Stage 1 of 4
Reduce your Footprint
The following business example can also be applied to individuals and families.
The first requirement of the CarbonWall™ scheme is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. This will get your business as environmentally friendly as possible and is a great start.
A business decides to join CarbonWall™ and display one the badges. They calculate their carbon footprint as 60 tonnes Co2 using an online carbon footprint calculator. They reduce their carbon footprint to 40 tonnes Co2 by making positive changes in the business. These include using renewable energy, swapping business flights for video conferencing, purchasing sustainable materials locally and cycling to work where possible.
The business has lowered its carbon footprint, which helps the environment and will save them money when it comes to the second stage which is to pay to offset their remaining carbon footprint to become carbon neutral.
The business finds to their surprise, that it runs more efficiently as a result of these changes and makes more profit. This profit covers the costs of making these positive changes.
Carbon Reduction Suggestions
Air travel puts significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is sometimes mistakenly labelled as an efficient and low carbon form of transport. Air travel encourages people to travel thousands more miles than they would normally. A long-haul return flight for one person could produce more carbon dioxide than your entire household energy bills for an entire year.
Renewable energy is becoming increasingly available to businesses and households and can now be bought for broadly the same price as energy from non-renewable sources. If you haven't done so already, making this simple transition will help to reduce your environmental footprint.
Producing meat is highly resource intensive. Particularly beef and lamb. Whilst white meat has a lower carbon footprint the welfare practices of standard white meat production is very poor. It might seem surprising but reducing your meat consumption is one of the most effective ways of reducing your carbon footprint. Switching to plant based options can have huge environmental and animal welfare benefits.
It can be tempting to buy the cheapest, but the cheapest is often associated with a higher environmental or social impact. Research your suppliers and try to invest in those that make meaning contributions to the health of the environment. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by telling people about ethically responsible choices. Many people are prepared to pay a little more when they know that they are helping the environment.
As the world begins to value what it already has, we will begin to reduce the amount we consume. Buying second hand, re-using, recycling, borrowing and sharing helps us to form connections. Items that have reached the end of their life can be broken down into individual components and recycled to gain the maximum use out of these valuable raw materials. This activities all lower your environmental footprint.
As we move towards the goals of the CarbonWall™ scheme (goals that are universal and not specific to CarbonWall™) we will move towards sustainability. With this in mind, re-examine your business practices; the materials you use, the energy you use, your suppliers and their business practices and start to make changes to encourage a better, healthier planet.
In some cases it could mean finding a supplier that treats their workers better. In other cases this could mean paying a higher price to a smaller producer who benefits his/her community. 'Planet before Profit' is not always cheap at first sight, but in the long term is it linked to the survival of our entire planet. The bigger picture of the savings are immeasurable and absolutely essential.
As we lead by example, and find pleasure in doing so, we will encourage others to do the same. People will start to value the resources they already have. The days of endless purchasing will start to fade away as we find an even greater pleasure in examining what we already have and finding a sense of joy and wealth in where we already are. This new found happiness aligns more closely with the need to reduce the environmental damage caused by the mass production of goods we do not need.