With talk this week about the need to make many UK firms include details of their carbon emissions in their annual reports within the foreseeable future, it’s time that everyone joined forces to navigate a path to a greener future.
The government’s Act on C02 campaign recently highlighted the need for the country to pay more attention to its carbon footprint. The Act informed the nation of how it can save money by becoming greener: from driving Smart, to purchasing appliances, to improving home efficiency.
Everyone – from multinationals to small businesses – is responsible for their carbon footprint and all can make a difference. Working with companies such as Carbon Passport and The Carbon Neutral Company, businesses can gain advice on how best to implement a carbon strategy, advice on carbon reduction and energy saving opportunities. They can provide carbon offsets for balance of greenhouse emissions, for example, by investing in wind farms. These companies can also assist in developing PR and marketing strategies to promote their green credentials.
This month, The Copenhagen Climate Council will discuss how firms can help to solve the climate issues; CEOs will discuss innovative business models, new partnerships and the development of low-carbon technologies. In addition to these issues, they will also address ways to remove barriers that are still in the way and create incentives to implement solutions in a post-Kyoto framework.
The government has started to address the issue of carbon offsetting by setting up a quality assurance scheme. This is when you can compensate for your unavoidable emissions by paying someone to make an equivalent greenhouse gas saving. By marking their status as an approved carbon offsetter, companies can gain a marketing edge in this tough economic climate.
Leading by example are PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who have taken accountability by tracking the carbon emission of their employees’ international travel and energy wasted. In response, they have installed £500m worth of videoconferencing equipment to reduce the need for carbon-costly air travel.
PwC offset all of their carbon emissions by funding green projects in India; these projects include generating renewable electricity and steam from local waste rice husks to supply the electrical needs of a textile mill. Back in the UK, they supply 20% of the total energy needed for the company by using solar water heating panels and are continually attempting to increase their efforts.
If they haven’t already, each and every company nationwide can do their bit to help. This can be achieved by doing something as simple as making desk-side bins a thing of the past and encouraging employees to recycle more.