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 activities.
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 widely adopted.
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.
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