and energy, to reduce my carbon footprint
  • to ensure coffee, tea and the other important things that get me through the day are Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • to have video meetings where possible, to avoid the carbon cost of travel
  • to work with suppliers who share these values, where possible

I know there’s more that I can do – there’s always more that we can do – but it’s a step in the right direction. I hope it inspires you to make small changes to lessen the environmental impact of your freelance business.

*If anyone is thinking of switching to Good Energy and you use this link to sign up, we’ll both get £50. And if you let me know you’ve signed up as a result of reading this post, I’ll donate £25 to the Woodland Trust.