THE BENEFITS OF REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF YOUR BUSINESS
With the recent explosion of information regarding climate change, you have probably come across the term “carbon footprint.” For the uninitiated, carbon footprint (CFP) is the volume of greenhouses gases, consisting primarily of CO2, released into the atmosphere by a product, individual or organisation. Scientists have in recent years become concerned about the increasing emission of greenhouse gases from human-related activities. Carbon footprints have serious consequences for humans, the environment and climate change. Scientists have predicted that carbon footprints will lead to global warming, accompanied by rising sea levels due to the polar ice caps melting and other profound effects on the integrity of ecosystems.
Sustainability is a growing requirement for businesses and governments. Despite the increased awareness, it’s unfortunate that some businesses still fail to capitalise on opportunities to moderate carbon pollution by moving to lower-emitting solutions. Such businesses opt for electric power and value short-term monetary gains over sustainability. At any given level of operation in business, there are opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
However, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Before you can even think of reducing your eco-prints, it is vital that you establish the size of your carbon footprint to highlight the key areas of opportunity. A climate strategy begins by knowing your operational emissions hotspots to help kick-start emission and energy reduction initiatives. It’s no secret that employing environmentally friendly policies in your business can require some financial commitments and cause shifts in how you operate in the short run. After a while, however, you’ll be able to conduct your business more efficiently by embracing an environmental ethic.
Some of the eco-friendly business practices you can adopt to reduce carbon emissions include:
- Re-education of staff.
- Recycling waste.
- Reusing whenever possible.
- Switching to LED lighting.
- Greener commutes (cycling, hybrid cars, etc.).
- Ensuring efficient heating.
- Ethical supply chains.
- Going paperless.
- Behavioural changes.
Some of these ways may seem insignificant or obvious, but even the smallest of actions can make a significant difference in the long-term.
Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility, there are various perks for businesses that actively work towards going green and reducing emissions.
By applying cost-saving measures such as better insulation, driving more economically and self-generation of sustainable energy, you will save on energy bills. With the decreasing prices of solar panels, producing cleaner power is more economically attractive than ever before. When your employees are more aware of their energy behaviour, they will be more energy conscious. This will result in reduced expenditure on fuel costs per year. The savings can be spent on other ventures. You can additionally take advantage of tax deductions for green businesses.
- A Greener Planet
Over 95 percent of the earth’s warming is attributed to human-emitted greenhouse gases such as CO2. As temperatures rise every year, this could lead to disastrous effects like droughts and desertification, hurricanes and storm surges, and intensified precipitation events. Extreme weather imposes a high cost on our communities, and the costs of climate inaction continue to add up every year. Reducing the carbon footprint of your business will contribute to the fight against climate change. CO2 lasts in the atmosphere for about 100 years once emitted. What this means is that the benefits of reducing carbon footprints today will be stretched 100+ years into the future.
Improved Brand Reputation
It’s no secret that reducing the carbon footprint of your business plays a significant role in influencing consumer choice. Businesses that invest in sustainable technologies are regarded as eco-friendlier and therefore socially responsible. Recent research shows that more and more consumers are willing to trust companies with transparent and strong CSR policies. A 2014 Nielsen survey discovered that businesses taking green initiatives attracted patronage from consumers looking to make a difference in the environment. Sustainable business equals commercial success. Besides more purchase intention and customer loyalty, you will benefit from a good reputation among stakeholders by earning a green reputation.
Boost Employee Morale
Unknown to many businesses, taking green initiatives can lead to the attraction of valuable employees. By introducing energy-saving incentives and measures to the workplace, you will boost morale and productivity among workers. Many employees would be more satisfied to work in a company where they can make a social or environmental impact on the world. When your employees feel like you care about the environment, they tend to feel more connected to your company. You can introduce incentives for recycling, compositing, carpooling or biking to work.
Carbon emissions are the largest contributor to air pollution. To safeguard the long-term future of society, it is essential that all businesses make an effort to reduce their carbon emissions by shifting utilisation towards lower-polluting generation and embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency. To fully realise economic and reputational opportunities associated with climate action, you need to come up with the right policies now!
We would love to hear your views and comments on the benefits of reducing the carbon footprint of your business, let us know what you think!
You may also wish to visit our Energy Savings Services page for further information on how we can help you to reduce your carbon footprint.