The Extinction Rebellion protests have done much to raise the profile of climate change. As individuals, we’re doing more than ever before to minimise our impact on the planet, but what about your business?
July 2017 CDP published an article headlined: ‘New report shows just 100 energy suppliers are source of over 70% of emissions’.
Clearly, businesses have a large role to play in carbon emissions, not only in polluting but in reversing the effects of
climate change. This CPD report demonstrates the need for businesses to be transparent and report their carbon emissions. By taking a few simple steps you can begin your journey into being a sustainable and ethical business – which is pivotal in avoiding irreversible climate change.
We must act now.
Assess where you are
To begin the process measure your businesses’ current carbon footprint. Compare your footprint is an online tool which will do this for you, hassle-free, at the fraction of the cost of hiring consultants. All you need to do is input your data (water, electricity, gas, waste, travel, procurement, etc.). The tool does the rest for you. A report will be generated telling you where you are now and how you need to proceed. Instead of spending time and money on monitoring and reporting, the tool enables you to use your resources on actually reducing your footprint.
Now you know your carbon footprint, it is time to set goals and targets to reduce it. You can sign up the Science Based Targets initiative. The initiative is a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF, it helps business set goals based on the science of climate change. The target is developed in line with the scale of reductions required to keep global warming below 1.5C from pre-industrial levels. This is what is needed to avoid irreversible climate change in accordance with recent IPCC studies. If we go above this 1.5-degree threshold by just 0.5 degrees, there will be two or three times the amount of social, economic and ecosystem destruction. This 0.5 degrees may sound insignificant but in fact its repercussions are vast.
Introduce an environmental management system (EMS)
This is a systematic framework that manages the immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organisation. It includes the products, services and processes that occur at any point within the infrastructure of that business. Using an EMS system, a company can evaluate its performance in a methodical and cost-effective manner. Green Element are experts in environmental management systems. We have helped to drastically reduce our client’s environmental impacts as well as saving them on financial cost.
example, Regent’s University London.
“Since working with Will and the team, we have achieved savings of 500 tonnes of
carbon emissions and 160, 000 kilowatt-hours of energy. The university has
also, perhaps more noticeably, reduced our running costs by £24,000 a year.” –
Alan Donnachie, Head of Estates, Regents University London
Getting people on board can be one of the biggest challenges that businesses face. However, with current events such as the Extinction Rebellion protests and consumer shifts, more people are beginning to talk about protecting our planet. Your company can easily get involved too. Try organising a team of ‘champions’ to run green initiatives and engagement pieces. This will spark discussion and infuse awareness. Putting on events or competitions amongst employees. Having a sustainability week or Earth Hour, can help too. It is important to highlight the impact of not recycling or turning off electric appliances has on individuals. If staff are aware of the reasoning behind actions, they are more likely to comply.
These four steps will set you on your path to understanding and ultimately reducing your impact. These things take time and don’t just happen over-night. It is a journey. If you need help please get in touch with us at Green Element on 0207 0960 054. We look forward to hearing from you.
Together businesses can combat climate change.