Have you measured your carbon footprint? Do you have a carbon emissions reduction target in place? In today’s interconnected world, it’s expected that all businesses measure and report their environmental impacts and goals.
But having a target is just the beginning. Do you know how your organization will achieve your carbon reduction target? If you don’t have a robust plan in place, how can you ensure you’re on the right track?
What Does an Effective Carbon Management Plan Look Like?
There are many different approaches to drawing up a carbon reduction plan, and the right one for you depends on the business sector and locations you operate in as well as where you are in your carbon journey.
The most effective carbon reduction strategies do, however, share some common features. A typical program might include:
- Measure and report carbon emissions annually
- Set an absolute carbon reduction target (including Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions)
- Improve operational efficiency to minimize emissions
- Invest in technology and innovative approaches to reduce resource consumption and minimize waste
- Adopt new technology to improve remote collaboration and minimize unnecessary travel
- Reduce supply chain footprint by working with suppliers to identify efficiency opportunities
- Educate and encourage employees to reduce emissions generated through everyday work activities
- Accelerate best practice by sharing operational, management and reporting successes across business locations, departments, divisions and the wider sector
- Buy renewable energy wherever possible
- Offset emissions by buying certified carbon offsets from a reputable source
The relative importance of each of these suggested actions will depend on the business activities your company undertakes.
For example, the carbon-intensive manufacturing and food sectors might focus more heavily on operational efficiency and minimizing resource consumption and waste, alongside supply chain efficiency. Office-based businesses with large sales teams, on the other hand, will achieve greater emissions reductions by focusing on minimizing travel and encouraging employees to work more efficiently.
Your emissions reduction plan should adopt the most effective approaches for your business, based on your greenhouse gas inventory.
Is an Emissions Reduction Plan for The Short or Long Term?
Although a formal plan or strategy may be designed to cover a specific time period (typically five or ten years) businesses should also consider carbon emissions reduction over the longer term.
Management decisions made today can lead to investment in infrastructure, buildings and equipment that will be operational for many decades to come. By employing low carbon thinking now, those investments will contribute to a sustainable, low carbon future.
Embedding a long-term emissions reduction strategy into your business can give you a competitive advantage, by keeping you at the forefront of the transition to a low-carbon economy and insulating you from stricter environmental regulations in future.
How Does Carbon Offsetting Fit into an Emissions Reduction Plan?
Even the most successful carbon reduction projects struggle to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, Scope 3 emissions – the indirect emissions found throughout your supply and distribution chain – are almost impossible to cut to zero.
The most effective solution is to neutralize those emissions by investing in carbon offset projects in and around your supply chain.
By supporting progressive offsetting programs, such as NativeEnergy’s Help BuildTM projects, businesses can reach ambitious carbon reduction goals, improve their sustainability credentials and deliver long-term benefits to local communities.