Moving heavy loads around in large vehicles is a recipe for high carbon emissions, and the use of packaging materials can often be reckless and inefficient. Removals can be a wasteful industry – but it doesn’t have to be. 

The growing problems for our planet associated with carbon emissions means that it has never been more important to prioritise a green approach for all businesses, particularly in an industry with such a large carbon footprint.

But being kinder to environment doesn’t have to be tiresome or tedious. That’s why we’ve complied together 4 easy but effective steps to lower your environmental impact.

1. Reduce CO2 Emissions

Let’s start with the big one – removals involves a lot of driving up and down and, as a result, removals companies have high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Now, you’re always going to have to do the physical move from A to B but there are more eco-friendly options for the pre-move survey.

Video technology has now reached a point where it’s possible to do everything that you would do in person remotely – and every potential customer you’re able to survey by video is one trip fewer you’re making out to a customer location. Which doesn’t just reduce your emissions, it also saves you a lot of time and money as well. If you want to learn more about how video survey can save you on time, money and environmental impact, you can book a free demo of buzzsurvey whenever you want.

If you’re still driving to customer locations, then there are other things you can do to cut fuel consumption. Start small – if it’s a local job, you can always try cycling to the pre-move survey instead of driving. Using biodiesel is also an option in some cases, with this natural alternative to fossil fuels made from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fatsWhile biodiesel sounds like an excellent solution, there are a few caveats. Not all vehicles can be run on this alternative, so you need to make sure that your vans are compatible before considering this fuel. It’s also worth noting that a lot of biofuel is made from palm oil, which is incredibly damaging to the environment.  

Another way to reduce carbon emissions is to switch to electric vans, which are completely emission-free (although more expensive to buy). Another issue is that the majority of electric vans on the market at the moment are smaller models, like the Renault Kangoo ZE, and Nissan e-NV200. Fortunately, bigger e-vans are on their way to the UK, including the Renault Master ZE, which will go on sale later this year.

2. Offset your Carbon

While prevention is better than a cure, we’re not always in a position to prevent. This is where carbon-offsetting comes in.

Carbon-offsetting is when you do something that takes carbon emissions back out – so even if you’re still producing emissions, you can achieve a net contribution of zero. You can do this by calculating your carbon footprint and reducing carbon emissions indirectly somewhere else.

Another positive step as a removal company would be to get involved in buzzsurvey’s carbon neutral initiative, which helps removal companies offset their carbon emissions through planting trees. As the tree grows, it starts to take all that carbon dioxide back out of the air that you’re putting into it. We estimate that 1 tree can offset 1 tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old …

3. Recycle Packing Materials

In addition to carbon emissions from the vans themselves, one of the biggest eco-issues associated with removal companies is packaging materials. If you offer boxes as part of your service, make sure they are reusable or recyclable.

There are also certain materials that should be avoided, such as plastic packing peanuts and plastic bubble wrap. These often end up in landfill but are environmentally damaging because plastic doesn’t biodegrade. In fact, plastic is notoriously difficult to break down. And if it does finally biodegrade, toxic chemicals are released.

Good substitutes are air-popped popcorn and shredded paper for padding. Shredded paper can also be recycled after moving. If you prefer to buy padding, opt for reusable pads, recyclable packing paper, and specially marked biodegradable bubble wrap and packing peanuts.

Being green is not just about vehicles, it should encompass your whole operation, including your staff and any commercial partners.


Removals can be a wasteful industry – but, fortunately, if you follow these tips you can run a more eco-friendly business. If you’d like to see how video survey can help reduce your carbon footprint – and to learn about all the other business benefits it can bring as well – try out a free demo of buzzsurvey today.


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