Businesses Can Go Green
Beyond Home: Businesses Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Too
Businesses small and large are a huge part of the problem when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If you own or manage a business of any size, now is the time to take steps to cut emissions. If you need help figuring out how, follow these guidelines…
Start a Workplace Recycling Program
Recycling is an easy thing people can do to reduce their carbon footprints, and it’s even better if companies make it as straightforward as possible for people to take part by launching a dedicated program. Using colored or labeled containers can help people sort their materials correctly, and signs posted around the office that raise awareness of the recycling initiative are also helpful.
Switch to Zero-Emission Company Cars
According to statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the typical passenger car emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Considering that carbon dioxide is a widely accepted primary contributor to global warming, it could be a good time for companies to think about transitioning to zero-emissions cars for the company fleet.
Most of them are all-electric models. If a zero-emissions car is not a feasible option, low-emissions vehicles, including those that are hybrid models also reduce GHG emissions.
Promote Ridesharing and Other Transportation Alternatives
It’s also beneficial if companies urge colleagues who live near each other to commute to work together. This approach saves gas and helps the planet. Other simple measures include placing bike racks on company property or covering the partial costs of public transportation passes.
Many people are accustomed to driving to work alone. But, if presented with other options, they might realize those choices are as convenient. Consider implementing a simple bulletin board system where workers write ride requests or offers on index cards.
Communicate With Suppliers and Work Towards More Sustainable Practices
Making a substantial impact with GHG emissions means companies must look beyond their external practices and focus on supply chains, too. Research from CDP shows an increase in the number of companies committing to cut down the environmental risks present in their supply chains. Bank of America and Panasonic were among the companies that took that step in 2018.
Things like packaging materials and transportation methods can influence total GHG emissions. Moreover, education can help supply chain members recognize areas for improvement. The first step to reducing supply chain emissions is to talk frankly with supplier partners and find out about their current practices.
From that point, suppliers and the clients they serve can come up with milestones that cut GHG emissions and are realistically achievable. In most cases, both parties need to make changes, and keeping the lines of communication open can prevent pitfalls associated with those adjustments.
Get GHG Emissions Verified
Companies exist to validate and verify a company’s GHG emissions, and working with one of them is another practical thing businesses can do to make progress.
Having GHG emissions verified shows external stakeholders that your footprint and GHG reductions are real, quantifiable, and credible. It helps them feel confident in the data, plus minimizes risks your company might otherwise since it increases the information’s ability to stand up to scrutiny.
Additionally, verified GHG emissions give you an excellent baseline and let people know where the company stands. It could also be useful to mention such verifications in annual reports and track how they change over time.
Install High-Tech Options to Save Resources
Smart thermostats and motion-activated lights are examples of readily available products that could help a business avoid wasting energy, reducing GHG emissions in the process. Decide what to buy and the extensiveness of the upgrades depending on the company’s budget.
Otherwise, coach employees to do small but impactful things to avoid wastefulness. Remember that it could take time for people to break bad habits and learn new ones, but there’s a payoff for the planet linked to success.
Have a Company Tree Planting Day
Many companies are so large or compartmentalized that the people who work at them never get to know the majority of their coworkers. Such disconnection can also happen at smaller enterprises, especially if employees are so task-focused that they don’t have time for social interactions with other workers. A tree-planting day could build morale and relationships
Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide. Consider planning a community-based activity where people from the workplace collaborate to plant trees at places like parks or hospitals. Or, if the company owns ample space, the planting could happen on site. Some trees are better than others at dealing with carbon. It’s best to research the best options for your area before getting started.
Turn Intentions Into Action
Intending to reduce GHG emissions is a good start, but not enough. Try these tips to help your company move in the right direction.