There are carbon emissions associated with securing raw and processed
materials, transportation of staff to and from work, office and workplace
energy requirements, waste management, and any emissions created by products
throughout their complete lifecycle including any eventual recycling.
Businesses are now developing in-house carbon management plans. These
require Carbon Audits to be undertaken by specialists throughout their
entire operations. Emissions are created at all stages of business, requiring
carbon audits to look both up and downstream from its own local onsite
Energy efficiency measures are normally the easiest way of a business
reducing its carbon footprint. Measures such as sustainable transport
systems will require large and difficult to implement infrastructure changes.
However, most businesses have the autonomy to implement a range of policy
changes which can help reduce their green house gas emissions. Upgrading
waste management and recycling practices alongside the adoption of new
technologies such as low energy appliances and energy saving protocols.
The adoption of a sustainable procurement policy means that businesses
can minimise the inherited carbon emissions associated with the goods
and services they need to purchase. Sourcing green electricity supplies
and low carbon content fuels is the most important, followed by choices
made on sustainability ranking of raw materials such as using timber grown
using sustainable land use practices. This process will become easier
as more sustainable and lifecycle impact labelling schemes become more
By a rigorous process of carbon auditing, businesses can assess their
existing carbon footprint, and the carbon offsets required in order to
balance their green house gas emissions.
The sequestering of a certain amount of carbon into long-lasting vegetation
such as woodland can be used to offset the carbon released by a particular
business over a certain timeframe. The technology allowing the sequestration
of CO2 gas into exhausted oil and gas field is now being trialled.
It will become increasingly common for activities that either naturally
lock-up carbon or do so using new technologies to enter partnerships to
produce “carbon-neutral” deals.