For environmentally-conscious business and industry owners, reducing the carbon footprint of their business is a sensitive issue, but one that is crucial to the sustainable and responsible development of their business. But how can companies reduce their carbon footprint?
According to statistics, companies are responsible for the largest percentage of CO2 emissions globally. The participation of companies in the global effort to prevent climate change is therefore essential. Each reduction strategy implemented brings its own ecological benefits, but also financial ones in some cases.
Will Solutions is a leader in carbon reduction and monetization solutions in Quebec and Ontario. Discover how to reduce your corporate carbon footprint with green strategies tailored to your business reality. We are pleased to provide you with this comprehensive guide to carbon footprinting and ways to offset its negative effects.
What is the corporate carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere after a one-year term of activity and according to defined metrics. These metrics include:
- Fossil fuel use (CO2, also known as carbon dioxide emissions)
- Landfill of waste materials (CH4)
- Land use change
- Fertilizer manufacturing or use (N2O)
- Emissions from your production (N2O)
- Les émissions liées à votre production
GHGs have long demonstrated their harmful effect on the environment. Therefore, they play a decisive role in the fight against global warming. Adopting eco-gestures on a daily basis is therefore essential to counterbalance these emissions.
How can companies reduce their carbon footprint?
Corporate solution to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation
One of the largest sources of net carbon emissions is transportation. Limiting car travel is therefore an important part of the fight against climate change. In cases where it is impossible to limit business travel, other strategies can be adopted. For example, by installing charging stations for electric vehicles at the office or by promoting public transit and carpooling. Democratizing telecommuting can also be a good way to drastically reduce transportation and greenhouse emissions.
For supply chains, promoting short delivery routes is also a good option for your business model.
Making better choices: good consumer practices
In this context, energy sobriety and efficiency are the watchwords. Your decarbonization strategy must therefore focus on minimal energy consumption to reduce waste, without affecting your value proposition. But how can companies reduce their carbon emissions? Here are some ingenious ideas to help you achieve healthier energy usage and maybe carbon neutrality:
- Eliminate old batteries from your electronic equipment (computer, printer, photocopier) and consider recycling them in appropriate places. For example, set up collection points in your company to ensure that the collection is done;
- Buy energy-efficient appliances (Energy Star certification)
- Improve the insulation of your building to reduce your heating and cooling costs;
- Choose Canadian clean technology options sustainable suppliers;
- Consider local, recycled and healthy materials. A concrete example is the use of raw and recycled materials in construction. These could reduce CO2 emissions by 80% during the life cycle of the materials used;
- Pay attention to the air conditioning during the summer, you can adjust the thermostat to cause minimal environmental damage;
- Opt for the energy transition with a renewable energy providers with solar power for example;
- Ban the use of single-use plastic;
- Choose environmentally responsible office supplies;
- Becoming a paperless company while remaining on your guard regarding the use of digital technology. Dematerialization is good for the environment, but the continuous operation of electronic devices and the strain on servers are energy-consuming. To tackle this, companies can purchase better quality hardware, turn to refurbished equipment and adopt less cumbersome computing behaviours. For example, choose a green hosting service, opt for instant messaging for link sharing instead of email and use green search engines, such as Ecosia;
- Collaborate with vendors who share common values of responsible consumption;
- Consider LEED® certification for your buildings, to recognize green building design that goes beyond current practices in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- Raise awareness about food waste, clean energy and other sustainable topics.
Reduce your GHG emissions and monetize your efforts
Indeed, your company’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact can generate carbon credits. You don’t have to be a large company to engage in a carbon monetization process.
Any company can receive a financial return for reducing its carbon footprint by participating in voluntary programs, such as the Sustainable Community (SC) solution designed by Will Solutions. Certified in 2012 under the VCS program, our solution brings together numerous CO2 emission reduction projects and aims to support organizations and companies that voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and reach energy efficiency.
Our carbon reduction and monetization service has been created to financially reward companies that carry out projects to decarbonize their activities. In addition, membership in the Sustainable Community is free of charge, providing you with a risk-free, eco-friendly revenue stream!
Other benefits of reducing the average carbon footprint for businesses
A strategic advantage for your business
Making a commitment to reduce carbon emissions is beneficial to modern business. More and more large companies are looking for environmentally conscious partners. Not only for environmental reasons, but also for brand image. For example, a supply chain that adopts carbon neutral strategies stands out from the competition in the eyes of customers, investors and partners.
Positive public perception
In addition to improving your image with your business partners or potential prospects, you improve your image with your customers. Indeed, more and more consumers choose to support companies that adopt decarbonization strategies and greener production methods. This action allows them to reduce the impact of their purchases and therefore their indirect emissions. Individuals who are concerned about the environmental impact of the companies they support will be more likely to choose you.
Discovering how to reduce a company’s carbon footprint also allows you to adopt cost-effective strategies for your production processes. For example, by reducing energy and water consumption and by reducing your company’s waste. In addition to helping save the planet, eco-responsible companies often succeed in making their investment profitable.
Compliance with government standards for corporate carbon footprint reduction
Laws regarding the production of GHG emissions are becoming increasingly stringent. The transition to a greener economy is at the heart of legislative priorities. Choosing to establish green measures today means you won’t be forced to do so in a few years. In addition, your company will not be faced with a financial and environmental headaches in the event of an “immediate” change in green policies.
Obtaining reputable certifications
Companies and organizations that adopt sustainable strategies are also offered opportunities for prestigious certifications, such as B Corp, Solar Impulse or SME Climate Hub. If a company develops an environmental management system (EMS) based on ISO 14001, it can also become ISO 14001 certified. Other certifications are industry specific, such as LEAF certification for the restaurant industry, Cradle to Cradle® for eco-designed products, Level® for furniture, Rainforest Alliance for agriculture and forestry, Bluesign® for textiles. It is also possible to receive LEEDS® certification for eco-designed buildings.
What is a carbon credit?
The carbon credit has no impact on your ecological footprint but allows you to “neutralize” the carbon dioxide you emit by taking direct and concrete actions toward the environment. For example, by financially supporting operations that reduce global CO2 emissions. This will mainly serve for your incompressible emissions, i.e. the emissions remaining after having worked on reducing your carbon footprint through actions and changes in your production methods. These are the ones that are essential to the realization of your activity and that can’t be reduced or disappeared. We, therefore, advise you to buy carbon credits to compensate for your incompressible emissions, after you have already taken action to reduce your emissions.
How to choose your carbon offset provider?
We recommend caution when purchasing carbon credits. Not all offset programs are built on the same model. It is therefore wiser to choose Canadian options that support local innovation and offer options that are more suitable for your business. Consider consulting a trade association or members of your network to find options that are right for your company.
Will Solutions: a reliable partner for reducing your company’s carbon footprint
We will accompany you in your decarbonization strategy thanks to our state-of-the-art methodology. First, by measuring your emissions, then by defining an action plan to reduce emissions, and finally, by offering you a carbon offset that matches your your ESG values and your current activities.
If you have any questions about GHG emissions and your power to address them, contact us today. A carbon and climate action expert will take the time to listen to you and guide you through your carbon footprint reduction and offset project.
Digital Marketing and Communications Manager