What are the facts?
We use energy in everything we do. How we conduct business, how we feed ourselves, how we cloth ourselves and how we look after our health. Our use of energy for heating, clothing and travel is a big factor contributing to climate change.
- Direct installation of solar panels for energy consumption is not an option for many businesses or individuals but there are a number of sustainable energy producers available
- A ‘green energy’ label does not assure against use of animal by-products given use of biomass generators so it is necessary to check to ensure optimum sustainability
- Over 90% of brand new products are sold to households where there are least one similar unused product. Many are returned
- The CO2e footprint associated with the production of a computer ranges from 200kg to 800kg with 60-100g used hourly when in use.
- In the UK, 40,000 people a year die from air pollution. That is 5 times those killed in road accidents
- The two most lethal pollutants are Nitrous Oxide (NO2) and small particles emitted. Diesel engines emit about 15 times more than the petrol equivalents
What can a business do?
Every business can consider the following
- Make sure an individual or a team is responsible for climate action including how you procure and use energy
- Choose energy from a provider that is both renewable and sustainable
- For physical assets look at the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the asset from a financial and a carbon perspective.
- When on-boarding new vendors or continuing with existing vendors insist on understanding their carbon offset programmes
- Review vendor policies on supply chain management
- Understand how vendors handle return and disposal
- For company fleets switch to EV vehicles before entering in a new leasing arrangement. There are financing options focused on making this much more affordable. ICE cars will become stranded assets
- Video conference and use the most climate efficient forms of transport avail when travel is necessary
What can an individual do?
There is actually quite a lot that can be done to consume energy more efficiently. Here are a few ways to increase the positive impact we can have on the environment.
- Choose energy from a provider that is both renewable and has a sustainable approach to production i.e. multiple & non harmful use of land, rejects mixed supply eg. biomass generators linked to animal farming,
- Given the huge carbon footprint of production only buy products that will have purpose for several years out at a minimum.
- Only buy from producers who have transparent programs on carbon offset and production, conflict free minerals, return and disposal.
- For electrical products, check out the energy rating to ensure they lead in energy efficiency.
- For transport, walk or cycle when possible or use energy efficient public transport. E-bikes have opened up cycling to many more people and is worth considering.
- Consider switching to a smaller more efficient cars when the current car is approaching end of life. Consider EV, Hybrid or smaller ICE cars
- For necessary long distance travel, if you fly, try to go less frequently and stay for longer (and remote work). Take a train if possible.