You are currently viewing Reducing Carbon Footprint in Business Operations and Supply Chains

Reducing Carbon Footprint in Business Operations and Supply Chains

It has long been a common knowledge that our world is grappling with the devastating effects of climate change. This includes outcomes like increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and frequent extreme weather events. These effects of climate change have profound impacts on both our ecosystems and people around the world. With the continuous reverberation of the effects of climate change across the globe, the concept of sustainability has gained more relevance than ever. Reducing carbon footprint is a critical step towards achieving sustainable goals and combating climate change.

As more people are becoming aware of the consequences of climate change and the need for sustainability, businesses are now looking for ways to reduce their negative environmental effects. Companies now recognise the importance of implementing sustainable practices to protect the environment and appeal to consumers who are becoming more environmentally conscious. If you are looking to reduce the carbon footprint of your business, this article is just for you!
As you may well know, In recent years, many companies have recognised the importance of reducing their carbon footprint and set examples of how to mitigate the impact of climate change. For instance, Google wants to run totally on carbon-free energy by 2030 and has been carbon-neutral since 2007. By 2040, Amazon aims to have net-zero carbon emissions. By 2030, both Microsoft and Apple have made commitments to achieve carbon neutrality. Other industries have also made efforts to lower their carbon footprints in addition to these tech giants. For example, Unilever has set a goal to become carbon positive by 2030, while Walmart has decreased corporate carbon emissions by 25% since 2015. Similar efforts have been made in the fashion sector to lessen its carbon footprint, with organisations like Nike, H&M, and Levi’s putting sustainable procedures into place and establishing carbon reduction goals. Additionally, a lot of businesses have realised that reducing their carbon footprint is both good for the environment and profitability.

Carbon footprint usually refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases that are produced directly or indirectly by an individual, organisation, event, or product. It is usually measured in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted. In the case of business companies, the carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the company’s supply chain and operations.

Not to mention, many industries’ operations and supply chains significantly increase carbon emissions. These activities require the use of energy typically generated through the combustion of fossil fuels. The combustion of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to the organisation’s carbon footprint. The disposal by these processes can also contribute to carbon emissions, especially if not properly managed.
Similarly, according to a report by McKinsey, the typical consumer company’s supply chain generates far higher social and environmental costs than its own operations. More than 90% of the impact on air, land, water, biodiversity, and geological resources comes from supply chain effects, accounting for more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Why would a business want to reduce its carbon footprint?
Well, there are a number of reasons why businesses now place a greater emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint in their operations and supply chains. The urgent need to reduce the effects of climate change is one of the main causes of this. For businesses to stay competitive in a market where consumers are growing more aware of the environmental effects, reducing carbon footprint in the supply chain and operations has also become crucial. As more environmentally conscious competitors on footprint run the risk of losing customers and market share to competitors who are more environmentally conscious. It has some financial advantages as well. Businesses may reduce operating costs and increase profitability through the utilisation of fewer resources and less energy. Companies may enhance their brand reputation and image by investing in sustainable practices, luring customers and investors who share their values.

Now let’s explore how businesses can reduce their carbon footprint in their operations and supply chain:
Enhancing energy efficiency in operations is one of the most efficient strategies to lower carbon footprint. This is due to the fact that a sizeable portion of the world’s energy consumption comes from fossil fuels, which cause the atmosphere to accumulate dangerous greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. You can use less energy to do a given work by using energy more effectively, which lowers the amount of greenhouse gases released.

This can be achieved by implementing energy-efficient practices, such as using energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and installing insulation. Businesses can also power their operations with sustainable energy sources like solar or wind power to further reduce their carbon footprint.
By improving their supply chain, firms can further minimise their carbon impact. This entails assessing suppliers’ practices to make sure they are ecologically friendly. By employing alternate modes of transportation to deliver goods, such as electric automobiles or public transit, your business can also minimise its transportation emissions.

Companies have the option to implement sustainable practices like recycling and waste reduction. This can be done by cutting back on the waste operations produce and recycling things like paper, plastic, and metal. To reduce waste and increase product longevity, businesses might also opt to use circular economy principles, such as designing products for recycling and disassembly.

Another crucial component of sustainable strategies is water conservation. By lowering the demand for pumping, treating, and heating water, water conservation can assist businesses in consuming less energy. Less water use means less demand for energy-intensive activities, which can assist in lowering the company’s carbon footprint. It can also help by lowering the quantity of wastewater. As a result, less water needs to be treated and disposed of, which can lessen the company’s carbon impact. Businesses can become more resource-efficient by conserving water. They can minimise their overall carbon footprint by using less water and becoming more efficient with other resources like energy and chemicals.

Employing low-flow fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and faucets, and incorporating water-saving procedures into daily operations can help your business reduce its water usage. Businesses also have the option to put in place rainwater harvesting systems to gather rainwater for non-potable uses like irrigation. You can also reduce water consumption and minimise wastewater generation by using water-efficient procedures like closed-loop cooling systems.

Companies can also encourage sustainable habits among their stakeholders, consumers, and staff. This can be accomplished through promoting eco-friendly behaviours to customers, training staff members about sustainable practices, and offering rewards for eco-friendly conduct. This can be done by fostering a sustainability culture that transcends its own operations and supply chain.

By supporting initiatives that lessen or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, carbon offsetting programs may also be a way for businesses to accept accountability for their carbon emissions. Businesses participating in these programs buy carbon credits, which equal one tonne of atmosphere carbon equivalent (CO2e).

Reducing the carbon footprint in businesses’ operations and supply chains is a crucial step toward achieving a sustainable future. The long-term advantages of reducing carbon footprint are undeniable, even though it might require a sizable initial investment. If you aim to build a business or already have an existing one, you can focus on reducing energy consumption and waste. Your business can significantly lower its operating costs and increase profitability in the long run. There is another perk. If you continue to implement sustainable practices, your business can improve its brand image and attract more customers who prioritise sustainability. A company must also continually assess its sustainability objectives and track its progress toward lowering its carbon footprint.
With the right strategies in place and a commitment to sustainability, your business can contribute to a more sustainable future while maintaining its profitability and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Author- Rafiul Karim

Leave a Reply