One of the key ways to understand and measure a business's environmental impact is by assessing its carbon footprint. A carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of an organization's activities - from operating an office to producing a product. Organizations that measure their carbon footprints can use that information to identify areas of potential improvement and make strategic decisions related to reducing their emissions over time.
To identify areas for reduction, a carbon footprint assessment analyzes an organization's energy use, transportation, waste, and other activities. Indirect emissions, such as those caused by goods and services purchased, will also be included in the assessment. Typically, a carbon footprint assessment tool uses one of the following approaches to calculate the organization's total greenhouse gas emissions:
1. An industry-standard methodology such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which guides organizations looking to measure and reduce their carbon emissions; or
2. An internal corporate measurement approach can be tailored to the organization's needs and may be preferable to some organizations that prefer a more customized approach to measuring their carbon emissions.
The business can begin reducing its emissions once it has assessed its carbon footprint. By using energy-efficient lighting, equipment, and appliances, and improving the building's insulation, energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions. Renewable energy sourcing is another way to reduce emissions, by investing in solar, wind, or hydro energy, or purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Carbon offsetting is a way of investing in projects that reduce or remove carbon emissions, such as reforestation or clean energy projects.
The key to understanding and managing a company's environmental impact is assessing and reducing its carbon footprint. VALORES GLOBAL can assist companies in understanding their emissions sources and scope and developing strategies to reduce them, resulting in significant cost savings, improved energy security and a boost to their brand.