5 action areas to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint

We wanted to share with you some tips to help you to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint.

What is a carbon footprint?

It’s the amount of greenhouse gas (such as CO2 and methane) emissions that an individual, organisation or community is responsible for due to their activities over a given time period.

An organisation may be able to reduce its carbon footprint by carefully considering its emissions-producing activities and identifying ways to minimise, avoid or neutralise them.

What can you do to reduce it?

Below we’ve shared five areas where you could reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint.

Wind turbines in a sunny field
1.   Target your energy sources

Switching to a renewable electricity tariff is a quick win to reduce your organisation’s emissions from electricity use. Contact your energy supplier to find out about the available options, most suppliers offer renewable or ‘green’ tariffs at little or no extra cost.

Moving away from gas heating, particularly at a rented premises, can be more difficult as costly works will likely be required to install a new heating system. However, switching to an electric heating system powered by a renewable energy tariff would negate any emissions associated with heating your premises. A newer heating system will also be more efficient than an existing one, especially if the boiler is more than 10-15 years old.

If you rent your premises, you could ask your landlord about upgrading the existing heating system, discuss making an investment in the building as an organisation if you plan to stay, or perhaps find new premises that already use renewable energy sources for heating.

2.   Promote energy efficiency

As well as targeting energy sources, it’s important to reduce energy consumption. Insulating your premises through measures such as installing new double-glazed windows or DIY draught-proofing can reduce your energy bills significantly, as can encouraging colleagues to switch off lights and monitors when not in use.

Your organisation could install smart meters to identify energy use hotspots at your premises. Further measures may include downsizing your premises or encouraging staff to work from home on the same days to reduce energy use across the work week.

3.   Review Procurement

All our purchases have a carbon footprint associated with their manufacture, transportation, storage, and distribution. These emissions are greatly reduced when the goods we purchase are locally produced or composed of recycled or renewable materials.

Your organisation could commit to buying recycled office supplies and furniture or purchasing locally produced organic food and drink.

You could also engage your largest suppliers to encourage them to reduce their own footprint. This could be through sharing your organisations’ reduction actions and strategies, or by providing capacity building support to your suppliers.

4.   Encourage sustainable business travel

Business travel is a significant contributor to many organisation’s carbon footprints. You could encourage sustainable travel practices, such as making business trips by train or coach rather than car, which could cut emissions by up to 85%.

Flying direct to your destination and travelling in economy class will reduce emissions from air travel. You could also choose to travel with airlines which are supporting the transition to sustainable aviation fuels, such as British Airways[1].

Setting annual carbon budgets for business travel in line with your reduction target trajectory to net zero, or promoting carbon reduction competitions and incentives across departments, can also reduce your organisation’s emissions from travel.

5.   Support your staff to be more sustainable

Your organisation could encourage your staff to commute sustainably, through salary sacrifice programs such as a cycle to work scheme, or through offering loans for rail season tickets or larger purchases such as electric vehicles.

Your organisation could also offer salary sacrifice schemes or discounts for staff wishing to install solar panels at their home or have a new heating system fitted.

Encouraging homeworking will also reduce emissions from commuting. You could provide support or incentives to staff that are looking to switch to a renewable energy tariff at home, as this will as reduce emissions associated with homeworking for your organisation.

How can we help?

mdsustain can help your organisation to identify emissions sources and create carbon reduction strategies to achieve your net zero goals. For more information, please see our sustainability packages, or email one of our sustainability specialists at sustainability@manniondaniels.com.

[1] British Airways to power a number of flights with sustainable aviation fuel.