10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Earth Day
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when companies dismissed environmentally sound measures as unnecessary expenses that would adversely affect their bottom lines. But with the advances in green technologies and the creation of infrastructure that supports sustainable programs, many businesses are finding it costlier to forgo implementing eco-friendly policies.
April 22 marks the 52nd annual Earth Day. The date serves as a reminder for all individuals and businesses to examine their carbon footprints and seek ways to reduce the human impact on the environment.
What Is a Carbon Footprint?
Your carbon footprint is the net amount of carbon your consumption and activities produce, including indirect production through food and energy consumption. In other words, it includes the carbon output for the products you buy, the food you eat, etc. It also includes methane gas from animals contributing to your diet. A business’s carbon footprint includes factors like the carbon generated from heating and cooling the building, the carbon emissions from company vehicles, the production and transport of goods in its supply chain, etc
What Is the Average Carbon Footprint?
According to one 2008 MIT study, the U.S. individual carbon emission average was 20 metric tons per year, but more recent studies have found that the pre-pandemic average for U.S. individuals to be lower — 15.72 metric tons per year. While this does indicate that we're trending in the right direction, comparatively, the global average is 4 tons per person per year.
How to Calculate the Carbon Foot Print of a Company?
Certain industries have a much larger carbon footprint than others. A steel mill is going to have more of an impact than an office staffed with the same number of workers, for instance. But when you make apples-to-apples comparisons of similar workplaces, it becomes clear that some companies do a better job of carbon reduction than others. And, of course, some companies work to continually improve their carbon footprints.
Tips for Reducing Your Company’s Carbon Footprint
The following are 10 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Track Energy Expenditures
Any serious effort to reduce your business’s carbon footprint begins by determining where its greatest expenditures are coming front. By monitoring the energy expenditures in your physical locations, vehicles, and equipment, you can determine what areas deserve the greatest attention. You can also track the reduction in your company’s carbon footprint by using an online calculator.
2. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
While 90% of companies practice some form of recycling, many of them report that they believe that they can improve their recycling practices. Corporate recycling should go beyond recycling packaging materials. For example, many computer manufacturers, like Apple and Microsoft, have buyback programs to keep computers and components out of landfills. Other common workplace items, such as furniture, lamps, and other fixtures also have residual value.
3. Smart Lighting and Light Bulbs
If your building uses incandescent bulbs, you’re needlessly bleeding away energy. LED lighting can save up to 80% of your lighting cost, significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Because these bulbs last for years, fewer of them end up in landfills. When possible, install timer switches and motion sensors to ensure that lights aren’t needlessly burning when no one uses the space.
4. Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips give you the ability to turn off electronic devices when you’re not using them. If you forget to shut down devices, you can do it remotely via an app.
5. Purchase High-Quality, Long-Lasting Furnishings
It might be tempting to save a few dollars in the short run by buying less expensive desks and chairs, but if you spend a little more now to buy high-quality furnishings, you can get more years of life from your furniture.
6. Convert Your Fleet to Electric or Hybrid
We aren’t suggesting you go out and purchase dozens of high-end Teslas today, but by upgrading your company vehicles with e-vehicles or hybrids, you can reduce your carbon footprint and vastly reduce fuels costs. If your vehicles are branded, it will give your company green cred as observers connect your company name with environmentally sound policies.
7. Automatic Doors, Revolving Doors, and Vestibules
These types of doors prevent cold or warm air from escaping as employees and customers enter or leave the building.
8. Incorporate Renewable Energy
Some states have strong incentives for companies that use alternative energies, like wind and solar, for their businesses. Many areas now have net metering, so you’ll still be connected to the power grid when you need to draw on it. Not only can you reduce your company’s carbon footprint, but you can also increase your bottom line.
9. Embrace Teleconferencing
Not every business has the luxury of being able to conduct meetings, consultations, and other business via Zoom, Teams, Meet, or similar platforms, but you may be able to reduce your carbon footprint by not requiring your colleagues and clients to drive or fly to in-person meetings.
10. Switch to a Hybrid or Work from Home Schedule
If there was one positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it showed many businesses that they could function using remote labor. Switching some or all of your staff to a work-from-home or hybrid schedule can yield multiple benefits. Your power bills will be lower since having fewer employees in the building means a reduction in heating, cooling, water usage, lighting, active workstations, etc. You may even be able to reduce or repurpose unused workspace, which will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
How Partnering with Flagler Technologies Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
By offering our clients modern digital infrastructure solutions and sustainable technology, we can help them reduce their overall carbon footprints. Our managed information services allow employees and managers to work from anywhere, reducing their need for physical transportation and in-person communication. Additionally, we provide safe digital data storage that can help you get rid of your perpetually active copier and fully achieve a paperless work environment. We can also help you develop an energy tracking strategy so that you can monitor your progress to a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative work environment. Flagler Technologies will help you do more with less. Call today to talk with one of our IT experts.