There is a large focus today, throughout our society, on sustainable practices and environmentalism. The planet we share is facing a crisis that could significantly harm the planet. For this reason, many businesses around the world are trying to do their bit to help the environment. As a business owner, what can you do to reduce your company’s carbon footprint? We explore the options open to you below.
What Is A Carbon Footprint?
This is a way of measuring just how much of an impact we leave behind in our environment, relating to fossil fuel emissions and the like. Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is one of the most damaging issues our planet faces today. While there are other environmental problems in the world, reducing our carbon emissions can significantly and positively affect the planet. Our carbon footprints can increase in size based on our direct usage of fossil fuels like petrol and indirectly through ordering things from abroad that require transportation to get to you. Buying certain unsustainable products also indirectly contributes to the carbon emissions of making those products too.
Why Should You Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
The obvious answer here is that we all have a responsibility to look after our planet, and business owners can have a large impact, both positively and negatively, on the environment. As well as doing it for ethical reasons, there are some significant benefits this can have for your business too. Because so many in the general public today have become environmentally conscious, there are a lot of individual customers and clients who seek out environmentally conscious businesses to work with or buy from. By openly implementing eco-friendly initiatives across your company and marketing those new stances properly, you can attract many more customers and clients to your business. It’s also worth thinking about the fact that climate change is damaging the economy, and that will have a direct impact on all businesses.
Identify Your Carbon Footprint
The first step in reducing your carbon footprint is by understanding exactly what it is. There are a number of tools you can use today that specifically measure your emissions yourself, but the easiest way to do this is to outsource this task to a sustainability consultancy. They’ll measure these things for you and suggest some ideas as to how you can specifically reduce your carbon emissions and, more importantly, keep them at a low level. Once you have a clear view of what your carbon footprint looks like, you’ll be in a much better position to find ways in which you can reduce those emissions. Remember, every company will have a different carbon footprint based on the products they manufacture or the things they have shipped across the globe, so it’s important to know exactly what you need to improve within your business before you start implementing sustainable practices.
Use Renewable Energy
All businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, at least if they’re running a physical office space, by utilising renewable energy from an eco-friendly energy company. Today, certain energy companies have a primary focus on generating their energy using renewable resources such as wind, hydro, and solar power. Choosing these over a standard fossil fuel energy company will reduce your carbon footprint. You could go a step further and generate your own electricity using solar panels. With enough solar panels, you could generate more energy than your business consumes, and certain energy companies will pay you for this as they can divert that energy to others.
Train Your Staff To Be Eco-Conscious
It’s not easy to reduce your carbon footprint alone. You’ll need the support of your entire team to do this effectively, and one way in which you can improve this endeavour is by training your staff to be conscious of their impact on the environment. One way you can do this effectively is to create the role of a sustainability manager who will manage your company’s sustainability efforts and train the rest of your team in good, eco-friendly practices. You can improve their understanding of the topic by enrolling them in an online business sustainability course which will serve to benefit your business and your sustainability goals. The main goal for your sustainability manager will be to help you identify unsustainable practices within your business and train you and your team on how to be more eco-minded for the future.
We’ve all heard about the three R’s (reuse, reduce, and recycle), and they’re as important today as ever. Keeping these in mind when looking into being more sustainable is very important. Reusing essentially means that you should think of ways in which you can continue using items after their initial usage. For example, plastic containers can be reused to store different items instead of you throwing them away, and you could do this with other items too. Old binders and folders are also worth keeping so that employees don’t spend money purchasing new ones. You could even expand this mentality to the kitchen area, encouraging employees to bring old kitchenware that they no longer want, reducing the need for disposable cups and plates.
Recycle Whatever You Can
Of course, you don’t always have to find a new use for old items, and sometimes things just need to be thrown away. However, you should be vigilant in identifying items that can be recycled, as this will reduce the amount that goes into landfills unnecessarily. Recycling initiatives are very helpful for the environment, and some are just as helpful for certain societies too. There are a number of programs that make use of recycled materials to help communities around the world with construction projects and the like. There are even certain recycling projects that will pay you for your recycled goods.
Reduce Your Waste
Some things can’t always be reused or recycled, and instead, we have to throw them away. This isn’t always a bad thing, and some things are out of our control. What businesses can do is reduce their waste as much as possible. This can be done by finding low waste products such as refillable hand soap to reduce plastic waste for company bathrooms and kitchen areas and utilise other reusable items. You should also switch out non recyclable items as much as possible so that you can put those items into recycling bins instead of waste bins once you’re done with them. The three R’s, as we can see, all align with each other in some way. Keeping these in mind is one of the best ways in which you, as a business owner, can reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability across your company.
This article has gone over several ways you can reduce your company’s carbon footprint and promote sustainability policies throughout. It will benefit you and the organisation to reduce your waste where you can, and to recycle whatever waste you do have. You should try to reuse items for as long as you can, as long as it is safe to do so. You should lead by example, ensuring that the company is using renewable energy and that you’re creating a culture of acceptance for staff to be eco-conscious.