Carbon footprint is the measure of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s the amount of strain being placed on the environment by leading our daily lives. Climate change has been proven to be caused by the carbon dioxide released from burning gas, oil, fossil fuels, and coal.
Businesses can put more strain on the environment than humans normally do, depending on the operation. A manufacturing plant, for example, will release far more toxic greenhouse gases than a small office building would.
Here are the best ways that any business can try to reduce its carbon footprint, by even a little bit.
Learn the Three R’s
Before any business can reduce its carbon footprint, they need to know just how much they are producing. It’s important to calculate the greenhouse gases that a business generates, so that they know just how much damage they place on the environment. There are calculators to help with this.
Once the carbon footprint is measured, methods must be put in place to reduce, reuse, and recycle. From basic office supplies to the major packing departments, there is bound to be something that can be refurbished to be used again. Even getting your printer’s ink cartridges refilled instead of replacing them reduces waste.
Don’t throw away used boxes or broken chairs. Every single item can be used more than once if you try hard enough.
Change Travel Requirements
Instead of flying staff out to business meetings each week, pay for a train ride. It may sound inefficient in terms of time-saving and ease, but the amount of carbon footprint for one person to fly is scarily high. Just to fly economy class from New York to London will use over 2,000 pounds of CO2e. Multiply this by the 200+ passengers, and one flight costs the environment over 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
There is only so much greenhouse gas that the atmosphere can handle, and the more pressure we put on the environment, the quicker our planet will heat up and die.
Choose Renewable Energy Sources
There are tons of easy ways to save energy just by changing small habits, but in cases where it can be difficult to control other people’s actions, renewable energy sources can be installed. Systems like eco-friendly heat pumps can be used to help a business cut its carbon footprint by regulating temperatures using a simple device. It works by taking air that already exists and using coils, heats, or cools down a room. Other renewable energy sources can be ice-powered machines for very hot climates. They freeze water overnight so that the next day cool air is blown as the ice melts.
For more information on the various ways to cut carbon emissions, look no further than Carbon Switch. This is your one-stop place for all guides related to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. This website provides great guides on how to live sustainably and has hundreds of suggestions on eco-friendly systems that can help any business save money and reduce their carbon emissions.
Switch to LED Lighting
The standard light bulbs can use about 50-watts whereas LED lighting only uses 12 watts. They can provide more light in a room for a fraction of the energy than incandescent lighting. To save even more on carbon footprint, businesses can install skylights in busy rooms that rely on natural light. On rainy days, an LED light can be switched on, but for the majority of the time, natural light can provide sufficient brightness in any room.
LED lighting can also be installed with motion sensors so that anytime no movement is picked up, the light switches itself off. When someone walks into the room, it automatically comes back on. This helps to save energy when someone forgets to switch the lights off when they leave a room. It’s also a good security measure so that if someone tries to break-in, the light will come on immediately and notify security.
Pay To Offset Carbon
For those businesses that cannot help how much carbon dioxide they release into the environment, or when they have done everything possible, there is still one option. No matter how green a business is, there will still be some carbon emissions necessary just to operate the business. One way to compensate for this is to pay to offset that carbon emission. It works by funding research and technology to reduce carbon emissions in other parts of the world.
If you cannot change your business, change the world around you. There are ways to reduce carbon footprint in any business, and even the tiniest change will have a great impact on the large scheme of things.
Related Articles and Resources:
- 11 Actions You Can Take to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- How Businesses Can Be More Environmentally Friendly
- Air Quality in China and Possible Global Impacts