SIM Social Impact Movement

5 Ways to Reduce Your Organization’s Carbon Emissions

Author: Dominique Nieves

organized pile of recyclable plastic bottles

All organizations release carbon emissions, but there are steps that organizations can take to gradually lower these emissions. Below are five suggestions on how to address an organization’s carbon emissions.

1. Customer/Consumer Interactions

How your organization interacts with customers or consumers is a great place to begin when lowering carbon emissions. If your organization provides a service or a product, there are carbon emissions when creating items and transporting people to provide the service. Finding different modes of transportation like electric cars or a carpool system for any needed supplies would lower those emissions. When it comes to any items sold by the company, once again transportation of the items is something that should be thought about: ‘can things be done closer to the locations where they need to be?’ and things of that sort. If items can be created by manufacturers who are more ecologically conscious, that is a great avenue that organizations can also take.

2. Shipping

One of the biggest factors in an organization’s carbon emissions is shipping. Shipping requires transportation and a large amount of carbon is released into the environment through travel, whether that is on land or through air travel. Finding more environmentally friendly means of transportation for packages would overall lower emissions. Shipping containers are also incredibly important to think about in terms of carbon emissions. Recyclable materials aid in lowering carbon emissions due the fact that these materials do not need to be produced all over again, such as cardboard boxes. Implementing recyclable shipping materials is one step that can be taken, and finding shipping companies with commitments toward helping to lower carbon emissions is another.

3. Water

Water is a necessity for everyone and in a workplace, people tend to drink a lot of water; meeting at a water cooler can even be a social activity in the organization. Having water bottle refilling stations could be a great solution for many offices as the production of plastic water bottles releases a lot of carbon dioxide and pollution into the environment. Having water machines and reusable water bottles for employees helps eliminate the need for plastic water bottles.

4. Recycling

Recycling is something that many people know can help with lowering carbon emissions and can be easily implemented into many different organizations and workplaces. If there are drink machines, there can be recycling bins nearby. Additionally, if there is a cafeteria in the organization giving employees reusable containers instead of single-use disposable cutlery and plates, this can help to lower carbon emissions. Recycling office materials responsibly can also aid in lowering carbon emissions. When it comes to recycling, it is about making it as accessible as possible within the organization, ensuring lots of recycling bins, and adherence to the recycling ordinances in the area.

5. Consistency

Being consistent with any implemented changes to lower carbon emissions is key. Maintaining directives helps to normalize these behaviors in employees and helps the company continue to lower carbon emissions. Consistency can be achieved through different avenues: the first is making it achievable for employees. Employees need help changing habits in the workplace and making it easier for them, such as adding a recycling bin beside vending machines, can be a small step taken to ensure consistency. Another avenue that can be taken is acknowledging that people are trying. When employees are acknowledged for the things that they do in the workplace, it boosts morale and performance.

Emissions and Your Organization

Before implementing any changes in an organization, assess the carbon emissions created and what would work for the specific organization itself. Sustaining the good practices that are being implemented is incredibly important to overall lowering an organization’s carbon emissions. Having layered plans for lowering an organization’s carbon emissions can help as changes come over time and employees can grow more accustomed to the changes rather than feeling rushed.

*Information sourced from:

https://www.greenelement.co.uk/blog/reduce-business-carbon-footprint/

https://www.business.com/articles/reduce-business-carbon-footprint/ 

https://www.c2es.org/2019/09/how-companies-take-action-to-reduce-carbon-emissions/