As businesses like yours look to reevaluate and reassess environmental impacts and carbon footprints – and dive into ways that such excess emissions can be reduced – it’s important to start with the basics. So where does one begin?
What is a carbon footprint?
According to Open Access Government, a carbon footprint is, “… the best estimate of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced to, directly and indirectly, operate a business.” Depending on what product or service your business offers, this can include emissions produced in manufacturing a product, electricity consumed, or gas used when transporting goods.
Why should businesses reduce their carbon footprint?
Now that you know what a carbon footprint is, it’s time to think about why businesses like yours should reduce their carbon footprint. There are many reasons why a business should adopt more sustainable practices. Some of these include the increased consumer demand for businesses that support reduced impact on the environment and cutting down on your costs.
And there’s no better time to evaluate the ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint. So how do you do that?
We’ve pulled together five tips to help you answer just that question.
5 ways businesses can reduce their carbon footprint
Use renewable energy
For most companies, energy use is one of the largest contributors to their carbon footprint. By switching to renewable energy (energy that comes from natural sources or processes that are consistently replenished, like wind and sunlight), businesses can see cost savings as well as the financial benefit of switching to a cheaper energy source.
Increase energy efficiency
Get rid of any older bulbs you may have and instead replace them with LED lighting. Not only does LED lighting last longer, but they actually require 85% less electricity than older bulbs. In cooler months, open your windows to let natural light offset heating and cooling costs. And if you’re not ready to invest in energy-efficient printers or break room fridges, even switching to laptops can save energy.
Personal vehicles have a large impact on businesses’ carbon footprints. Options to reduce the impact of necessary commutes include taking public transit or carpooling. Additionally, consider offering the option of telecommuting to employees. While it may not be possible for everyone, reducing the number of people commuting to and from your office can impact your carbon footprint more than you think.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
There’s a reason we all know the idiom, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” It’s because such efforts can greatly reduce carbon footprints. Reduce office waste by limiting paper use and disposable items. Avoid printing items unless necessary. Reuse items already available and purchase refurbished electronics. And start a recycling program! Be sure to recycle everything you can, including paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, electronics, and more.
Reduce smoking amongst your employees
Cigarette butts aren’t just annoying – they’re also toxic waste that contaminates waterways and ground soil, impacting wildlife. Batteries from e-cigarette and vape devices contain hazardous substances like lead and mercury. Not only that, but tobacco production itself – not just utilization – creates immense waste. Providing employees with a tobacco cessation program they will utilize and love is an often-forgotten way to reduce a business’s carbon footprint, proving vital in helping the environment while improving employee wellness.
Get started reducing your business’ carbon footprint
There’s no time like the present for your business to get started – or further continue – your carbon footprint reduction efforts. In doing so, you can play a part in cleaning waterways, reducing carbon monoxide emissions, and reducing overall waste.