As we saw in our previous article in COP21, companies are, and will be in the future, greatly affected by climate change. Yet, many do not know what they can do to combat this. Here are 10 actions that all companies could put in place to do their part in the fight against global warming.
1 – Measure and analyze their greenhouse gas emissions
The first step for any company that wants to reduce its impact on the climate is to measure its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). For this, many private agencies, who are carbon footprint certified, can help companies to measure their CO2 emissions. All companies can do this, with costs between € 5,000 and € 12,000 for companies with an average of more than 250 employees. ADEME (Agency for the Environment and Energy Management) also provides financial assistance to SMEs, up to 70%.
Once the GHG emissions are known, they must be analyzed to see which of the company’s activities are the highest pollutants. Once this analysis is done, companies can then begin to consider solutions for reducing emissions.
2 – Reducing energy consumption
Turn off the lights in the office in the evenings, slightly lower the heating or air conditioning, turn off the outlets when not in use… By paying attention to the daily routine, companies can reduce their energy consumption slightly and, thus, their impact on the climate.
If each French company, almost 3.5 million, reduced their consumption by a few percent, the effect on the climate would already be great.
3 – Using renewable energies
Today, more and more individuals are choosing renewable energy and, for companies, it is also an interesting solution. Suppliers such as ekWateur or Enercoop represent an interesting solution for using only 100% renewable energy. Avoiding fossil fuels significantly reduces your climate footprint.
4 – Reducing waste and fighting obsolescence
Another way to reduce your climate footprint is to reduce its waste. Whether it is the industrial waste of a large company or the paper waste of a small SME of the tertiary sector, all companies produce waste.
Avoid disposable cups, stirrers and capsules for the coffee machine, reduce your printing, think of reusing paper for draft, sort waste correctly … There is no lack of solutions and employees are often inventive if they are motivated by management.
It is also important to use equipment properly to avoid deterioration and to repair it when it breaks down instead of replacing it.
5 – Optimizing your employees’ transportation
As we know, transportation is one of the largest sectors of greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging employees to take public transit or carpool, we significantly reduce the company’s indirect CO2 emissions and therefore its climate impact.
Organizing in-house carpooling groups is also a good way to create solidarity in the company.
6 – Choosing greener infrastructure and equipment
It is now possible to choose more environmentally friendly infrastructures and equipment. This ranges from a fleet of hybrid vehicles, to building renovation according to the latest environmental standards, to the choice of recycled paper. All supplies can be selected according to environmental criteria: printers, low-energy screens, cleaning products, and even furniture (made of certified wood, for example).
7 – Choosing your business partners
Each company also has a responsibility in the choice of its trading partners. Choosing a supplier is an environmentally-friendly choice and each company should make the effort to choose suppliers for best environmental practices.
This applies not only to the supply chain, but also to potential distributors. For financial companies, investments should also be directed primarily towards “green” companies
8 – Raise awareness among employees, stakeholders and clients
As an economic agent, a company also plays a role in raising awareness in its employees, its stakeholders, and its consumers. Organizing in-house competitions enables employees to be mobilized and for campaigns to be carried out to improve awareness.
These small gestures gradually create the ground for best practices that individuals then reproduce at home and transmit to their friends… The snowball effect, so to speak.
9 – Promoting environmentally friendly ways of working
Some modes of work are more ecological than others: telecommuting for example has many ecological advantages. One can also consider video conferences that avoid employees travelling by car for meetings with certain clients.
Paper work also has a heavier environmental impact than computer work. But do not end up on the opposite extreme because the Internet also has a significant environmental impact. So, avoiding copying the entire company for mail that only concerns one department saves a lot of CO2.
10 – Mobilizing for the fight against climate change
Finally, the role of companies is also political. In their territory, at the regional or national level, companies that want to fight climate change must be militant. By pushing politicians and public actors to act on global warming, they can have a huge influence. If companies are active, this can lead to new environmental regulations that can have a significant impact on global warming.
And you, how many of these 10 actions are set up in your company?