What can businesses do to help?
Measure And Analyse Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The first step for any company that wants to reduce its impact on the planet and the environment, and therefore help to reduce climate change, is to measure its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). There are many private agencies that are carbon footprint certified and can help companies measure their CO2 emissions.
Once GHG emissions are known, they must be analysed to see which of the company’s activities are the highest pollutants. Once this analysis is done, companies can then begin to consider solutions to reduce their emissions.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Turning off the lights in the office in the evening, slightly lowering the heating or the air conditioning or taking devices off the plugs when it’s not needed are some good actions companies can implement. By paying more attention to other daily routine actions, businesses can reduce their energy consumption and their impact on the climate.
Give Renewable Energies a Try
Today, more and more individuals are choosing renewable energy and this is also an interesting solution for companies. Simply put: avoiding fossil fuels significantly reduces the climate footprint.
Reduce Waste And Fight Obsolescence
Another way to reduce the climate footprint of a business is to reduce the amount of waste generated.
Avoiding disposable cups, stirrers, and capsules for the coffee machine and giving kitchen crockery instead, reducing the number of printouts, reusing papers as drafts, sort waste for recycling correctly…
There are plenty of possible solutions depending on the facilities (office or factory) and an organisation’s core business, and many employees will have plenty of good suggestions if they are motivated to adopt an eco-friendly mindset.
It is also important to use equipment and devices properly to avoid them deteriorating faster, and to repair gadgets when they break down instead of replacing them with new ones.
Optimise Employees’ Transportation
As we know, transportation is one of the largest sectors of greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging employees to take public transport, to carpool with other colleagues living close by or by giving them discounts on public transportation, companies can significantly reduce their indirect CO2 emissions and therefore their impact on climate change. Flexible working, with employees based at home for at least part of the time where possible, is another way to reduce carbon emissions.
Choose Greener Infrastructures And Equipment
It is also possible to choose more environment-friendly infrastructures and equipment. In this way, companies can set up a fleet of hybrid or electric vehicles to upgrade their company cars to the latest environmental standards. Or, when the time comes to buy new printers, air conditioners, laptops, screens, bulbs or office materials, if the old ones can’t be fixed or more are needed, choose the most efficient (energy-wise) and sustainable ones.
Choose Sustainable Suppliers
Each company also has a responsibility regarding the partners it chooses. Choosing a supplier is also an environmentally-friendly choice (or not, depending on the supplier). Therefore, companies should make the effort to choose suppliers who demonstrate they have good environmental practices.
Raise Awareness Among Employees, Clients And Other Stakeholders
Companies also play a role in raising awareness on their employees, consumers, media and other stakeholders. Organising in-house contests or campaigns to raise and improve awareness on sustainability issues is a great idea.
These small gestures gradually create the ground for best practices that individuals then reproduce at home and transmit to their friends.
Promote Environmentally Friendly Ways Of Working
Paperwork has a strong environmental impact, as does computer work and use of the Internet because of the impact of large servers. Try to make this a consideration when setting out company practices.
More information on how you can make your business more environmentally friendly from the Energy Saving Trust.
More information on businesses and climate change can be found on the Surrey County Council website.