In 2018, a UN panel of scientists warned that we are getting out of time to tackle the problem of greenhouse gasses (GHG), global warming, and climate change. Two years later, NOAA confirmed the worst: the world was 1.8 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th-century average. The emerging reality shows that a lot of devastation is taking place, from warming oceans to rising sea levels, because of climate change. All you need to know to reduce your Reduce Carbon Footprint.
The main challenge of global warming is the high production of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide from unsustainable fuel/ energy sources. Therefore, we do not have a way out other than cutting down our carbon footprint. Organizations and businesses have a bigger role in addressing climate change by reducing their emissions. So, what is your company’s carbon dioxide emission levels and other environmental wastes that are linked to global warming?
People have now taken it upon themselves to push for reduced carbon dioxide emissions by companies following the failure of previous initiatives, such as the Kyoto Protocol and corporate social responsibility.
Stakeholders, such as investors and the community, want only to be associated with companies that are responsible, sustainable, and genuinely committed to helping the world become a green and better place for all. Keep reading as we take a deeper look into carbon footprint and demonstrate unique ways to help your company keep it as low as possible. How to be carbon neutral?
Carbon Footprint Definition
Carbon footprint is the correspondence to the entire quantity of greenhouse gasses (GHG) produced both directly and indirectly. It is measured using equivalent tons of carbon dioxide in a year and can be assessed for individuals, companies, products, events, cities, and even countries.
Greenhouse gasses that cause high carbon footprint can be emitted from different sources, including the production and use of fossil fuels as a source of energy, raw materials, food processing, and road transportation. We must say that despite carbon footprint being so crucial in addressing global warming, calculating it is never easy because there are so many interacting factors. For example, what is the interaction between the greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the atmosphere and the natural processes that release or off-take carbon dioxide? The interaction is complex. Do you know how to calculate carbon emissions?
At the company level, calculating footprints is even more complex because you must include everything, such as energy use, transportation in miles, waste production & treatment, supply chain-related sources, production and the design of your products.
This is why you should have appropriate software and work with an expert to take the right scopem, make good green targets, and factor in your country’s greenhouse gas reduction targets when making the calculations. Do you know the GHG protocol?
Reduce Carbon Footprint : Most Unique Methods
Now that you know the carbon footprint definition, let's turn to the methods that you can use to keep it as low as possible in your company, be it a food processing unit or financial facility, or another type of business.
- Reduce Your Company Footprint from Air Travel
Today, companies are recommending less traveling for their staff and instead shifting to advanced video communication programs, such as Skype and Zoom. This model became more pronounced at the height of COVID-pandemic because companies had to continue operating with little physical interaction and movements. Technology came to their rescue, and now companies are adopting the same model to cut down costs associated with transportation in miles and reduce their carbon footprint. All about climate risk reporting here.
Every long flight that a company avoids means cutting down carbon footprint by about 0.43KG CO2e (business class) and 0.15KG CO2e (economy class).
For a company with, say, five managers, who need to make multiple trips every month, the amount of carbon footprint that would be reduced by using video conferencing instead of flying is pretty significant. You can also reduce it by cutting down the number of trips .
- Cut Down Carbon Footprint from the Road Travel
Does your company deal with logistics, fleet management, or have multiple cars on the road at any one time? These could be major sources of high carbon footprint. Here are some suggestions on how to cut down carbon emissions from road transport:
- Shift to electric cars: This is the best way to eliminate the emissions from internal combustion systems of vehicles. Instead of using internal combustion systems that burn fossil fuels, go for electric cars powered by rechargeable batteries. They rely on electricity and will reduce the company fuel needs, cut down GHG gasses, and help you with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other regulatory body compliance.
- Use company transport to move staff: Instead of all employees traveling to work using separate cars, shifting to a single one can help keep the energy needs and average emissions low. You can even cut down the carbon footprint further by ensuring the staff and company’s products are transported in electric vehicles.
- Shift to local supplies: If your production system uses raw materials that are sourced from very far, the company's carbon footprint is likely to be pretty high. Therefore, you might want to shift to local supplies to reduce the distance the trucks move the raw materials. If the suppliers also use clean energy such as electricity from solar, it will be possible to cut down further carbon footprint per year.
- Optimize Your Heating and Cooling System
When you use heating controls in your company, they can take a significant amount of energy and increase your carbon footprint. While having the right working environment is paramount, you can keep any associated emissions low using green building design. For example, you can have the production area designed to take advantage of natural lighting and natural air circulation. You know more now about how to Reduce your Carbon Footprint.
Proper insulation can also help to prevent heat loss during the cold months (for companies in cold regions).
- Pay for Carbon Offsetting
If you find that the process of cutting down carbon footprint is challenging or the activities you select are only reducing it with a small margin, consider paying for offsets. This means that the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced on top of carbon-neutral levels is calculated and your company pays for it.
This money is paid to another company, organization, or country that has reached carbon-negative levels. It ensures the companies that are removing a lot of carbon dioxide are incentivized to continue with the good work. However, this should not be a long-term solution. The best way is to adopt strategies and systems for cutting down emissions and staying sustainable. Whether your company deals with food processing or sale of services, among other niches, focus on strategies to reduce the emissions or footprints..
These are only a few of the actions that you can take to cut down your company's carbon footprint. Other top options include minimizing wastes, recycling, and changing to a more energy-efficient lighting system.
Make Reducing Carbon Footprint Part of Your ESG Sustainability Reporting
Now that you know the carbon footprint definition, we must indicate that accuracy when reporting is very important. The best way to approach your strategy is to include carbon footprint reduction as part of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting initiative every year.
ESG is a conscious disclosure of a company’s impacts on three areas, environmental, social, and governance. It aims at demonstrating to stakeholders the risks and opportunities from sustainability activities. By including cutting down carbon footprint in ESG reporting, your company will have the advantage of presenting itself more holistically.
Your stakeholders will be able to see that the company is not just working on staff training, optimizing profits, and new products development, but also on wrestling down the global problem of global warming.
To report carbon footprint reduction alone or as part of ESG sustainability reporting, you need to have the right framework, understand local regulations like the requirements of EPA and sustainability management software. The framework helps you to stay focused on the areas of reporting while the software makes data gathering, analysis, and report generation easy. It also protects the data you gather and makes it possible to adhere to all principles of good ESG reporting, from materiality to accuracy.
Understanding the carbon footprint definition is only the first step OF promoting sustainability. This post has demonstrated some of the top actions that your company can take to keep its carbon footprint low. Remember that to get more from cutting down your carbon footprint; you should include it as part of the company’s ESG sustainability reporting. It will also be a good idea to work with a consultant to help get the process right.
At Diginex.com, we have the best software for sustainability management and experts who can assist you achieve the targeted carbon footprint reduction.
You can never go wrong with the assistance of our experts about how to reduce your carbon footprint.