Go Green

You can’t seem to escape the phrase climate change on the news these days.Climate Change

Those terrible fires in Australia. The big floods in Dubai and Indonesia. The severe storms sweeping across the UK.

With more and more focus on climate and the environment, there is plenty about the subject in the media. And I read an article the other day which caught my eye.

In the piece, Microsoft says it aims to be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030. That means removing more carbon from its activities than it emits each year.

Which sounds like quite a challenge.

I’m not an expert but my understanding is that carbon emissions are one of our planet’s biggest problems.

Carbon in the atmosphere builds up a blanket of gas that traps heat – and warms up our planet. This is changing the world’s climate. Many scientists are saying we have to act now or the consequences could be dire, irreparable, catastrophic.

The loss of forests, woodlands and trees is also a big factor in what’s happening to landscapes across the globe.

World leaders are being challenged to do more to tackle the problems.

Microsoft is in a position to make a stand and it looks like it has ambitious targets beyond 2030 as well.

And it’s not just the big corporates looking at green matters.

It feels like growing numbers of people are asking what they can do, as individuals, to help protect the environment and save our planet.How to Be a Greener VA

As a VA, you can also play your part.

In fact, as a user of Microsoft Office and 365, you probably already are.

By using the applications and embracing the electronic and digital age, you are helping the planet.

? No need for sticky notes (use OneNote).

? No need for staples or paper clips (file and organise your documents online).

? No need for highlighter pens (you can highlight text or data in Word, Excel, etc).

? No need for flipcharts (you can use online collaborative and sharing tools)

? No need for unnecessary travel. (Working ‘virtually’ means you can communicate easily with clients and prospects. It reduces the need for in-person meetings, car or train journeys, flights, packaged food on the go, and so on). Use Microsoft Teams for client meetings and calls and client documents.

Here are some other ways to do your bit for the environment. Some simple. Some more involved.

  • Use 100 per cent recycled paper
  • Use remanufactured or renewable ink cartridges
  • Recycle your old desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Switch to an energy supplier for your home or office which supports renewable energies like wind and solar (up to 100 per cent green).
  • Consider adding solar panels to the roof – to reduce (possibly to zero) your electricity bills. This may be a decision for your workplace or office manager if you work in a building.
  • Encourage your clients to do their bit for the environment – share some of the tips you use.
  • Specialise in providing VA services to businesses with strong green credentials. You may even find it helpful to promote yourself as a ‘green’ VA.

We’re probably not quite at the paperless office stage in the business world but every little helps.

The more you use what Microsoft Office and 365 can do for you, the less reliant you will become on traditional stationery.

Not only saving on your business expenditure but a move towards a more modern and sustainable way of working.

If you want to get the most out of your Microsoft Office applications get your skills up to date.

I’m here to help you with that.

Browse the complete range of online courses here or head for ‘The Full Monty’ box set to cover all bases.

And do let me know of any tips you have for helping to minimise our impact on the planet.

To your greener VA success.