What is a carbon footprint? It's the culmination of how much greenhouse gas you produce based on your activities. There are various gases included in a carbon footprint. While many focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) as a major contributor, carbon monoxide (CO) also poses various environmental and individual health hazards. And while an individual's carbon footprint is unlikely to be large, an enterprise typically produces a lot more on a daily basis.
In addition to contributing to global warming through a greenhouse effect, the effects of carbon monoxide can also cause daily health risks. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, chest pain, upset stomach, shortness of breath, and overall weakness. People with anemia or chronic heart disease are more prone to CO poisoning.
By understanding the damages caused by greenhouse gases, you might be wondering how to reduce your carbon footprint. Well, it's your lucky day! Today, we'll cover the main sources of carbon emissions and provide some ways to reduce your ecological footprint. Until then, make sure to use a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup to keep your team safe!
Key Contributors of Carbon Emissions in Enterprise Environments
Much of an enterprise's carbon footprint comes from burning fossil fuels for transportation, which includes company vehicles and employees' daily commute to work. Manufacturing and agriculture are major contributors as well. This shows that almost every enterprise on Earth can improve its carbon footprint.
On a smaller scale, any fuel-burning appliance or machine that produces CO adds to your carbon footprint. This includes charcoal grills, water heaters, and combustion appliances such as gas stoves. If these gas appliances spring a leak, it could trigger your carbon monoxide alarm and cause unintentional CO poisoning.
Fortunately, it's easy for you to reduce your carbon emissions if you're flexible and open to change. Keep reading for our top suggestions!
8 Ways Enterprises Can Decrease Their Carbon Footprint
1. Reduce Energy Consumption
It's economical to use as little energy as possible; this is true for even the cleanest energy. If your enterprise is stuck using fossil fuels, it's especially important to cut back on unnecessary use. Not only will this greatly improve your carbon footprint, but your energy bill will go down. The money you save can be invested in other clean systems in your company.
2. Focus on Power Management Within Your Building
Saving energy goes beyond turning systems off when you're done using them. You should also make sure your appliances are using energy efficiently. Furthermore, you want to patch up any leaks as soon as they happen. Large and small enterprises alike benefit from utilizing an energy and water leak detection tool to constantly monitor their energy use to find room for improvement.
3. Move to Hybrid or Fully Electric Company Cars and Vehicles
In 2020, 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions came from the transportation sector. If your enterprise uses a lot of company vehicles, consider upgrading to a hybrid or electric one. Since electric cars release only half as much greenhouse gas as their traditional counterparts, every vehicle you upgrade is going to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. This is especially true for larger vehicles such as buses or trucks.
4. Consider Renewable Energy Options
Homeowners install solar panels as an alternative energy source, and enterprises can do this on a larger scale. Place them where you expect the sun to shine so that you gather as much energy as possible. While this is less effective on cloudy days or certain times of the year, this is a great way to gather extra energy.
Even if you can't eliminate your carbon emissions, you can offset them by planting trees on your property (or elsewhere, if you lack the room) or funding green projects such as wind turbines. Some governments offer financial initiatives for doing this, so see if you can take advantage of them.
5. Invest in Green Office Equipment
If you look around your office, you may find that almost everything in it has a greener equivalent. Computers, printers, and even coffee makers use energy, and some use more energy than others. When it's time to replace these things (or even a bit earlier), look for the most energy-efficient option possible. Let's not forget about supplies, either; look for things like recycled paper, biodegradable plates and cups, and even soy-based ink.
6. Offer a Flexible Work Schedule
Most people don't like commuting to work. It can take up a lot of time, gas is expensive, and it collectively leaves a massive carbon footprint. Lots of people prefer to circumvent this by carpooling, taking public transport, or just working from home. By offering your employees flexible work hours, you allow them to minimize their carbon footprints by making these options available. Plus, they'll be happier and more efficient. Win-win!
7. Track for Supply Chain Efficiency
Industry and transportation are two sectors with a lot of room for improvement as far as greenhouse gas emissions go. You can help to improve things by making sure your supply chain is as efficient as possible. Are your supplies taking the most energy-efficient routes to their destinations? Could you be using greener materials? These are a few questions to ask yourself when examining each facet of your supply chain.
8. Educate Employees
It can be challenging for the common eye to tell a healthy building from a sick one. So some of your employees might be unintentionally increasing your company's carbon footprint. This is why educating everyone is a crucial part of maintaining a green enterprise. When everyone is on the same page, it becomes easier to incorporate significant changes. At the same time, everyone will be better able to make smaller changes in their own space, whether at work or home.
How To Measure Your Annual Carbon Footprint
Now that you know how to reduce your carbon footprint, you'll want to track your progress and oversee improvements in all areas of your enterprise. Attune's tools allow you to do just that. With our state-of-the-art technology, you can manage the use and management of energy in all aspects of your business, giving you the information you need to push your enterprise into the future.
It's never too soon to improve your carbon footprint, so schedule a demo with us today!