As we become more aware of climate change and rising temperatures, it can be overwhelming to make changes to our lifestyles, especially when we are not sure how. For businesses, this could be an opportunity to reevaluate their current activities and commit to a robust sustainability strategy and improve their reputation. A decarbonization strategy can be challenging to start, but here are some steps that can help businesses on their journey toward transition:
1) Measure your carbon footprint: A carbon footprint assessment allows your company to understand what are the most intensive drivers of carbon emissions in your business activity. This can help you prioritize and plan your reduction strategy accordingly. Measuring carbon footprints also enforces companies to account for data that is not purely financial. This could also help you understand where there are inefficiencies in your business and could help you implement cost-saving measures.
2) Have a sustainable-supplier list: One of the things you will probably notice from a carbon footprint assessment is that you have to collect different data from different suppliers. This gives you the opportunity to engage with your suppliers and understand the carbon impact of the goods you purchase. Here you can motivate your suppliers to adopt carbon reduction strategies and also create a list of sustainable suppliers.
3) Create and implement a policy for business travel: While this may seem simple in practice, it is often hard for businesses to make final decisions on which travel is necessary or not. A travel policy will set boundaries and ease the decision-making process. Potential recommendations could include: Limiting the number of flights an employee can take a year, banning air travel, which is shorter than 2-3 hours and favoring the train instead, hosting virtual meetings in place of physical events, and so on.
4) Educate and encourage employees to be more sustainable: Creating an environment that promotes carbon emission reduction shows commitment as people become increasingly more environmentally conscious. Putting in place workshops or resources to help employees understand how they can reduce their carbon emissions could also be very beneficial. Other incentive methods can be subsidizing public transportation costs, encouraging ride-sharing, or carpooling to work.
5) Extend usage of digital products: As technology is integral to running businesses, an effective method of controlling carbon emissions is making sure that your technology is sustainable. In France, 99% of a smartphone’s carbon footprint is linked to its production and transport to France1. Next time, when replacing electronic equipment, rather repair your existing device or purchase second-hand digital goods.
6) Invest in renewable energy and review office equipment: Another controllable and effective solution is to look at the office energy supply and transition to a renewable energy source. For example, finding energy-efficient solutions for office equipment like motion-sensor lighting, ensuring that the office temperature is well-regulated, and not over-air-conditioning during summer or overheating during winter.
These are just a few recommendations a company can follow to reduce its environmental impact.
Contact ClimateSeed to structure a detailed strategy.
Source: 1 Caulier, 2021