10 actions that companies can put in place to fight climate change
As we saw in our previous article in COP21, many companies are and will be in the future, greatly affected by climate change. Yet, many do not know what they can do to fight it. 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 planet and the environment, and therefore help to reduce climate change, is to measure its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). For this end, there are many private agencies that are carbon footprint certified and can help companies to measure their CO2 emissions.
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 plugs when the devices aren’t being used are good actions to start with. By paying more attention to daily routine actions, companies can slightly reduce their energy consumption and, thus, their impact on the climate.
3 – Using renewable energies
Today, more and more individuals are choosing renewable energy and, for companies, this 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 the amount of waste created. 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.
Avoiding disposable cups, stirrers, and capsules for the coffee machine, reducing the number of prints, reusing papers for as drafts, sort waste for recycling correctly… There are plenty of possible solutions depending on the facilities (office or factory) and the organization’s core business, and many employees we’ll have plenty of good suggestions if they are motivated to adopt an eco-entrepreneur mindset.
It is also important to use equipment properly to avoid deterioration and to repair gadgets when they break down instead of replacing them with new ones.
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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 or giving them discounts on public transportation companies can significantly reduce their indirect CO2 emissions and therefore their impact on climate change.
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6 – Choosing greener infrastructures and equipment
It is also possible to choose more environmentally friendly infrastructures and equipment. In this way, companies can set up a fleet of hybrid or even electric vehicles to renovate their employees’ cars according to the latest environmental standards, choose to use recycled paper. When companies have the need to buy new printers, air conditioners, laptops, screens, bulbs or office materials, if the old ones can’t be fixed or more are needed, they can always choose the most efficient ones and the ones coming from sustainable sources.
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7 – Choosing the company’s business partners
Each company also has a responsibility regarding and trading partners it chooses. Choosing a supplier is an environmentally-friendly choice and each company should make the effort to choose suppliers who demonstrate to have good environmental practices.
This applies not only to the beginning of companies’ supply chains 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 traveling by car for meetings with certain clients.
Paperworks also have a heavier environmental impact than computer work, despite the fact that the Internet also has a significant environmental impact. Sometimes, by avoiding to copy the entire company in an e-mail that only concerns one department can save a lot of CO2 emissions.
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.
What about you? How many of these 10 actions are you setting up in your company?