3 Quick Business Strategies to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

image: reduce carbon footprintLeading companies around the globe have committed to reducing their carbon footprint as part of internal environmental policies.  An effective strategy needs to consider both direct emissions and indirect sources.
Today, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are being consider across a company’s entire value chain and can be viewed from two distinct view points.  A company must actively work the emissions that are within their direct control.  These emissions come from the company’s internal operations.  Corporate strategies must also consider indirect emissions controlled by third parties.   These may include products and services that are acquired with a large footprint.
With small business resources limited, clients in our business sustainability programs ask for quick ways to get a jump start on reducing the company's carbon footprint without having visibility to major environmental impacts.  Depending on what’s a good fit for your organization, some solutions may be more cost effective and easier to implement than others.  Consider taking eco action on the "low hanging apples" and plan for 2011 for more resource intensive sustainable options.  
Strategy 1: Reduce Energy Consumption – the reduction of energy and fuel consumption is a key component of a sustainable business strategy to reduce emissions.  It is a long-term commitment to reduction at the source across a product’s entire life cycle.
•    Reduce energy consumption within your supply chain.
•    Reduce consumption within the company’s operations.
•    Design products for minimal direct energy consumption.
•    Consider the consumer and end-life of a product.
Strategy 2: Replace Fossil Fuels with Renewable Energy – Many companies are switching to ‘green’ energy sources to reduce their emissions.  There are a number of easy ways to switch to renewable energy.
•    Choose a service provider that offers renewable energy choices.
•    Install solar collectors to aid energy consumption.
•    Switch corporate fleet renewable hybrid or fuels.
•    Work within the supply chain to reduce fossil fuel usage.
Strategy 3: Offset Emissions – For businesses with less flexibility at the source, offsetting is a concept of funding an equivalent emission reduction elsewhere.  This allows any business the ability to support emission reduction.
•    Offset production equipment emissions by supporting renewable energy   usage by similar equipment in another area.
•    Buy emission offsets for corporate travel.
•    Fund renewable energy projects: energy efficiency, sequestration, or biomass.
With corporate giants like IBM, P&G, and Wal-Mart now requiring suppliers to report on carbon and other environmental and social impacts, it has become critical for many companies to have a comprehensive carbon reduction strategy.  Businesses must begin to understand both their direct and indirect exposure.  Taiga Company offers professional consulting and small business resources to companies implementing business sustainability strategies to reduce emissions.

Comments for 3 Quick Business Strategies to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Name: Michael Jordan
Time: Monday, September 13, 2010

Not all carbon reduction strategies are created equal. How to prioritize? "Low-hanging apples" are probably in your internal operations as opposed to out in your supply chain. Plus, I'd start with defining your carbon footprint boundaries per GHG Protocol. More likely there is a need to focus on Scope 1 and 2 first (unless you're Walmart, I suppose).