Lewis Humphries

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About Lewis Humphries

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  1. We live in an increasingly eco-conscious world, where both home-owners and brands are driven to create a prosperous natural environment. This is even true in major metropolises and cosmopolitan hubs such as the U.S., where nearly 40% of all consumers now make purchasing decisions based on the use of sustainable materials and processes. There is no doubt that brands and business-owners are leading this drive, however, as the rising prevalence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to compel them. This is empowering consumers to live more sustainable and Eco-friendly lifestyles, while also serving as a template for others to follow. 3 Lessons that Home-owners can Learn from Leading Brands With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the major lessons that home-owners can learn from businesses and brands when creating an Eco-friendly living environment: - Think in terms of ROI when creating a sustainable home One of the biggest issues facing home-owners is a lack of forward planning, which makes it extremely difficult to create a budget and execute potentially costly Eco modifications around the home. Many may even be deterred by the cost, regardless of the long-term benefits or whether they have the financial resources to complete the project. This is where savvy entrepreneurs would consider the ROI of a specific modification, measuring this against the potential ecological benefits before making an informed decision. There are energy reduction specialists that can help you to calculate the cost and ROI of Eco-friendly modifications, so before to consult with these in addition to amending your existing mind-set. Create a culture of Awareness among those involved This is perhaps the most pertinent lesson that can be learned by business owners, quite simply because long-term environmental gains cannot be made without a culture of awareness. Just as businesses strive to educate their employees on the importance of sustainability and equip them with the tools to work in a socially responsible way, home-owners must empower fellow residents to maintain a cost-effective and energy-efficient home. This can be achieved by spending time with residents and educating them on how sustainable living can contribute to an improved natural environment. Start by involving fellow residents and family members in the project, creating enthusiasm and a genuine sense of accomplishment in the process. Pay Attention to small and seemingly insignificant details Businesses and corporate ventures have a huge advantage when looking to implement Eco-friendly measures, simply because they can delegate specific tasks while maintaining a strategic overview of costs and goals. This makes it far easier to pay careful attention to small and seemingly insignificant details, which in turn can help individuals to manage costs accordingly. While home-owners may lack this level of human resources, they can at least recognise the importance of detail and how it underpins any successful modification project. In terms of home-modification, this applies to executing small and affordable measures before investing in solar panel. More specifically, you should ensure that your home as interior insulation, which is cheap to install and helps structures to retain heat during the winter. Similarly, you should also look to address any gaps that adorn the walls or doorways, using basic polyfilla or draft excluders. Statistics suggest that this reduces energy loss by 20%, which translates into tremendous efficiency and significant savings.
  2. While the concept of corporate responsibility is nothing new, there remains a demographic of entrepreneurs who do not understand the precise impact that this can have on their business. This ignorance has a detrimental impact on many aspects of business, from turnover and profitability to the way in which your firm is perceived by customers. Without a clear understanding how this can benefit your venture, you may be missing out on numerous opportunities. What Corporate Responsibility means for Brands in 2015 With this in mind, let’s take a look at the fundamental elements of corporate responsibility and how they can help to drive your business forward in 2015. For example: - The Calculation of energy usage and Associated Costs Sustainability is a key component of corporate responsibility, as this enables the implementation of practices that can lead to long-term savings and increased profitability. This can be measured with accurate, managerial accounting skills, which help you to calculate precisely what energy you consume throughout the business and how much this costs. The next part of the process requires you to associate these costs directly with the manufacturing and distribution of your products, so that you can estimate margins and establish profitable price points. Developing a Culture of Awareness While sustainability and corporate responsibility can help your brand to save money and generate profit, it can also help to develop a culture of awareness among your staff members. By encouraging good habits and reinforcing the importance of sustainability, you employees can embody the firm’s philosophy and create a more progressive representation of the brand (especially if motivated staff members immerse themselves in community-based environmental projects). This also creates an opportunity for further financial savings, as statistics prove that switching from an air conditioning system to an open window can reduce energy bills by more than 10%. Create a Sustainable and Identifiable Brand Identity According to a Nielsen study completed in 2014, more than 55% of global online consumers are willing to pay more for products or services delivered by socially and environmentally aware brands. This number is set to increase in the coming years, and it offers a unique opportunity for sustainable businesses to establish a vibrant and easily identifiable brand identity. With the use of sustainable materials and waste disposal processes, it is possible to effectively engage existing customers and reach out to new demographics. This not only creates a more cost-effective business model that benefits the natural environment, but it also ensures that your business is able to compete aggressively in its chosen marketplace.
  3. While prominent estate agent Knight Frank has recently claimed that the annual price of real estate in the capital dropped to 2% in June, widespread growth throughout the UK has more than compensated for this. Even with June’s figures down on last years’ corresponding number of 8.1%, there is still ample opportunity for home-owners to sell their properties for a handsome profit. We are still in the midst of a sellers’ market, meaning that anyone who is gripped by a ‘sell house fast’ mentality can optimise the resale value of their home while executing a quick sale. There are several elements that are crucial to achieving this, but the decision to invest in eco-friendly modifications is arguably the most important in 2015. These will not only offer a considerable return on investment (ROI), but they will also make your home appealing in a competitive sellers’ market. So, here are some ideas for three crucial rooms within the home: - Emphasise Insulation and Materials for your Living Room Let’s start with the living room, which is arguably the focal point of any home. Often a hub of activity, it is crucial that this room is energy efficient and capable of fulfilling its core purposes. You must therefore that it is insulated effectively, and while this is a standard feature of all homes built post-1996 older properties may lack this and leave you exposed to increased consumption. You should also use materials wisely when modifying your living room, prioritising fittings that are sustainable and constructed using non-toxic natural glues, wool batting, renewable woods and organic latex foam. Create a Functional and Energy-efficient Kitchen In terms of the kitchen, this room has evolved into the heartbeat of the modern living space. It must therefore be both functional and stylish, while it must also remain energy efficient given the rate of carbon emissions that it is typically responsible for. The first step is to invest in multipurpose and energy efficient appliances, each of which should have an EPC rating of A or better. Think carefully about whether or not you need specific appliances too, as you do not need to invest in a separate washer-dryer as this is not efficient all year round. On a final note, look out for a water aerator, as this is a standard faucet attachment that pumps air into the water and negates the need to operate the taps at full blast. Repurpose Fixtures to create an Efficient and Rustic Dining Room The dining room is an unusual space, as while it serves multiple purposes it is often overlooked from a design perspective. It is ideal for experimenting with repurposed fixtures and materials, however, as this can save you money and help you to drive energy efficiency in the home. Consider repurposing discarded chairs, old kitchen cabinet doors and table tops into freestanding storage solutions, for example, while also using renewable woods to create new unit doors. You can be creative as your skills allow when repurposing materials, although the key is to adopt a simple plan of action that can easily be maintained. Image: Pixabay