Why Leasing Could Help Make You More Environmentally Responsible
There are many issues to consider when running an enterprise, and one at the forefront of many minds is that of sustainability.
What is sustainability?
The Brundtland Report defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.” – a clear understanding that is important for all business to adhere to, no matter their size. Meet the current needs for the business, but don’t do it in such a way as to take from the future.
Sustainability in business
When it comes to equipment in the workplace, keeping account of sustainability is important. Modern IT products go a long way to considering their impact, with a move towards smaller devices that use less raw materials. Thin clients, such as laptops and tablets are far more environmentally aware than the larger desktop monoliths of previous generations – they take considerably less plastic and fewer semi-precious metals in their design, generate a smaller footprint in their construction, and are also shipped with far less packaging – reducing waste as well as requiring fewer resources in transit.
The same is true outside the building in the world of company vehicles. Each year sees a huge improvement in the eco-friendly nature of modern cars, with hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) finding a solid market segment rather than the ‘hippy’ subset of a decade ago. Improvements in EV technology includes the all-important extension of range, meaning cars go further on a single charge. In 2019, the push to an all-electric road increases, with major manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Volkswagen making significant moves in the arena.
LED lighting is another great example. This energy-efficient and readily available lighting equals not only considerable running cost savings, but also means lower energy usage, reduced carbon footprint and minimised use of scarce resources. The installation costs can be significant, but by using asset finance, they can be spread out and off-set against the savings made, often producing pay-back within a few years.
Holding onto the old vs. upgrading to the new
It is easily argued that the best way to maintain an ecologically-aware business environment is to keep using equipment until it no longer functions, trading the pleasure of new technology for a rigid adherence to the idea that using something until it simply dies is getting the most out of it. Unfortunately, such thinking is flawed.
When looking at company vehicles, older fossil-fuelled cars continue to have emissions that stretch the boundaries of acceptable limits today, coupled with an inefficiency that simply comes with age. While in 2004, a brand new diesel car may have been the peak of fuel efficiency and its engine a near-flawless work of art, wear and tear and simple use over fifteen years have meant that it no longer holds to its factory specifications, and continuing to use such a car is nothing less than harmful compared to a sleek emissions-free modern alternative.
Computers are not immune to the older-is-wasteful idea, with desktop machines from a decade ago drawing more power and taking many times longer to perform tasks. Running a PC from 2009 and being ‘happy to wait’ while it crunches along in the background is wasteful, not to mention the additional energy drawn from separate monitors, disk drives (remember those?) and other peripherals.
When everything is taken into account, upgrading and recycling your company equipment once it has outlived its efficient lifespan provides a real benefit to the wider world in terms of sustainability.
Business cashflow and asset leasing
The problem with upgrades, especially if they are company-wide, is the sheer cost of doing so. Raising enough capital to install a more efficient set of IT equipment across the board is often a significant investment and may be difficult to secure.
Asset finance allows you to have the latest equipment or vehicles without having to invest substantial capital. With an affordable deposit, followed by budget-friendly monthly payments – all of which can be offset against VAT and tax – business leasing provides the perfect alternative to an outright purchase.
You can use asset finance to make your company energy efficient, fuel efficient and workforce efficient without risk.
The optimum leasing length
Getting the right lease length depends very much on the item you are leasing. Cars are at their most efficient during the first three years of their life, and most business contract hire agreements are in this range for that reason.
Making the right choice between getting everything possible out of a piece of equipment and getting the newest replacement model can differ a lot depending on the equipment. Forward planning and a little guesswork are needed, but our advisors are here to help you optimise your leasing and to make sure you get the equipment you need on the terms that are right for you.
Is my equipment due an upgrade?
Understanding sustainability needs a holistic approach. It’s not enough to simply wait until an item breaks down completely; you need to consider the efficiency of the equipment, the amount of time wasted by staff working around its ‘little foibles’ and the cost. Replacing equipment does have an environmental impact as well as a financial one – packaging is to be recycled or disposed of, shipping has a significant carbon footprint, plus there’s the impact of building the object in the first place.
But if the waste generated by current systems is significant, then replacing it with something modern, with sustainability in mind throughout its design, is the responsible decision.
Asset leasing with Maxxia
At Maxxia we are experts in all areas of asset finance, from car leasing to technology funding. We are here to help you keep your business running efficiently and responsibly so, whatever you need, you can call on us to find a deal that suits your company. Fill in our contact form today or give us a call to speak to one of our specialist advisors.