ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING AND REDUCING OUR FOOTPRINT
Green, Green, Green…. Everybody’s talking about green. Go Green, Green Business, Green New Deal. So, one might ask oneself: What is the deal with all that green? Is it real or is it Greenwashing?
Certainly, we must be critical about “greening” and know that there are ways to measure what we want to manage. The EU Commission just launched an ambitious program called the “Green New Deal” and it aims at making Europe a leading continent in sustainability and innovation and become Carbon Neutral by 2050.
“Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. Removing carbon oxide from the atmosphere and then storing it is known as carbon sequestration. In order to achieve net zero emissions, all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will have to be counterbalanced by carbon sequestration.”
As we know Carbon is a Green House Gas (GHG) and it contributes to global warming and climate change. But not just that, is also endangers lots of marine and land wildlife. When we look at the Green New Deal in Europe we see that there are certain key areas that are priority. These areas are: Energy Consumption, Buildings & Housing, Industry and Mobility.
ENERGY (LETS TALK RENEWABLES)
Energy consumption accounts for 75% of GHG emissions. Currently the energy mix is made up from different sources, including those that are not renewable and harmful for the environment and human beings. For that reason, it is a priority to promote the use of renewable energy.
HOUSING – Promote Green Construction
A big portion of the energy consumption and thus the Co2 emissions is due to housing and buildings. Not is the construction sector one of the dirtiest industries in terms of resource use and energy consumption but it is most certainly also the use of those houses and buildings that create a high carbon footprint:
INDUSTRY RESTRUCTURING- GO CIRCULAR
The industry and business side are responsible for a high carbon impact. Change will have to come from the companies and therefore the industry models will change. Not just the internet will revolutionize production chains (industry 4.0 or Internet of Things) but also the new paradigm of a circular economy. Circular economy means going from a linear production system, from “cradle to grave” that has input to output to waste thinking, to a system called “cradle to cradle” which means optimally producing no waste because every output will later on become an input again somewhere else.
Mobility – GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE
Traffic accounts for round about 25% of our emissions. High usage of individual mobility with cars, transport of goods and services and travels create a high carbon footprint. Switching to electric mobility is one of the strategies that can improve the footprint but there is also a high risk in the supply chain and the problems associated with mining. Furthermore, cars are polluting the cities and are using up lots of space, so whether there are running on a combustion engine or an electric engine, the problems of too many cars will remain. Therefore, an integrated approach is needed in order to manage the carbon footprint caused from mobility and so a more sustainable form of logistic systems and mobility must be implemented.
What does that mean for me?
This question is not always straightforward to be answered. It certainly depends on the actual situation and whether it deals with an organization, a company, a household or an individual. Evidently, the landscape for companies is changing and the need to be more sustainable is not just an ethical question anymore but already has become an economic imperative. New skills and capacities are needed in order to manage the change that is hitting our societies hard and quickly. The Green New Deal is just one example. We can also think of the Sustainable Development Goals or other global agendas. There is no way around sustainability anymore.
Leaders must become aware of that fact and start acting accordingly. Whether it means formulating new strategies, forming new alliances, engaging into communication with their stakeholders and training their staff. There is lots to be done. Especially when it comes to solving the “knowing-acting” Gap. Many people know about the urgent need BUT do not know how to act. Even the European Union has seen this need and has special programs designed to train.
What can I do now as a company or organization to reduce my carbon footprint?
- Use renewable Energy: You can either find a retailer for green electricity or start investing in generating your own energy.
- Offer local organic fruit & vegetable baskets // Make your kitchen Eco: Local fruits and vegetables greatly reduce the carbon footprint. Moreover, and maybe even more importantly it can also reduce lots of waste and provide a fair income for local farmers.
- Change your mobility: Consider using different means of transport. If possible, use a bike or public transport. If not, look into car sharing or offer a ride to someone. You don’t need to buy an electric vehicle to be more sustainable. If you have employees, create an incentive system to use more green transport. Maybe you can even make a little competition of who is the greenest employee.
- Check your supply chain: As an organization supply chain management is highly important. Nowadays, with a high degree of specialization, outsourcing is common. So using carbon footprint criteria when deciding over which supplier to choose makes a great difference. Our school for instance uses green web hosting. According to the traffic generated by our website, our host provider plants trees accordingly.
- Get training on Carbon Footprint Management
At our school we have made this our mission. We want to empower YOU to be the #EngineOfChange. Visit our School and we create impact together. If you want to know more about managing the carbon footprint, we invite you to register at our Online Training:
Introduction to Carbon Footprint Management.
Registration is free. If you later decide to go for an Continuing Education Certificate you can also book the option to sign up for an Online Exam. This helps you build up your knowledge on this certain topic and your resume too!
If you are a company owner or you are managing an organization, you can also have a look at our EXECUTIVE TRAINING: “Fight Climate Change – Manage your carbon footprint”. This course can be taught to train your staff.
We will also have upcoming FREE webinars and more online training. We will talk about ethical and sustainability marketing, circular economy and permaculture economics. If you want to be informed about our upcoming monthly events, feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media.
WATCH OUR PREVIOUS WEBINAR: PERMACULTURE ECONOMICS – BEYOND CIRCULAR ECONOMY