Be A Net-Zero Entrepreneur: 5 Practical Ways To Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint
In our fight against climate change, scientists have advised that we need to reduce our carbon footprint or the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by our activities, either directly or indirectly.
We can do this by minimizing travel, consuming less meat, preventing food wastes, shifting to a vegan diet, buying sustainably-sourced products, preferring public transportation, cycling to work, investing in an electric vehicle or bringing our own bag to the shopping stores. However, companies and professional activities contribute a much bigger carbon footprint to our environment. So, how can companies reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to mitigating climate change?
Good thing there is now a multi-sectoral movement called the Net Zero Carbon Alliance (NZCA). Launched by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), First Gen-owned and the country’s leading renewable energy firm, NZCA aims to attain zero-carbon emissions among local businesses, as part of the company’s mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.
Net zero carbon aims to balance the global carbon dioxide emissions and collective CO2 removal efforts over a specific period as its end goal. Like a half-filled bathtub with both an open drain and faucet—taking in as much water as it is letting out—net zero carbon does not mean zero emissions, but the removal of carbon at the same rate emissions occur.
Knowing the carbon footprint of an activity, which is measured in tonnes of CO2 emissions, is important when it comes to taking measures and launching initiatives to reduce it to the lowest possible level.
Here are five practical ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint:
1. Calculate carbon footprint. Find out the impact your business leaves on the planet with its daily operations. Calculate your carbon footprint by determining the following from your business activities over a 12-month period: energy, gas, and water consumption, business travel and fuel consumption, employee travel, and waste disposal/recycling. The NZCA website is equipped with a carbon footprint calculator. Just input your monthly electric consumption in kilowatt-hour (KWH), determine the region you are situated in, and it will immediately generate results.
2. Use renewable energy sources. Shifting to renewable energy for one’s electricity source is the surest way to lower any company’s carbon emissions.This is because our use of power that relies mostly on coal is the primary cause of our greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy (RE) sources – wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass – provide substantial benefits for our environment and climate health. These sources of power can be used to produce electricity with fewer environmental impacts or no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduces some types of air pollution. Compared to other RE sources, experts say geothermal energy is the only one that can provide a reliable and stable source of baseload power. That is why EDC’s geothermal product is called Geo 24/7– it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. Practice the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – The principle of the three R’s is a must whenever we talk about being environmentally friendly, whether on a small or large scale. Thinking about sustainable procurement can act as an exercise to engage employees by thinking of ways they can reduce consumption of items from office supplies to packaging and operations. The manufacture and transport of all these items have an associated carbon footprint. Thus, a significant reduction of these things will probably not only make your company more eco-friendly but also help its bottom line too!
EDC’s subsidiary, EDC Burgos Wind Power Corporation, built a security post out of eco-bricks or plastic bottles packed with clean and dry single-used plastics collected by its employees. This is one of the company’s efforts to practice the 3Rs and minimize waste.
4. Partner with pro-green suppliers. Reducing your carbon footprint is one thing, but it’s no longer enough that you are doing your part; you should also engage with sustainable partners in your business operations. You may be minimizing your company’s environmental impacts but if you are supporting businesses who do bare minimum to protect and conserve the environment, you are technically funding unsustainable practices. Partner with suppliers and other stakeholders that are pro-environment and take sustainability to heart.
5. Monitor, evaluate and report progress. Check your company’s progress on carbon footprint reduction efforts and create a strategy of what you are implementing and how much energy you expect to save. In case you are having difficulty with how to start this, don’t fret — thanks to the Net Zero Carbon Alliance. EDC-initiated NZCA provides partner companies and organizations a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by sharing best practices, scaling up carbon emission reduction and tracking, and providing better access to green financing, among many other capacity-building tools.