Business development · 14 May 2020

Simple steps to reducing carbon emissions that will benefit your business

green innovation

Marketing Director of financial services firm Maxxia, Catherine Dawson, offers small businesses tips on how they can reduce their carbon emissions.

While our here and now is being dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, experts warn not to ignore the potentially greater danger of climate change.

Our collective response to the coronavirus outbreak shows that dramatic action is possible. Yet, the threat of climate change is struggling to gain the magnitude of change needed.

Is climate change too abstract?

In the battle against COVID-19, were told to cough into our elbows, wash our hands, stay at home. All doing our bit to help slow the spread of the disease.

Whilst not desirable, it’s pretty simple to understand. And we are told it’s working.

Many of the messages around climate change feel insurmountable. How can we put out a forest fire, or stop a glacier from thawing? It needs to be translated into practical and achievable actions to avoid the I can’t make a difference? mindset.

How businesses can make a difference

There are several reasons why a business may be looking to improve its environmental credentials and reduce its carbon footprint. These range from social conscience or commercial opportunities, through to cost-saving.

Government regulation is going to be a major factor as new policies are implemented to force change to meet the nation’s climate targets. An example of this is the forthcoming ban on new diesel and petrol car sales (initially set for 2040 but brought forward to 2035, with rumours of it potentially being brought forward a few years more).

Whatever the initial driver, it’s not difficult to get started.

For larger organisations or those wanting to make a significant change, there are specialist providers that can help with carrying out an audit and creating a plan.

Smaller businesses may not have the budget or be ready for this at the beginning. Maxxia, an asset finance company that helps customers find finance for energy-efficient projects such as renewable energy or LED lighting installations, has created a simple guide to reducing your business carbon footprint.

How to start

Rather than jumping straight in, it’s always worth spending a little bit of time creating a plan. A very simple framework is:

1. Measure

Get a’stake in the ground’ to give the starting point against which you can measure success. This can also help you to determine the areas which may be the biggest contributors or the quick wins.

2. Target

With an understanding of the current carbon emissions, you can decide what is a sensible target to aim towards.

3. Plan

This will be different for each organisation depending on activities, size, etc. There are some ideas of areas to look at below. And, of course, you should involve your business colleagues who will be able to help contribute ideas.

4. Engage

Shifting to a lower carbon future will need the buy-in of all involved in the business to make it successful. Involving employees and making sure there’s regular communication are critical to a successful implementation.

How can companies reduce their carbon footprint?

Reducing carbon emissions or moving towards being carbon zero could be a massive undertaking. But it doesnt have to be as some simple things can be done fairly easily.

Here are some simple actions which make a great starting point:

1. Reduce travel


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Catherine is an accomplished strategic marketeer, combining business leadership with creativity. Her experience in asset and automotive retail finance included roles at Masterlease and GMAC, both internationally and in the UK. She is qualified with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and holds an MBA.

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