Last week, the IPCC released a landmark document on climate change which uncovered the implications and reality of the damage human behaviour has caused on our planet. ‘Bleak’ is an understatement for the general feeling after reading it, and even their ‘best case scenario’ wasn’t exactly enjoyable. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed with so much negative news, but don’t lose hope, as one thing prevailed through it all - scientists think a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast.
So, with that in mind, we want to help you with some simple ways you and your business can help - and whilst they’re seemingly small, if we all take note and act upon them, it’ll make a big difference.
1 - Renewable Energy
Whether you’re at home or the office, review your choice of energy supplier and the source of the energy they’re providing you - solar and wind, or coal and oil? We know from the IPCC report that reducing greenhouse gas emissions needs to be our number one priority, so choosing a responsible renewable energy supplier needs to be at the forefront for all of us, businesses and individuals alike. Most suppliers now take care of the switch for you, so swapping couldn’t be easier.
2 - Values, Set, Match
Review your suppliers - whilst they may be offering a good price, ask yourself are they aligned with your beliefs and values as a business? Have you seen their environmental commitment or statement about what they’re doing to help the planet? And if yes, are they actually acting upon it? Challenge them, ask questions, seek proof - after all, authenticity is key, particularly when it comes to sustainability. You are your suppliers’ customer, and you have power to support those who look after you and the planet without compromise.
3 - Source Domestically
Manufacturing abroad may be the cheapest option for you, but the environmental cost of transporting those goods to you, and then on to your customers, will be huge. Investigate if and where you can source goods closer to home as the less miles it is from your supplier to you, the less carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere. For those where importing is the only option, discuss with the logistics company if there are more eco-friendly or carbon efficient delivery methods, and if possible, if they will, or contribute to, carbon offsetting the journeys.
4 - Carbon Neutral Delivery
Delivery is a fact of life for eCommerce businesses, and as transportation is the leading cause of carbon emissions, there’s room for improvement for a lot of businesses here. Some major couriers, like DPD, offer carbon neutral deliveries and are expanding their delivery vans with electric options as well, so take this into consideration when selecting your courier partners. If you don’t require a courier service, a low carbon delivery solution is to use Royal Mail, as postal workers are already out delivering mail around the country 6 days a week, so it’s not adding unnecessary journeys or extra vans on the roads.
If you’re looking to go carbon neutral throughout your supply chain, ask your suppliers to give preference to low carbon, or net zero logistics providers, or if they’ll offset the journeys themselves. More and more transport and logistics companies are taking ownership of their environmental responsibility, and as with all things, it’s worth asking as, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
5 - Join the Cycle2Work Scheme
Go zero carbon with your, and your employees’ commute and sign up for the Cycle2Work scheme which is designed to allow companies to help employees buy bikes to commute to work with. The scheme has been in place for a long time now, but the pandemic brought about a fresh love of the outdoors for a lot of us, so even if you signed up a while ago, it’s worth reminding your employees that they can still take advantage of it! Cycling is great for keeping fit, for getting around, and to see more of the world - all without emitting carbon and causing any damage to the environment! It’s a win-win!
6 - Ethical Investing
A lesser known tip for reducing your environmental impact and carbon footprint is to review your choice of bank, and your pension fund. You could actually unknowingly have a larger carbon footprint than you thought, as some banks invest in fossil fuels - in fact, the UK’s largest 5 banks invested nearly £40.4 billion into the coal industry in 2018-2020. Plenty of high street banks don’t invest in fossil fuels though, so it’s worth finding out about your bank and swapping if you don’t like what you discover. And the same goes for your pension too - with most workplace pensions, you can choose what and where your money is invested in, and swapping it to an Ethical fund can be done in a matter of minutes.
7 - Talk About It
When it comes to taking climate action, nothing is too small, so talk about what you’re doing, share what you’re doing, be proud of what you’re doing. We all want to help protect the planet, but many of us don’t know how to, or where to start. Talking about what changes you’ve made or are making may inspire others as well, and before you know it, your seemingly small one-person change has had a widespread adoption and a larger, more positive impact on the planet. After all, we’re all in this together.
With so much noise around climate change, carbon emissions, and the need for immediate action, we want you to know that we’re here to help. These points may seem obvious or small, but if everyone acted upon them, we would see a real difference in the world.
Small steps in the right direction are still steps in the right direction - we can’t all do everything, but we can all do something, so do what you can, and together we’ll make a difference we can be proud of.
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