Expert Opinion

Making the Cities of the Midlands More Eco-Friendly


With constant attention in the news, there has never been a more important time for businesses to become more environmentally friendly. The Midlands in particular has a diverse mix of success and problems regarding sustainability, with Birmingham performing well on it’s levels of green space, but alongside Coventry, suffering from poor recycling rates.

Bad Reputations

As a city, Coventry recycles just 30.9% of the total municipal waste which is the 17th lowest rate in England. Birmingham, meanwhile, had one of the worst rates in 2016/2017 when the city recycled just 24.4% of household waste. So, what can these cities and businesses operating in them do to become more eco-friendly?

Increase Recycling

One of the biggest and most important steps to take is to increase the amount of recycling that is done. This can be quick and easy to do as you simply need to provide the right bins for office spaces and incentivize staff to recycle. Additionally, services from companies like First Mile can take care of office waste’s specific needs, such as paper shredding, printer cartridge disposal and electrical recycling.

Alternative Energy

Another smart move for businesses around the country is to switch to alternative energy. While this can be an expensive upfront cost, you will also make huge savings in the long run and drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

Walk/Cycle to Work

It is also a good idea to encourage staff to walk or cycle to work if possible and there are many schemes on offer to allow this to be subsidized. Multiple employees driving to and from the office Monday to Friday results in a lot of emissions, which are often unnecessary. You could also start a carpool scheme for those that are unable to walk or cycle, with incentives like better car park spaces or reduced parking rates, which if successful can greatly reduce environmental impact from commuting.

Go Paperless

In today’s digital age, there is no need for a business to use paper and going paperless can bring a host of benefits in addition to being environmentally friendly. Digitizing all of your documents ensures that nothing gets lost, it can make documents incredibly quick and easy to find, it can improve your admin systems not to mention freeing up space in the office.

Switch Off When Not in Use

A simple yet highly effective way to be more environmentally friendly at work (and at home) is simply to switch off electrical when you are not using them. In the office, this will include computers and lights. Motion-activated lights are a smart investment especially if you have areas of the office that are often vacant (such as conference rooms).

Whilst some cities in the Midlands have bad reputations regarding their approach to recycling, there are so many options out there for businesses to become eco-friendlier. Making a few changes can help to minimize your environmental impact, improve brand reputation and, in some cases, improve the operation.