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10 steps for industries to reduce your carbon footprint

Water footprint, reuse, recycle, waste water, wastewater, climate change, industry, measure, 6 steps‘Climate Change’ is hot this year.

  • During the climate summit in New York hundreds of initiatives were announced to tackle carbon emissions
  • And the G7 world power nations agreed on increasing global warming with maximum 1 degrees Celsius comparing with 1990.

But all the agreements need the support of businesses and industries. So: What can your business or industry do to reduce your carbon footprint? 

10 actions to get energy neutral

  1. Improving is measuring. What is your carbon footprint right now?
    By assessing how much pollution a organization’s actions generates you can begin to see how changing a few policies can significantly reduce your overall carbon footprint. Figure out just where to start changing.There are carbon footprint measuring toolkits like the Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator (2014)
    Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it, e.g. by technological developments, better process and product management, changed Green Public or Private Procurement (GPP), carbon capture, recycle waste heat, Solar Power and others.
  2. Spotlight on Innovative Partnerships
    Working together means motivating each other and learn form each other. Maybe your business neighbor is one of the leaders in climate initiatives?
    Partnerships have collectively established objectives to measurably address greenhouse gas reduction goals and/or adaptation and resilience.
  3. Improve energy efficiency (buildings are the biggest energy user)
    The building industry now has more building certifications than ever that are fairly straightforward and set measurable and achievable goals for energy use reductions. Some of the most common are:

    Each of the rating systems assist building owners in reducing the amount of energy to energy-neutral buildings

    Ever thought about LED lighting? LED will save your energy bill

  4. Less heat and air conditioning
    Setting the thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about tons of carbon dioxide each year. Older building? Add insulation to walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower heating costs more than 25 percent. And … Do you live in a hot/dry region? Catch the water from your air conditioning and reuse it in your business
  5. What about car driving?
    Switch to public transportation, carpooling, biking, telecommuting and other innovative ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work.
    Still need to drive?
    Well I guess you have already heard about electric cars for long distances like the Tesla. It’s without any doubt a beautiful green car.
  6. Ban Coal, Tar Sands and Fossil Fuels, also in your industry
    The number of alternatives is increasing day-by-day. Let’s go for renewables, recycle waste heat and – if that’s really not enough energy to run your business – collaborate in Concentrated Solar Power.
  7. Recycle all your industrial waste water
    It’s time for the industry to take responsibility for sustainable use of industrial water. Let’s start to reduce, reuse and recover all industrial (waste) water.Water managers: Start using less, water by efficient water processes.
    also
    heat exchangers save the industry 60% energy
  8. Invest in renewables
    The mitigation of carbon footprints through the development of alternative projects, such as solar or wind energy or reforestation, represents one way of reducing a carbon footprint and is often known as Carbon Offsetting.
  9. Confront, display and keep triggering divisions
    Trigger and use a competitive element for business divisions. Say: “Guys, if we do this, we will save a lot of money and we are also doing a great job for the environment.” Let divisions ‘fight’ to get the best results. If you keep communicating, new behavior can be integrated quickly.
  10. Learn to adapt to climate change
    The risks of flooding are becoming urgent. Or: is your business in a dry area? Water risk management is essential.

Give responsibility back

Electricity saving still remains a tricky business. No matter how beautiful your systems, programs and legislation have been developed. When employees leave the fridge open or ‘forget’ to switch off lights, you can’t achieve footprint goals.

People at home do not exhibit the same behavior as they do at work. At home, the refrigerator will not remain open. But at work they feel less responsibility less. The clue is to give back responsibility to people again.

A “checklist” to consider when evaluating whether a company transform:

  • Does management accept climate science?
  • Has management assessed the probability and scale of risks?
  • Is the company strategy able to cope with an energy transition?
  • Are energy transition risks considered by all relevant committees and business units?
  • Does the company’s risk management approach flow from the board through the investment planning process?

Climate change should be treated no differently from other industry risks including such as safety, cost overruns, project delays, potential political change and fiscal uncertainty.

Related

Have you seen this?

Smart grid energy storage systems (dossier)

Industries: models for decision makers (dossier)

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