What is your carbon footprint and how can you reduce it?

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A growing number of environmental concerns affect our planet. We all have an obligation to take care of the planet, which compels us to embrace greener lifestyles.

Extreme weather conditions are five times more common today than 50 years ago due to global warming. Carbon footprints, environmental pollution and deforestation contribute to this drastic change, posing a threat to human civilization. This situation raises questions about the carbon footprint and how individuals and businesses can reduce theirs.

What is a carbon footprint and what role does it play in environmentalism?

If you want to know more about what you can do to help the planet, you need to know more about the importance of your carbon footprint. It will help guide your decisions as you strive to live a greener life.

Carbon footprint refers to the overall amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced to support a person’s lifestyle and activities, either directly or indirectly. Individuals, organizations, products and events have carbon footprints expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalent over a year. GHG emissions contribute to the carbon footprint of the production and consumption of fossil fuels, food, industrial goods, materials or transportation.

Carbon footprints are difficult to quantify due to incomplete data on the processes that contribute to them and the earth’s role in storing and releasing carbon dioxide. Luckily, with the latest climate technologies, you can get specific accountability and areas for improvement. Individuals and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint to help the environment. You can also read this article we wrote on estimating your carbon footprint for more information.

Measure the carbon footprint

The first step towards reducing your carbon footprint is to identify areas of greenhouse gas emissions. Start by measuring your company’s carbon footprint from business operations to discover your current state and areas for improvement. Your company’s sustainability department will be best placed to manage the carbon footprint calculation.

Many technologies abound to calculate a company’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Take advantage and employ a sustainability consultant who will analyze your carbon footprint and develop a strategy to reduce it, provide assistance during implementation, obtain sustainability certifications and provide required training.

A great way to measure your carbon footprint is to use a reliable emissions accounting and management platform like Greenly. It’s a company that can provide you with the tools you need to decarbonize your business. This is done through rigorous footprint calculations and accounting powered by the latest climate science.

Use renewable energies

Converting to renewable energy is now easier than before, thanks to the emergence of green energy options on the market. Contact your energy supplier to see if they offer renewable energy options.

Unless you use renewable energy, your energy use emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These two renewable energy sources, solar and wind, are the fastest growing alternative energy sources.

Investing in sustainable energy sources like solar electricity will save your organization money in the long run, despite the initial expense. Installing solar panels on company land, whether owned or leased, is an option worth exploring.

Use greener means of transport

Now is a good time to switch to hybrid or electric vehicles for your company fleet before the UK ban on new petrol and diesel cars comes into force in 2030. Car manufacturers are devoting huge resources to the development of electric vehicles, recognizing the urgency to act quickly. to renewable energy sources.

When you consider the number of vehicles on the road and the average annual distance travelled, the UK generates around 38 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year from cars alone! Fuel extraction and refining also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. You can significantly influence the country’s carbon footprint if your business goes electric.

Encourage employees to use electric cars and vehicles that emit no harmful emissions. In this way, you reduce the disposal of gaseous substances in the environment, contributing to the carbon footprint and consequently to global warming.

Reduce, reuse and recycle products

When talking about environmental sensitivity, it’s imperative to adhere to the Three Rs principle. Consider all facets of your organization, including office supplies, packaging, and operations. In which of these areas can you reduce waste? These products have a carbon footprint due to their production and transport. Start by reducing, reusing and recycling any material to reduce gas emissions.

Use sustainable purchasing to get staff thinking about how they can reduce their consumption of water, paper, food and drink, as well as computers, phones and packaging. You can also reduce your company’s carbon emissions by buying recycled paper or refurbished computers and phones. By following the GHG Protocol, you release more carbon dioxide by using papers from original sources rather than recycled. Embed sustainable practices throughout your supply chain, especially if your business is large.

Go paperless

Most companies use paper for their day-to-day business activities. Although this is standard record keeping and information exchange, you should look for alternatives to reduce your carbon footprint. Your business needs to move to digital storage and communication. Reduce printing and scan as much as possible to save paper (e.g. online document signatures, avoid printing emails and documents). Ultimately, electronic documents make it possible to quickly retrieve information from the cloud, wherever it resides.

Reduce physical meetings

During the 2020 and 2021 nationwide lockdowns, most of the UK working population was likely to use virtual meetings. This can be through Zoom, Teams or Slack or even Facebook Rooms.

Regardless of the platform, holding meetings online will help reduce the carbon footprint due to reduced fuel consumption in transportation vehicles. It’s a win-win for everyone. A fifth of global CO2 emissions are due to transport. You can also significantly reduce global CO2 emissions by reducing your travel habits.

Educate employees

Educating employees and co-workers is key to ensuring the success of your carbon footprint reduction strategies. Your progress in this company depends on the degree of information of the personnel of your company. Encourage open dialogue with your company’s employees, board, and consumers. Remember that education is an ongoing process, so be sure to keep them up to date with the latest developments through frequent training sessions.

To plant trees

Planting trees or having a functioning garden is a fantastic way to improve employee well-being and offset your company’s carbon footprint. If you don’t have time to grow your trees or flowers, there are dozens of tree planting programs online.

You can also contribute to tree planting and other biodiversity projects even if you cannot grow the trees yourself. Some tree planting initiatives even provide a certificate showing how many trees you have planted, where they are located, and how much carbon they will sequester when mature.

Turn off inactive devices

Even when not in use, electrical appliances draw electricity from the grid. Although these gadgets have a “sleep mode”, they still consume energy, which has an impact on the environment. Unplug everything you aren’t using, including your television, microwave, air conditioner, computer, and other electronic equipment. Use this method in your corporate and individual life to help the environment.

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