Many Businesses Are Waking Up to the Value of Going Green
According to Timeforachange.org, a carbon footprint is “the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).” Your carbon footprint is the amount of CO2 emissions associated with your activities. In a business, this number will need to be calculated, in order to determine what your exact carbon footprint is.
Analyzing Your Carbon Footprint
Entrepreneur.com has a great article explaining how businesses are calculating their carbon footprints and working to eliminate pollution from their company. According to the article, these are the three types of emissions an analysis examines, in order to determine your carbon footprint:
1. Direct fuel consumption (gas burned by employees, the company fleet, and other transportation)
2. Electricity pollution (everything that powers your business)
3. Indirect emissions (everything else)
Most companies focus on the first two types of analysis, neglecting the third until they’ve got a handle on the first two. This can take a great deal of time, but in the long run it’s worth it, because it saves money and is great for the environment. Carbon footprint analysis can actually make you money, if after your efforts you begin promoting to your clients that you’re a green company. Many customers and clients won’t do business with companies that they deem an environmental threat.
How to Preform a Carbon Footprint Analysis
Most companies don’t have the in-house resources to do a successful carbon footprint analysis and reduction, so they outsource the work to a consulting company, like McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, or MBDC. This company uses their original Cradle to Cradle design framework, which is a continuous improvement strategy. Once in place, the framework will continue to work long after your contract with the consulting firm has ended.
After proving themselves with over 17 years of successful business relationships, MBDC is likely the best company to turn to when you want to lessen your business’s carbon footprint. One of the company’s founders, William McDonough, is world-renowned for his forward thinking philosophies and designs. In 1996, McDonough was awarded the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. He was the first to receive this award and the only one to receive it since. Time Magazine went on to call McDonough a “Hero for the Planet.”
While you’re waiting on a consulting company, there are small changes you can make to begin the process of reducing your carbon footprint. Although these changes won’t make the huge reduction a consulting company will put into place for you, they will save you a small amount of money and teach your employees how to be more cost-efficient and earth-friendly.
· Digitize your documents by using electronic signatures. Electronic signatures are quickly becoming the industry standard, plus they allow for business negotiations to happen online, versus in person, which cuts down on travel costs.
· Print less, because paper makes up around 35% of waste. Ask your employees to save important documents on flash drives and other storage units. Back up everything, just don’t back it up to paper.
· Eliminate paying for vampire electricity by asking your employees to unplug their electronics before leaving the office. Even when electronics aren’t in use, if they’re plugged in, they’re still drawing on your electricity.
· Make sure everyone is recycling. Make it mandatory for employees to recycle paper, plastics, and aluminums. Keep recycling bins and boxes scattered around the office to promote this.
These are just a few tips to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. What are some tips that you have to share for our green businesswomen?
[Photo Via: Formzapper]