Among businesses, there is growing pressure to take steps toward reducing your carbon footprint. If your company is trying to reduce emissions or get to net-zero emissions in the future, there are some important steps you can take now to get on the right path.
In recent years the number of companies participating in discussions or plans to reduce emissions and address climate change have significantly increased. For many companies it’s a combination of two things: first, wanting to meet consumer demands as more people prefer to do business with companies that are conscious of climate change and doing their part to combat it. Second, it’s a business decision to reduce uncertainty in the future. AT&T, for example, has experienced almost $850 million in infrastructure losses from climate disasters. They recently unveiled a 30-year plan to address climate change as a way to reduce their own costs and risks, and provide more security for the future.
Companies that don’t take steps today toward a more carbon-neutral future may quickly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to those companies that did take climate change seriously.
Step 1: Analyze the impact of climate change on your business. Conducting an analysis of the risks that climate change can pose to your business will help you make better decisions about when and how you should make changes to prepare for the future. Familiarize yourself with the science, and learn about the risks unique to your specific area. You can find science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions here to help guide you in the analysis.
Step 2: Set a goal. Many companies are committing to achieve some level of emissions reduction by the year 2050. Of course, anything you can do to speed up that timeline will probably benefit your business (and the environment). Having a specific goal in mind, and a roadmap to get you there, will ensure you can take the proper steps toward lowering emissions.
Step 3: Learn from other companies in this space. Several companies, including large corporations like 3M, Google, Adobe, and Apple, have committed to use 100% renewable energy in the coming years. Many of them have set specific targets for the year they want to get there. You can see more about their efforts, including their switch to things like solar and wind energy, and learn more about how you can implement these strategies for your business.
Step 4: Implement your plan. One of the easiest first steps you can take is to switch from fossil fuel power through the local power company to renewable solar or wind energy. While that might not be the full extent of your plan, it can get you on the right path toward achieving your net-zero goals. Implementation costs to get renewable energy continues to go down, and tax incentives in place today make it an attractive option for many companies.
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