According to Nasa, the industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 414 parts per million in the last 150 years. And guess what?
Businesses – no matter how big nor small - can really influence this result. By simply altering the way they operate they can provide the ability to cut their carbon footprint and make a positive impact.
But even so, how can a business really reduce its carbon footprint? Most people don’t even know where to start. What a pain in the back it is, after all! And to be honest, they’re right. At Forestmatic we understand this, so we strive to supply businesses with an easy way to start decreasing their carbon footprint - completely hassle-free.
Here’s some tips on what you as a business can do in the meanwhile to maximise your efforts:
(1) Go Plastic-Free
Whatever industry you operate within, chances are you’ll find containers for liquids, such as jars and bottles, and various types of packaging all made out of plastic.
Here are some tips for going plastic-free in the workplace:
If you have vending machines at the office, you can replace a few with drinking fountains where employees can refill their water bottles.
Promote a zero food waste culture that encourages employees to bring food from home to be shared with others in the office.
It would be great if you could also stop consuming frozen food, given that most of the time, it comes in plastic bags which can’t be recycled.
Try to use as many reusable items as possible. Instead of single-use coffee cups, start using a reusable coffee cup, you can also brand them out with your company logo!
Challenge your employees or involve your fellow workers! Create small rewards and team tournaments for eco-friendly objectives. It stimulates team building, while making your office a better working place.
Go organic. There’s a number of plant-based plastics out there with a price point and performance level very similar to plastic. These materials are derived from plants like Hemp, or Mushroom roots -and they do the job just as efficiently without all the excess pollution.
Take responsibility by cutting the use of plastic straws, cups and containers, to zero in favor of paper-based and recyclable materials. Even better if you can provide your employees with refillable bottles.
Avoid plastic cutlery, whether it is for your food office delivery or you work in the food industry. It’s estimated that they account for about 300.000 tons of plastic pollution a year. Swapping cutlery to reusable items in the canteen or staff kitchen is another way your workplace can go plastic-free.
Try to centralize your office supplies. Most of it comes in ridiculous amounts of plastic! By making one-time bulk purchases you significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste needed. To help you eliminate unnecessary purchasing of plastic products, set up a centralised supply library, a space where your fellow workers can start borrowing items whenever it’s needed.
(2) Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
Here’s a question for you: are we making the best use of our planet’s natural resources?
Spoiler alert, the answer is: no.
When you start recycling products you use every day, like cardboard boxes, milk jugs, soda cans, and whatever you can think of, you become one of those innovators everyone praises about in the press. You are giving new life to items that were initially going to be simply thrown away. And here’s the real problem, in our minds, once you are done using something, you stop caring about what comes after. This is the very reason businesses need to take action on a cultural level.
The Three R’s (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) should apply to every facet of our businesses – from office supplies, to operations, and supply chains. By reducing, reusing and recycling your business can save energy and help lower greenhouse gas emissions in the process. Whenever you can opt for reducing and reusing, you should absolutely go for it, as these practices take away the excess. When there’s no reusable alternative or reusing simply doesn’t work for your business, start a recycling program in your office. Every bit counts!
(3) Promote Eco-Friendly Mobility
Have you ever asked yourself how your workforce reaches the office? How many hours do they spend in the traffic? What is their impact on the environment?
Probably not, and unfortunately this is pretty common. However, these questions are now more important than ever. Whether in the air, by car or by train, mobility represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emission. In the United States alone, the transportation sector accounts for 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions each year. But it’s not only about the transportation sector, it’s also about how we move to reach our working stations, transfers and business trips.
If you don't think there is such a thing as ‘business travel emissions’, we are sorry to let you down. In fact, there’s an entire organization dedicated to it. Many corporations around the world, including IBM, have started to adopt organizational measures to help monitor their carbon footprint. If you are not one of these companies, here’s what you can do:
Start by encouraging your employees to bike to work. Simply provide them with a space to shower and dress when they arrive, or introduce incentives and small bonuses to encourage them to be more green.
Organize and promote carpooling among colleagues with commuter-matching programs.
Whenever possible, adopt smart and remote working. Technology is great, so we should use it to help us transition for the better. Hold virtual meetings and work in virtual spaces, create webinars and training sessions, and use collaborative tools and safe networks.
Hey, at some point one may still need to fly! At the end of the day, we can’t twist the way we live from one day to the other. But here’s a tip: look for the most fuel efficient flights. If you work with fleets, here's the same suggestion for you: technology… Here’s why. By installing a GPS tracking system, you can better analyse the best possible routes in-turn reducing your fleet’s road-time and making it more efficient - and environmentally friendly.
Data analysis can also provide you with financial insights that can drive decision making on your fleet.
Go electric. Choosing more fuel efficient or alternatively fuelled vehicles such as last generation electric engines, can have one of the strongest impacts on our Planet, given that our roads and skies amount to about 40% of our gas emissions!
Plant Trees with Forestmatic
Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. So, if none of the previous solutions is a fit for you, first, reconsider your position, but here’s another one for you. Trees!
Our work is entirely dedicated to service your desires of protecting our planet, and this translates into our reforestation commitment. Through Forestmatic´s technology, purchases will translate directly to a greener Earth. We are pushing harder than ever to involve businesses to start offsetting the carbon footprint associated with the products and services sold, by planting trees.
With our solution you will be able to verify your reforestation impact and that of each user purchasing through your ecommerce. For every sale you close, we plant a tree. To verify these actions, we are building a top-notch customized dashboard displaying satellite images and real-time data to transparently show your commitment to the world. With the help of our team, partner brands and businesses are empowered to leverage a tailored narrative capable of sustaining your efforts in reforesting our planet. So you win twice: you protect the planet while earning yourself a positive reputation!
To learn more about the future we are building at Forestmatic, get in touch or subscribe to our mailing list.