How Businesses are Reducing their Carbon Footprint
Regardless of the size and structure of your business, you can create standards and protocols to make your company carbon neutral. There are several ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint. This process begins by understanding the emissions generated by your company and tracking your current carbon footprint. Once you know your company’s emissions, you can take actionable strides towards reducing your business’s carbon footprint. Cool Effect is here to help you understand how to reduce business carbon footprint and highlight changes you can implement right now.
Understanding Carbon Footprint For Businesses: The Basics
If you want to join the ranks of companies reducing their carbon footprint, start with the basics. Your establishment’s carbon footprint is a measurement of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted through various activities and operations. To have a true grasp of corporate carbon footprints, every aspect of your business needs to be taken into account, from business trips to remote locations to the amount of paper you use to print in-house memos. Once you have a tally of your annual usage, you can start identifying where your company needs to make the most adjustments to reduce office carbon footprint.
Large Businesses divide their emissions into three types, Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.
Scope 1: These are emissions that arise directly from sources that are owned or controlled by the organization: for example, from fuels used in boilers or the vehicles that departments and facilities management own. These emissions can be avoided or reduced through improvements in efficiency and conservation.
Scope 2: These are the emissions generated by purchased electricity consumed by the organization. These emissions can be eliminated by switching to renewable (zero carbon) sources of energy.
Scope 3: These emissions are a consequence of the activities of an organization but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the organization. They include emissions associated with waste, water, business travel (including air travel, commuting, purchased goods and services and fuel) and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or 2. These emissions are generally not avoidable in any other ways and can be eliminated by offsetting.
How to Calculate Your Businesses’s Carbon Footprint
By accumulating all of a company’s emission data, you should begin to see where the most carbon is produced. As one of the companies reducing their carbon footprint, you will be joining leading companies in the U.S. such as Microsoft, Salesforce and Twitter among others.
It will be important to ensure all data collected is within the same specified timeframe generally per month or per year. The next step will be to multiply your use figures by the appropriate emission factor to each category in order to determine the number of metric tons of CO2 emitted. We have a handy calculator to make this process simple for you to calculate the annual emissions of your business operations.
How can a Business Reduce Their Carbon Footprint?
Once you know your emissions in tonnes, you can set a goal as to how much carbon you would like to reduce per year and offset the emissions remaining. If you offset emissions that can’t be reduced any other way you will become one of the examples of companies reducing carbon footprint. The goal of reducing emissions doesn’t always require a large investment. In fact, there are many small steps you can take to achieve sustainability.
How do Businesses Become Carbon Neutral?
This is the dominant source of carbon emissions for any entity and to lower it, may be as simple as making a phone call to switch to renewable energy. Once you know how much energy your company consumes, you need to break down how it uses it. With this data, you can find areas where you can reduce energy consumption without severely impacting your operations. This can be as simple as turning out lights, raising (or lowering) thermostats, or insulating pipes. Or it can be as complicated as moving servers to lower power during off peak times. Throughout this process, it is also possible to lower your costs.
Along with the audit, try to switch to renewable energy. In many parts of the U.S. renewable is available, and it is easy to sign on. Prices may be only a few cents higher than regular energy. Some providers allow the purchase of partial green so that if the price difference does affect operations, the change-over can be gradual. Companies reducing their carbon footprint have made one of their primary endeavors the pursuit of switching to 100% renewable energy.
Transportation is one of the largest sectors contributing to global warming. Lots of emissions are created by daily commuting. As more work is done remotely, this not only saves on employee commute time, but it helps to reduce your company’s carbon emissions.
For those meetings that require more than just an email chain, COVID has shown employees that there are some benefits of video conferencing. Remote communication platforms are being adopted at a rapid pace. Instead of traveling cross-country on a plane to negotiate a business deal, you can conduct a video conference from anywhere. This tactic can significantly impact your company’s carbon footprint, not to mention the reduction in overhead from travel expenses.
If your company requires in-person attendance, consider a carpooling initiative. If you have several employees who can alternate driving to work, your company’s daily travel emissions will be effectively reduced by half. Businesses can also consider employee programs that incent the use of public transportation.
Want to Know More?
Being one of the companies reducing their carbon footprint is a noble endeavor. If you would like to know more about how your company can reduce its carbon footprint, Cool Effect can help, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.