Reducing your carbon footprint and saving the Planet
“ There is a need to cut the current greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and reduce them to net- zero by 2050”, a statement in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5C. Credits are traded in units of 1 ton of carbon dioxide and it is estimated that credits worth 2 billion tons will be needed to get to the 2030 target. By paying someone else to either capture their carbon or reduce their emissions, companies can compensate for their environmental footprint and eventually, use carbon credits to get the carbon-neutral status. This is a simple theory if one entity cannot refrain from emitting carbon dioxide, it can ask another to decrease its emissions resulting to a reduction in the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere. In addition, organizations can meet their climate targets by purchasing credits for their current emissions, though some have opted to commit towards continuous progress and use credits to compensate for all their historic emissions. With an increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, it is essential for businesses to minimize their footprint. In return, it improves their public image and leads to a reduction in operational costs.
They have taken various initiatives: A crucial initial step is setting carbon reduction targets which define measurable objectives and guides the efforts made by an organization in becoming environmentally conscious. This phase may seem cumbersome, but with the right strategy for setting and achieving these goals, it is attainable. Partnering with a sustainability consultant will streamline the engagement in extensive data collection by identifying the sources of carbon emissions and their impact on their processes, both externally and internally. Moreover, this creates transparent guidance which they can break down into smaller and more attainable targets. Typically, energy consumption from various operations contributes to a major portion of the carbon footprint, making it a greater focus in the attempt to reduce the impact. Many ways have been adapted to reduce energy use. From unplugging equipment when not in use, programming them to only run during working hours to utilizing renewable sources such as solar and geothermal energy. Companies can also implement a variety of energy-efficient measures including switching to hybrid or electric fleets while encouraging carpooling among employees when traveling together. With this, the greenhouse gases will be reduced without compromising commerce productivity and efficiency.
Another technique is to rethink your supply chain by procuring from sustainable suppliers. Doing so is just as critical as implementing in-house efforts toward creating a greener workplace. Many businesses unknowingly fund the rising levels of emissions by employing unsustainable vendors. To avoid instances of greenwashing, audits, and assessments can be conducted with the aid of a sustainability consultant. During this phase, suppliers are directly evaluated on their carbon emissions data or if they possess any accreditations that demonstrate their methods of measuring and improving environmental impacts. As we incorporate technology with sustainability, companies have adopted ESG software to encourage waste reduction throughout the value chain and track energy usage.
Moreover, it has helped with ESG data collection, providing clear sustainability reporting options while benchmarking against its peers. This software does not provide a one-size fits all solution as various businesses have specific goals and resources allowing them to customize it as per their needs. Companies that leverage ESG software platforms can analyze their sustainability performance by not only monitoring and applying carbon reduction measures in real-time with actionable data but also ensuring that their disclosures satisfy regulations and laws. In the long term, they remain cost-effective in the form of lower utility bills and maximize their carbon reduction opportunities.
Globally, large amounts of waste are generated and commercial waste takes a significant percentage resulting in huge landfills. Employing a waste reduction strategy such as reusing, recycling, integrating digital records instead of paper documents, committing to sustainable packaging, and rethinking the product design should be among the initial moves in going green. Firms should also look for alternative energy-efficient processes or materials that are less harmful to the environment. Considerable quantities of energy go into heating water. By cutting back on water usage where applicable, entities can not only lower their monthly bills but also make remarkable strides in reducing their carbon footprint. There are various ways of conserving one of the world’s most precious resources by lowering water heating temperatures, investing in water-saving appliances, and running water-intensive machinery only when fully loaded. Furthermore, transitioning to renewable energy sources such as geothermal heat pumps plays a major role in reducing carbon emissions. Inviting various stakeholders from a wide range of sectors to contribute their own ideas opens up further avenues for reducing emissions while providing them with a sense of purpose in the fight against climate change.
Decreasing carbon footprint begins with ensuring the company’s leadership is fully engaged where the C-suite should strive to provide action plans and set an example for every personnel to follow. Businesses can inspire employees to take ownership by engaging them in sustainability workshops and training champions on environmental issues and strategies to attain the set targets. From the early stages, companies that implement these action plans are likely to become financially and environmentally viable.