Whether your company’s goal is to become carbon neutral or you’re simply looking for ways to reduce emissions from your operations, taking steps towards decarbonising your business is an important step on the path towards a greener future for all. It can have several benefits, such as boosting employee morale, enhancing your company’s reputation and reducing energy-related overheads.
In this article, we discuss why decarbonising your business matters so much, along with tips and strategies for what the process looks like.
In addition to the cost-saving benefits of reducing your carbon emissions, implementing a company-wide focus on decarbonisation makes a bold statement to consumers and employees alike that your business cares deeply about its environmental impact and the health of our planet.
However, despite the growing awareness of the benefits of decarbonisation, figures from the SEAI 2022 Energy in Ireland Report show that we are not making fast enough progress in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
The 5.4% increase in 2021 emissions was driven primarily by electricity generation (up 17.3%), transport (up 7.3%) and industry (up 3.3%) and compensated by decreases in residential (6.1%) and commercial and public services (2.7%) emissions.
According to Margie McCarthy, Director of Research and Policy Insights with SEAI, “we need a combination of increasing our generation of renewable electricity and switching to low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles, district heating and heat pumps.”
Here are five proactive steps you can take to decarbonise your business:
Begin by assessing the current activities within the business, including production and distribution processes, energy consumption, transport use, and waste management. Carefully analyse each process, noting where energy is used and how it could be reduced.
Once you have identified areas for improvement, consider feasible solutions, processes or policies that could be implemented and establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for monitoring your success.
Evaluate existing products and services over their entire life cycle, from raw materials extraction to end-of-life disposal of materials, looking for opportunities to reduce energy inputs at every step of this process. Consider innovative solutions such as increasing the use of renewable energy sources during production stages or reuse/recycling options during end-of-life phases.
In addition, you can audit waste streams from production processes to identify opportunities for reusing or recycling materials where possible.
Investigate different strategies for reducing your overall energy usage in day-to-day operations, such as improving insulation in buildings or installing motion sensors that turn lights on and off automatically. Small changes to lighting, insulation, piping, and heating and cooling systems can have a big impact on the number of emissions your business produces.
As an extra consideration, think about using electric vehicles, public transport networks, or bicycle delivery services where appropriate.
To make real progress towards decarbonising your business, everyone must understand the why and how behind the initiative.
Make sure you provide your employees with the necessary training, resources and encouragement to take action towards the company’s sustainability goals every day.
Solar panels provide a cost-effective, long-term source of clean energy for your company. They can be used as direct replacements for fossil fuel sources, providing a cleaner option with minimal disruption and cost.
Furthermore, once the panels are up and running they require less maintenance than other energy sources. The SEAI provides a range of financial support to help with the installation cost, including grants and tax incentives.
If you want your company to boost its reputation and play its part in the struggle against climate change, then contact us today to see what’s possible for your business!
Don’t forget to also check out our blog for more of the latest trends and developments in renewable energy.