Simple steps to carbon neutrality according to The Planet Mark
12/01/2021 - The Planet Mark
Simple steps to carbon neutrality, according to The Planet Mark, an internatinally-recognised sustainability certification:
The Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, built around the UK’s strengths, is a positive commitment to eradicate the country’s contribution to climate change by 2050, ahead of the COP26 Glasgow climate summit next year.
For many companies, especially SMEs, the steps to carbon neutrality at first sight can seem daunting. Where do you begin? How long will it take? How much will it cost? are common questions we hear from organisations with the desire to embark on their own sustainability journey.
Our answer is simple. It’s easier than you think. The hardest part is to make the commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the first place.
The first step for a company is to continually measure its greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the carbon associated with their operations. At The Planet Mark we work with organisations of all sizes to help them do this through robust data measurement and reporting. Then we work with companies to help them commit to reduce their carbon emissions annually by setting targets. We assist them in producing an annual carbon management plan and ways of reducing operational emissions. The final step is to recommend carefully selected Gold Standard certified schemes to offset residual carbon that cannot realistically be reduced at that time.
Carbon offset programmes allow companies and individuals to invest in international environmental projects to balance their own carbon footprints. Offsetting alone will not halt climate change and reduce biodiversity loss, but by offsetting hand in hand with ambitious internal reduction strategies, it is an effective means to mitigate residual emissions. The key is to cut operational carbon and costs while supporting some of the most effective and impactful offsetting programmes on the planet.
Despite Lockdown 3.0, many companies have given up their office space and employees are continuing to work from home. As a result, the issue of sustainability and reducing carbon emissions has moved from the office environment into the household. Here are The Planet Mark’ top tips for reducing carbon while working at home.
Heating and electricity
Heating our homes accounts for over half our annual energy costs. While the weather is cold, if you need to turn up the heating, try to only heat the room you are using. However, turning down the heat by just one degree, may save up to 10 per cent off your heating bill.
Check whether you are eligible for a home energy grant to help pay for items such as loft and cavity wall insulation. Use the energy efficiency calculator to find out how you can reduce your energy bills.
Buy green energy. By switching to a renewable supplier, you could save in excess of £250. Switching supplier is simple and takes about 10 minutes.
Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them. By making sure appliances aren’t left on standby, you could save £30 a year.
Follow the five Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle.
1. Refuse – if you don’t need it, don’t buy it!
- Reduce – only use or consume as much as you need.
- Reuse – if you can.
- Repurpose – with kids home schooling again, why not reuse cans, boxes, toilet rolls, bottles etc for school projects.
- Recycle – recycling reduces the waste sent to landfill and incinerators, conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, and prevents pollution.
Cycle or walk to work or locally to the shops and post office if you can, rather than drive. If you have to drive, save fuel with these better driving tips:
– Accelerate and brake steadily; a heavy foot will always result in reduced gas mileage and poor fuel consumption.
– Avoid idling; if your car is to be stationary for a minute or more switch off the engine.
– Avoid unnecessary weight eg remove the golf bag in the boot or the package you picked up from the post office.
– Make sure your tyres are fully pumped; improperly inflated tyres can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to five per cent.
– Keep windows closed if driving at more than 35mph as this will reduce drag.
A recent study by OVO Energy found that 64 million emails are sent unnecessarily every day. It stated that if each adult sent one less email a day, Britain could reduce its carbon output by 16,433 tonnes – that’s equal to more than 81,000 flights from London to Madrid.
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