The UN Climate Change Conference is set to take place this year in Glasgow, between 1-12 November. This is no simple gathering of individuals. On the contrary, it’s a formal meeting with a shared interest – to evaluate the progress made in dealing with climate change. One of the most pressing issues of modern times, climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. Long-term and meaningful commitment is necessary to set change in motion, so all important actors should bring their contribution. We’re talking about governments, businesses, and individuals.
Businesses, in particular, produce carbon emissions that cause global warming. Smart businesses aren’t waiting. As a matter of fact, they’re already using renewable energy, sustainably sourcing resources, and bringing forward transformative solutions. Given that the COP26 climate change is just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to make a change. The first step to reduce your carbon footprint is to know what methods are the most effective ones. Keep on reading to discover steps that make all the difference.
Avoid a post-pandemic bounce back
Not everyone has gotten used to the new normal, finding the changes particularly difficult to navigate. Remote work isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a viable solution. If you master self-discipline and can endure loneliness, you’ll be perfectly fine. Companies such as Trello found that teleworking served their creativity and the way they naturally communicated. In an effort to prepare for a post-pandemic world, you might be tempted to not let your staff work from home anymore. The fact is that there’s no need for the entire workforce to come back to the office.
Working from home benefits both the enterprise and the employees. Apart from some people who might have difficulty with the process, remote work has many benefits, such as better productivity, a boost in employee health and wellness, and less spending on team building events. Day-to-day emissions can significantly decrease if some of the staff members work from home on a permanent basis. Equally, you can cut down on corporate travel by using telecommunication applications such as Skype and Zoom. An ever-increasing number of companies are opting for making fewer trips for business. They prefer using popular software programs.
Consider traveling by train domestically
Unfortunately, not all meetings can be conducted online. Face-to-face meetings are important for understanding the context. To be more precise, they help provide a better understanding of the context surrounding the business operations, such as company culture or employee dissatisfaction. Entrepreneurs are commonly put in the situation of traveling, so videoconferencing is out of the question. What about you? Do you have to attend a trade show or a conference? If the answer is yes, take into account the possibility of traveling by train. Don’t book a flight. Rail transport is recognized as being environmentally friendly.
It’s estimated that only 3% of greenhouse gas emissions come from traveling by train. The only methods that are more non-polluting are walking and cycling. Most importantly, railway companies recognize their responsibility towards the environment and strive to operate in a sustainable manner. Therefore, they focus their attention on areas such as biodiversity, air quality, energy management, and noise and vibration. Your aim is to make your company profitable, successful. Yet, you shouldn’t forget about your social responsibility. Air travel involves a lot of waiting (checking in lines, security checks, and so on). Not only can it bring you on the brink of insanity, not to mention that you risk catching COVID-19.
Reduce the waste in your bins
Not having some kind of recycling system in place is negligent. If you don’t make an effort to recycle, you’ll be spending more money on waste than necessary. What happens is that the waste is piled into bins and collection turns out to cost a small fortune. You’re better off segregating the recyclables from the general waste. There’s a wide range of different machines that can help compact products such as aluminum, paper, cardboard, and plastic. A baler, for instance, will replace the bins and transform the waste into separate bales. The waste is collected by a specialized recycler who will offer you a far better rate.
Recycling makes a strong impact in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. Just think about it. There’s no need to make new products out of virgin materials. Used materials can be converted into usable items, so fewer energy is used during the production phase. When energy is saved, the carbon footprint of manufacturing plants is reduced. It’s paramount to think about sustainable procurement, as the products consumed affect your energy used. Acquire recycled products and make the transition from buying to renting, if possible. You can rent anything from printers to vehicles.
Purchase renewable energy from a clean energy provider
More and more businesses around the world are saying Yes to sustainable energy as they’re starting to feel the impact of the climate crisis. Examples of companies that are doing a stellar job when it comes to supplying the economy with affordable, clean energy include Intel, Kohl’s, and Apple. Climate change is happening and we can no longer deny that our activities don’t play a contributing role. So, change your source of electricity. Only purchase from a clean energy provider. If you want to take things a little bit further, install thermostats that adjust the temperature based on when everyone’s at the office.
The bigger the office space is to heat and cool, the more energy will be necessary. You can distribute your team more efficiently and eliminate wasted space. Let’s not even discuss the impressive cost savings. Businesses that have succeeded in downsizing have proven that it’s not necessary to sacrifice comfort for the Earth. Reduce the size of your office and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s that simple. You need just the right amount of space and furniture. From a financial standpoint, you can reduce costs related to electricity, water, and gas, which is no little thing. By making a small change, you make a big difference.