Reducing the global carbon footprint is one of the main challenges facing the human race and could critically influence the future. Most people know about the dire need to cap our greenhouse gas emissions and the net-zero future we strive for. Many have in their personal life implemented the changes needed to reduce their carbon footprint - whether it's by going vegan, switching to electric cars, or buying local.
However, many are unaware of how big of a CO2 footprint their business lives produce. But, humans wish to make the planet healthy and prosperous again. For that reason, every company should do their due diligence regarding carbon footprint and join in the fight against climate change.
Aside from helping the environment, caping your business's carbon footprint will also bring financial and business benefits. So how can companies begin their sustainability quest and reach net-zero?
First and foremost, they need to calculate their carbon footprint. Truthfully, it's a complex and detailed process. But luckily, businesses can use a carbon footprint calculator such as this one. So, let's start now what is carbon footprint and how does it work.
What Is a Carbon Footprint?
The carbon footprint measures our activities' impact on the amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) produced by burning fossil fuels. It is the weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes.
How Carbon Footprints Works?
Carbon footprints measure how much carbon dioxide (CO2) we produce just by going about daily lives. However, unlike physical footprints, which provide information on size, weight, and speed, carbon footprints calculate the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is produced simply by our daily activities. Like fuel-oil, coal, and gas is almost necessary for many daily activities including traveling to work, turning on a light, and travelling by plane. Simply put, a carbon footprint is the sum of all GHG gasses produced by humans living their life, essentially. That means the greenhouse gasses, including methane and carbon dioxide, are made by people's lifestyles and professional activities.
Every person, company, event, product, or activity aids the total carbon footprint. Fossil fuel consumption, transportation, manufactured products, business activities, and service are a massive part of the total carbon footprint.
In essence, there is almost no product, service, or activity on this planet that does not produce at least some amount of CO2. Even e-mails, bananas, or cremation aids our global carbon footprint production. You can check out the carbon footprint of pretty much anything here.
The COP26 agreement binds governments and corporations to jumpstart their green future and start doing their business sustainably. Alongside saving our beautiful Earth, there are other considerable benefits for companies going green.
Benefits of Reducing Carbon the Footprint for Businesses
Obviously, preventing global warming is the most important reason to join the net-zero effort. However, reducing carbon footprint is also business-wise.
There are a few reasons for that:
- Consumers are changing and looking for more sustainable product and service options. For example, most consumers state they choose to support eco-conscious brands that care for the planet. Environmental responsibility comes high on the list of priorities for a modern consumer. More and more businesses are aware of that.
- Financially, aiming for net-zero also brings financial gains to companies through investors looking to reduce their carbon footprint or energy-efficient, cost-effective operational changes. Unfortunately, many people wrongfully assume going green is expensive. But the fact is that while the start of going sustainable requires some more time and money, it pays off immensely in the long run.
- That said, going net-zero comes with its set of challenges. After all, making drastic changes to business processes and logistics most often isn't an easy task. However, reaching net-zero is far from impossible, but it's desperately needed. There is no sustainable business without reducing carbon footprint.
How to Reduce Your Business's Carbon Footprint
Before moving on to capping their CO2 footprint, there are four things companies should do:
- Measure again
But before strategizing regarding a net-zero future, companies must know how much they are aiding the total amount of GHG emissions. Moreover, to ensure targeting the right goals for their net-zero future, businesses should be aware of where the carbon they release comes from.
In addition, the data gathered makes it easier to create carbon footprint reduction strategies and track the progress. The latter will undoubtedly come in handy as proof of companies' planet conservation efforts.
Measure Your Business's Carbon Footprint
Every part of business operations is responsible for GHG emissions. The first thing is to check all the sectors and see how much CO2 they release. However, this task might be daunting for many.
Fortunately, we at DutchGreen Business have created a carbon footprint calculator to help you start the CO2 reduction right now. You can use our small and medium-sized business CO2 footprint calculator here to show that you're diligent about our planet's green future.
Once you do this critical calculation, you can start with reducing and carbon offsetting. DGB will help reduce your overall carbon footprint via certified trees and verifiable carbon credits by the Verra Carbon Standart (VCS) Program.
Carbon Footprint Reduction Actions for Companies
Once there is precise data on the most significant CO2 footprint contributors regarding sectors, companies can start crafting net-zero plans and priorities.
However, there are a few things you can implement and start immediately:
- Making transport more sustainable, including cutting down on travel, working from home, and switching to electric vehicles
- Boosting energy efficiency by going green regarding electricity and appliances
- Reducing carbon emissions of various electronic devices - buying fewer devices
- Cutting down the waste and recycling
- Capping the supply chain CO2 emissions; McKinsey found that at least 80 percent of packaged goods' GHG emissions come from the supply chain
- Offsetting - the final step to mitigate companies' climate change impact
What Are Carbon Offsets?
Unfortunately, no matter how many eco-friendly methods companies implement, the truth is it's impossible to reach net-zero in this way. So that's where carbon offsets come in as the financially powerful solution for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.
Investing in carbon offsets supports conservational efforts, thus creating positive changes and helping the economy. In addition, buying carbon offsets puts companies tackle climate change.
No less importantly, the demand for carbon offsets is enormous, as published in the study by Quantum Commodity Intelligence. In fact, they expect this demand to reach 101 billion by 2050.