Improving the carbon footprint is one of the priorities of many companies today. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for the company itself. The latter particularly meets the expectations of consumers concerned about the ecosystem. It also saves energy and fuel costs. Various measures can be put in place to improve the carbon footprint. Let’s take a closer look.
What is carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is an indicator for assessing the impact of human activity on the environment. More specifically, it involves measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere. This includes carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), or even methane (CH4). Their saturation causes a disturbance of the climate and an increase in temperature. GHGs result from household consumption, transport, waste treatment, energy use and agriculture. They can be generated by an individual, a company or even a country.
The carbon footprint can be used to determine the strategies needed to reduce GHGs and fight climate change. Various solutions can then be adopted, including renewable energies and other sustainable devices.
How to improve carbon footprint as a business?
Collaborate with a renewable energy supplier
A renewable energy supplier has a low carbon footprint compared to a traditional energy supplier. The first uses renewable sources such as wind, sun and water to generate energy. They have the advantage of not emitting greenhouse gases.
Warning, a renewable energy supplier is still likely to have a significant carbon footprint. It is then necessary to take a close look at the means of transport used, the installation procedures and the construction techniques. In any case, it is then necessary to favor a service provider that strives to limit its greenhouse gas emissions, at all levels.
Finding alternatives to paper
Printing on paper involves the use of electronic devices, papers, ink and storage space. Not to mention chemicals, water and energy. It would be wise to favor the digital system.
Various options are then possible, in particular the use of electronic documents. Store files on a computer, tablet, and/or smartphone. It is more interesting to share them, rather than to print them. If printing is essential, it must be done on both sides to reduce the use of paper. It is also possible to use paper that you no longer use to take notes or as a draft.
Think about carbon display
Carbon labeling is a concept through which the environmental impact is systematically communicated to the consumer. This allows the latter to better orient himself to the purchase and to invest in an item/service that is environmentally conscious.
The carbon display thus encourages behavior change. The buyer can set and achieve measurable goals in this regard. This principle can for example be applied to organic, vegetarian or local food.
At the level of companies concerned with carrying out their activities in an ecological way, carbon labeling helps them to favor products with little impact on the environment.
Favor responsible travel
Daily travel has a significant impact on the environment. Traveling from home to the office, going to appointments or making a field visit are examples. It should be noted that individual cars are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the carbon footprint of travel:
- Encourage employees to carpool;
- Designate a list of employees for telecommuting;
- Encourage staff to adopt eco-responsible means of transport, namely bicycles or scooters;
- Encourage employees to walk to work;
- Prefer videoconferencing for professional interviews;
- Invest in public transportation, like a bus for staff.
Free yourself from non-essential heating systems
A heating system is powered by fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. The downside: they release greenhouse gases. It would be wise to get rid of it, provided however that it does not affect comfort. It is for example to consider lowering the thermostat a little.
Admittedly, this gesture may seem small, but it saves on energy costs. Most importantly, this action will improve the carbon footprint. Do not hesitate to adopt this system during the weekend or during the period when employees are on vacation. In winter, environmentally friendly heating options are a real asset for a business. You can think of solar heating systems or even heat pumps.
Choose short food circuits
Short food circuits contribute to reducing the carbon footprint, since the principle is to shorten the distance between the producer and the consumer. It should be noted that food alone accounts for a quarter of GHG emissions. Agriculture, livestock and the means of transport are involved in the problem.
The solution is to reduce the path of products to consumers. You will thus favor locally produced foods whose delivery to the end user involves a minimum of transport.
Sorting and recycling waste reduces the carbon footprint, since it avoids the production of new waste. Also, they limit the amount of products arriving in landfills. Paper, plastic, wood, glass, steel and electrical and electronic devices are recyclable. The same is true for biodegradable garbage, such as food scraps.
Note that recycling waste to sorting centers still results in greenhouse gas emissions. Their delivery involves an environmental cost to be considered. It may be more interesting to opt for local recycling.
About The Author: Cedric Pharand
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