General Guides | How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Thu, 26 September 2019

Every business leaves a carbon footprint in one way or another.

Whether it’s the production of goods, maintenance of an office space, or operation of vehicles, all companies produce CO2 emissions.

Reducing your company’s carbon footprint is vital.

The increase in greenhouse gases makes people and the planet unhealthier, threatening both your customer base and your business’ means of production.

There are many examples of how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

We’ve highlighted the transport changes your business can make, along with giving ways you and your staff can promote the reduction of carbon emissions at home.

Read our points, learn how to put them into practice, then start doing your bit to keep the planet safe now and into the future.

5 eco-driving techniques for your business

Climate change affects us all, so making your business more environmentally friendly is not only the responsible thing to do, but it will also benefit your business. According to market research, consumers are 58% more likely to buy products or services from businesses who have an eco-friendly and sustainable policy. We believe that a low carbon footprint is a reflection of efficient business management.

Going green doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Here are five things you can do to reduce your business carbon footprint.

Route optimisation

Taking the shortest route between two points not only saves time, but also reduces fuel use and emissions. It also means less money spent on fuel.

Effective route planning maximises your business vehicle usage, improving productivity and negates the need to add more vehicles to meet increasing demand. Optimisation also ensures that the nearest vehicle is dispatched, meaning no long waits for your client and less time on the road for your drivers.

You can easily avoid unnecessary mileage with free route planning tools such as e-route. E-route is a service station locator which helps customers of fuel cards find the closest petrol station along their route. It can help drivers avoid long detours for refuelling, and congestion with live traffic updates.

Telematics can give you a bird’s eye view of your fleet at all times, making it quick and easy to manage all your drivers. You can deal with breakdowns or accidents immediately and even check the driver dashcam footage or speeding incidents from your mobile phone.

As a free comparison site, iCompario can help you find the right system for the right price.

Drive smarter

Your drivers have an important role to play in minimising fuel usage and reducing your business’ carbon footprint. Aggressive driving, harsh braking, speeding and excessive idling waste fuel and produce higher emissions. For example, studies have shown that aggressive driving style can result in an increase in emissions by 40%.

Fitting your vehicles with a telematics system, or introducing fuel cards with an account management tool will give you an insight into driver behaviour and indicate drivers who may benefit from additional training.

Not only does the adoption of eco-driving techniques help cut fuel consumption, but it also leads to safer drivers. This has the added benefits of reducing the risk of accidents and unwanted downtime as a result.

Monitor your fuel consumption

Ensuring your company’s emission count is as low as possible is more important than ever. Mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting has been implemented in 40 countries worldwide for businesses, to help reduce carbon emissions. Legislation varies from country to country as to which business types must report. For details please check with your local government.

Should your business be required to report your GHG, both telematics systems and fuel cards allow you to collect fuel usage and distance travelled. This means you can easily work out your GHG emissions, and set and measure reduction targets.

Monitoring also allows you to see any inefficiencies in your vehicles, so you can make any necessary changes to ensure your vehicles are performing at their best.

Stay on top of vehicle maintenance

Scheduling regular maintenance for your business vehicles will ensure the clean and efficient running of engines. Even performing basic checks such as maintaining proper tyre pressure can improve fuel economy. A 2013 study by the Energy Saving Trust claims that driving with tyres under-inflated by 25% will increase fuel consumption by approximately 2%.

Incorrect tyre pressure also increases the wear and tear, meaning replacement tyres are required more frequently.

Replacing oil and fuel filters, and worn spark plugs, and using top quality fuel in your engines will also help make vehicles more fuel efficient and help reduce harmful emissions.

By conducting regular inspections and maintenance, studies have shown that your business could potentially the CO2 emissions of its vehicles by 35%.

Cut out unnecessary journeys

There’s so much your business can do to reduce its CO2 emissions, but the most effective is the simplest – cutting out any unnecessary journeys that your company makes.

You might think that every journey taken by you or your drivers is essential. We guarantee you that this isn’t the case.

For example, do you really need to drive to the office of current or prospective clients to hold a meeting with them? Coronavirus lockdown has taught us that many such meetings can take place via Zoom, making face-to-face meetings unnecessary.

Furthermore, do all your employees need to come into your own office? Chances are that they don’t. What this means is that if even just one of these staff members drives to work then your business will reduce its CO2 emissions by not asking them to come into the office.

How your business can reduce CO2 emissions outside of work

Putting in place steps to make your business more environmentally friendly starts with the things that your company does. This means reducing its carbon footprint by driving less and more efficiently when it’s necessary to do so.

But it’s not only in the workplace that your company and its employees can protect the planet.

There are many things that you and your staff can do outside of the workplace to reduce global carbon emissions.

If you want your business to take the lead in making the planet greener, cleaner, and healthier then you should seek to reduce your carbon footprint in the following ways:

– Food
– Home
– Air travel
– Clothing

To help your business and its employees achieve this, we’ve given you one simple CO2 reduction tip for each of these four contributors to your carbon footprint.

Food-related tip to help reduce your carbon footprint

Choose locally sourced food

Transport is one of the greatest threats to the environment and this is true of the food you eat. The further the distance your food comes from the greater its transportation requirements.

By choosing food that’s locally sourced, you can reduce your carbon footprint. There’s also the added bonus of helping to support your regional economy.

Home-related tip for reducing your carbon footprint

Use a renewable energy provider

The biggest source of CO2 emissions from your home comes from the energy you use for your gas and electricity. You can reduce the carbon footprint your home makes by using a renewable energy provider.

Renewable energy comes from clean sources, ones that are more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. These sources include wind, solar, or tidal energy.

Air travel-related tip to help reduce your carbon footprint

Travel by different means

How to reduce the CO2 emissions you cause by travelling by plane is pretty straightforward – take less flights.

You can cut down the number of flights you take travelling by another method, such as car, train, or boat.

Clothing-related tip for reducing your carbon footprint

Buy used clothing

The clothes you wear might not seem the most obvious way for you to reduce your carbon footprint. But while your clothes don’t burn fossil fuel in the obvious way that vehicles do, their production and distribution does create CO2 emissions.

A great way for you to help the environment is to buy second-hand clothes. This takes away the emissions associated with production. You could even go further than this by maintaining your existing clothes.

How to reduce your carbon footprint with CO2 offsetting

CO2 offsetting is where you invest in a project or organisation that reduces greenhouse gases elsewhere.

The principle is simple – if you are responsible for creating 10 tons of CO2 then you offset this by contributing to an organisation or project that reduces the planet’s CO2 emissions by 10 tons.

Climate Care is one of the leading organisations associated with CO2 offsetting. It gives the following examples as ways your carbon can be offset:

– Protecting rainforests
– Providing communities with efficient cookstoves
– Powering areas by renewable energy sources

Coronavirus has reduced CO2 emissions

Coronavirus forced countries into lockdown, closing offices, and leisure buildings.

This has seen a real reduction in carbon monoxide levels across the globe, with researchers stating that CO2 has dropped by 50% in some areas.

The reason for this is clear, there are less cars on the road and fewer planes in the sky. This means less fuel is being burned to produce CO2 emissions.

While this is a positive development, there is a natural concern that levels could return to close to (if not their actual) previous levels as societies are re-opened.

To ensure our carbon footprint doesn’t get back to where it was, it falls on everyone to only travel sensibly now we’ve seen the benefits of cutting down on journeys by car and plane

How fuel cards help make your business more sustainable

Fuel cards aren’t an obvious way of making your company more eco-friendly. After all, they’re used for buying diesel and petrol, each of which contributes to your carbon footprint.

But travel remains essential for many businesses and fuel cards do offer a way of making it more sustainable. How? By helping your company to go paperless.

Deforestation is one of the biggest contributing factors to climate change.

Using fuel cards is a way of combating this because they produce an electronic record of your fuel expenses, rather than the paper receipts that come from buying fuel in the traditional way.

You can find the right fuel card for your business by using iCompario’s price comparison tool.

You simply input the unique requirements of your company and you’re then given a list of the fuel cards that meet these needs.

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

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