Right now, there is a critical need for businesses to take the lead on becoming carbon neutral. Sustainability Victoria’s research reveals that 94% of Victorians think business and industry should act on climate change.
There is a clear competitive advantage to going green and it is evident that Australia could be doing more for the climate. Australian consumers now expect environmental responsibility from companies and while this may not drive all purchasing decisions, responsible business actions can reaffirm consumer choices and contribute to brand loyalty.
So, what can businesses do?
Carbon dioxide pollution is the leading contributor to human-induced climate change. By focusing on avoiding, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, every business can take tangible, achievable steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
1. Avoid your emissions
Your first step is measuring your carbon footprint. There are some key differences between being carbon neutral and ‘carbon neutral certified’, and while Greenfleet can help with both, a simple estimate of emissions from your business operations is a great starting point for smaller businesses.
Take a look around. Do you have company cars? Do your employees take flights for work? Do you have any emissions related to freight and deliveries? How is your electricity sourced and what percentage is renewable? Do you hold conference and events?
You can start the journey to action on climate change by understanding where your emissions come from and finding opportunities to avoid them.
2. Reduce your emissions
It is generally not possible to avoid all emissions, so the next step is to reduce emissions wherever you can. Keep in mind that many of these decisions can also reduce your operating costs and achieve cost efficiencies.
Your business can:
- Create a greener office space: by choosing efficient lighting, products, and appliances, using renewable energy, opening windows, and setting thermostats to ideal temperatures.
- Reduce business travel: holding meetings via phone or video conferences when possible.
- Reduce and recycle: manage your water usage and waste management effectively, reuse and recycle items when possible.
- Procurement: establish sustainable procurement practices, sourcing from local suppliers where possible.
3. Offset your emissions
Offsetting is a practical way to counteract emissions we can’t reduce or avoid. By partnering with Greenfleet, you can help mitigate the impacts of climate change while supporting native biodiverse forest projects.
Greenfleet is Australia’s first carbon offset provider, planting native biodiverse forests to capture carbon emissions and help fight the impacts of climate change. Since 1997 Greenfleet has planted over 9.6 million trees in Australia and New Zealand, creating more than 500 native forests. Greenfleet forests are legally protected for up to 100 years, conserving biodiversity and restoring habitat for wildlife.
4. Lead by example
Avoiding, reducing, and offsetting emissions provides a practical path for becoming carbon neutral that also bolsters your business reputation, mitigates risk, and will help you find a like-minded community of leaders.
The cost of not acting on climate change is a cost that will be worn by everyone. So, if it’s good for your business, your bottom line and the next generation, what are you waiting for?