Carbon footprint management

How Small Businesses Can Do Their Part in Combating Global Warming

Whether you believe that global warming stems from human activities on the planet or not, the trend toward higher and higher global temperatures can’t be denied. 2014 was announced as the hottest year on record by NOAA, and it’s only going to get worse. How can small businesses do their part to combat global warming?

Reducing Energy Consumption – While there are numerous factors that drive rising global temperatures, the most significant is the increase in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. Energy production is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gases. Small businesses can reduce their energy consumption, which will reduce the demand on the grid, enabling energy companies to scale back output.

Renewable Energy – Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources have become more widely available in recent years and they provide business owners with a unique way to help combat global warming. By simply installing solar panels on a business’s roof, a company could drastically reduce its draw from the grid, replacing greenhouse gas-heavy power production with clean, renewable energy from the sun.

Carbon Offsets – Carbon offsets don’t actually reduce a company’s carbon footprint, but they do help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. By purchasing carbon offsets from companies using renewable energy sources, small businesses can work toward a greener, cooler world for everyone.

Smart Shipping – As a small business, you have to source your goods and supplies from other companies. Using smarter shipping practices that rely less on fossil fuels and take steps to reduce emissions will help to decrease the impact of this vital business component on the environment.

There are plenty of ways that small businesses can do their part to help combat global warming and stem the effects of climate change.

The Carbon Footprint management features are designed to help organizations offset their carbon footprint to become Carbon neutral: Carbon footprint management is a cornerstone of environmental corporate social responsibility: a broad but easily relatable measure of what your organization's impact on its direct environment has been, is now, and will be in the future. 

Carbon and More has multiple tools to track all aspects of your carbon footprint management, including direct carbon emissions, carbon offsets, and indirect carbon emissions through hydro usage. Together, your organization can build a 360-degree picture of your carbon footprint and set realistic emissions goals that will take you closer to the goal of becoming carbon-neutral.


Carbon Emissions:

The carbon emission function of Carbon and More allows organizations to log all carbon emissions that could not be logged through other wizards or records. By using the carbon emission function of Carbon and More, organizations can account for all the carbon emissions that they are liable for.



Carbon Offsets


Background:

Carbon offsets are a tool used to balance out, or mitigate, the environmental impact of any carbon emissions that are absolutely necessary to a business.  The carbon offset feature allows you to track any carbon offsets purchased by your organization as part of a wider carbon reduction initiative. Carbon footprint reduction (with an ideal zero carbon footprint target), because of its drastic impact on climate change is typically at the core of all Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.


Tool:

Carbon and More allows you to record your carbon credits in an accessible journal.  Each record specifies:
- The carbon volume offset, in tonnes;
- The type of credit purchased (carbon sequestration, renewable energy, etc.);
- The power category of the offset (wind, solar, etc.).

Carbon and More's offset tracking allows you to automatically calculate your true carbon footprint and, combined with other features such as carbon emissions tracking, to create a clear picture of whether your organization has reached carbon neutrality.


Guide

The purchase of carbon credits is a controversial topic in environmental circles, from groups concerned that purchasable offsets provide a disincentive to reduce one's own carbon emissions.  But used selectively, to complement efforts to restructure one's own emissions, buying offsets and financially supporting green energy generation projects furthers the long-term shift within the broader power generation system to cleaner power and lower carbon emissions.


References
- David Suzuki Foundation: http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/climate-change-basics/carbon-offsets/


Tips

Purchase offsets with additionality in mind
- Sticking to the concept of "additionality" is a strong core value for purchasing a carbon offset: would the offset project be business as usual, or would it have never happened otherwise?  Additionality makes sure your offset purchase is actually a net benefit for the environment.

Consult the experts
- Organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute have prepared guides to purchasing carbon offsets, which are easy to consult.  The carbon offset market is unregulated, and good research matters when shopping for good projects to support.
- Several organizations also rate offsets according to independent standards, such as VCS, The Gold Standard, and Green-e.

Buy local
- Supporting local wind, solar, or biogeneration projects both encourages a diverse spread of green energy projects and has a more direct impact on whether the power you specifically use is produced with the minimum carbon emissions.

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