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Carbon Management: A Step-By-Step Guide For Your Business

Leading businesses are now taking action to address human-driven climate change by reducing their own emissions. This is being achieved by implementing carbon management systems and policies that aim to minimize the environmental impact contributed by the business during its day-to-day operations.

Today, businesses are also required to comply with different federal policies that call for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There are also rules and regulations put in place to reduce carbon emissions and are applied selectively depending on the industry a business operates in.

To understand what you need in your business and how to approach carbon management in order to be compliant with these policies while still helping in the fight against climate change, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how to transition your business to a carbon management system.

What is Carbon Management?

Carbon management is the process of taking proactive steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the day-to-day running of a business or an organization. The process also involves extending greenhouse gas reduction across your supply chain.

Carbon management has also become part and parcel of businesses looking to remain competitive in today’s economy. This is because, when done correctly, carbon management can result in the following benefits for a business:

  1. Lower operating costs: Many of the steps taken by businesses to reduce carbon and other greenhouse emissions also cut costs. For instance, a policy to reduce a business's carbon footprint also shrinks utility bills since most devices are required to consume low energy.
  1. Increase brand relation with customers: Today’s customers are more likely to support businesses that address climate change. In research done by Carbon Trust, data showed that 45 percent of shoppers indicated a willingness to stop engaging with businesses that are not environmentally conscious. Research by McKinsey also indicates 70 percent of customers are willing to pay an additional 5 percent for a green product rather than a non-green alternative.
  1. Comply with regulations: Rules and regulations about greenhouse gas emissions at state and federal levels have increased the risk of businesses getting into legal troubles. To avoid this, businesses with carbon management systems are likely to stay out of trouble and within the law.
  1. An excellent response to investors' pressure: Investors are increasingly becoming concerned whether their investments are addressing climate change and reducing the carbon footprint. Implementing carbon management can help address these concerns while still reducing your carbon footprint.

Examples of Carbon Management

Carbon management doesn't have to be complicated, and as a business, there are a lot of steps you can take to start migrating to a more environmentally conscious environment that emits less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Below are some examples of carbon management strategies that can help reduce a business’ carbon footprint:

  1. Waste recycling: Reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills and incinerators and instead opting for recycling can help your business contribute to more environmentally friendly operations. It is also one of the cheapest carbon management methods available for businesses.
  1. Business travel: Reducing unnecessary business travels and events can also be part of the carbon management policy for your business. Meetings that would have otherwise required traveling, for instance, can be held over the internet, reducing both costs and greenhouse emissions.
  1. Commuting: Using energy-efficient modes of transport such as electric vehicles and trains while commuting to work.
  1. Procurement: During the procurement process, ensure that most items bought for use in the company are energy efficient. The procurement department should also ensure all installations, appliances, windows, electronics, and even light bulbs in the office are also energy efficient.
  1. Promote a paperless culture: Keeping everything online and making use of emails and cloud services can reduce the need for paper in the office. This can have a positive impact on reducing your businesses’ greenhouse gas emissions.
  1. Training: There is a high likelihood that most employees in your business do not know much about things like greenhouse gasses, carbon footprints, or climate change. This can be addressed by introducing lessons, where these employees are encouraged to participate. Proper training will result in the employees being more environmentally conscious and able to observe the carbon management policies you have set up.

Carbon Management Hierarchy

Implementing carbon management in a business requires a well-laid-out strategy. Luckily, using the carbon management hierarchy can make the process less complicated and more likely to succeed. Below is the typical hierarchical order that you need to follow to implement carbon management correctly:

  1. Energy efficiency: This is the first step in the carbon management hierarchy and requires businesses to use more efficient technologies to ensure the least amount of energy is consumed.
  1. Onsite renewable energy: Using renewable energy systems such as solar panels can also help offset the carbon footprint of your business. This step should be applied when possible during the implementation of carbon management policies.
  1. Off-Site renewables: This is mostly for large organizations and businesses that can afford to buy offsite land where they can install renewable energy devices such as solar panels.
  1. Carbon Offsets: The final step in the carbon management hierarchy involves buying carbon offsets as a last resort when all other methods have failed.

The Pros and Cons of Carbon Management

Implementing carbon management strategies in businesses has helped businesses become actively involved in reducing their negative environmental impact and carbon footprints. The process has also made it easy for environmental projects to secure funding for the fight against climate change.

Many businesses have also become environmentally conscious by realizing they have a part to play in reducing their carbon footprints.

Implementations of carbon management have also allowed businesses to comply with local and federal jurisdictions. This has kept them out of trouble with the law and has helped them avoid penalties and other legal troubles resulting from carbon emissions.

Unfortunately, carbon management has also resulted in companies that pollute the environment buying their way into good press. Businesses have also found a way to circumnavigate some of the laid out federal and local rules and regulations by partly implementing inexpensive carbon management strategies to hoodwink the public and the government that they are actively working to reduce their carbon footprint.

Carbon management is also actively used as a marketing strategy, regardless of the underlying facts. Today, businesses can easily claim they are carbon-neutral to increase their sales while in reality failing to implement even the basic steps in reducing their carbon footprints.

All these factors have made it hard in the fight against climate change. It has also created a notion of distrust for businesses that are genuinely trying to fight climate change by reducing the carbon footprint and greenhouse gases that they contribute on a yearly basis.