Many businesses are looking to become more climate aware and reduce their carbon footprint, and getting started can seem daunting, but the process is a lot easier than you may think.
For businesses in Wyre, there are so many resources to help you get started and Wyred Up are here to support you.
What does carbon footprint mean?
Carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere from an activity. That’s things like driving a car, turning on appliances or manufacturing a product.
Why is it important to reduce your carbon footprint?
These actions have released too much carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, which has caused the Earth’s temperature to rise rapidly. This change in climate means we are more likely to experience extreme weather events like storms, heat waves, wildfires, droughts and flooding. Whilst we have already passed a point that means more extreme events are likely, it is important to reduce how much carbon we produce to try and limit these changes as much as possible.
What can businesses do?
It can be hard to believe that a business’ actions can have an impact on climate change, but the reality is that every action, no matter how small, makes a big impact. Together, businesses taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint in areas such as their supply chain, buildings and energy usage, can have a huge impact on emissions, and in turn help local residents to lead greener lives.
Find out how big your carbon footprint is
First, spend 5 minutes measuring the carbon footprint of your business. You can visit the Making Carbon Work (MaCaW) Project, for a comprehensive energy report and up to £15,000 of match funding for low carbon technology, all free for Wyre SME’s providing you are eligible.
You can also use a handy calculator to work out your carbon footprint. The Carbon Trust have created a calculator specially designed for SME’s to get started on their carbon reduction journey.
Measuring your carbon footprint will help you understand where your business is producing carbon emissions, and point you towards the key areas you need to work on.
Become Carbon Literate
Carbon Literacy training will help you understand more about climate change, the impacts it will have on your business, and specific actions you can take to make a difference. This is a unique and award-winning initiative, which is being rapidly rolled out among organisations, workplaces and communities across the country. Businesses can apply to be a Carbon Literate Organisation, a certification that involves training your employees and establishing a low carbon culture within your company. Visit carbonliteracy.com to find out more.
Use sustainable suppliers
Making changes to how your business operates also includes the suppliers you work with. There are a number of sustainability certificates that UK businesses can hold which is a great indicator of their carbon reduction mission.
Look out for companies that are part of certifying bodies such as B Corp, Planet Mark, UN Global Compact or ISO Standards to name a few. Your business can also join these bodies to show you’re tackling climate change.
Think about travel, try public transport, car share or cycle to work schemes
A lot of us spend our mornings stuck in rush hour traffic in our car and are unknowingly contributing to air pollution and climate change. Instead, try to introduce a cycle to work scheme for your employees or encourage car shares.
Wyred Up is part of the Cycle Scheme that encourages employees to cycle to work and leave the car at home. They also offer a bike rental service if employees aren’t able to purchase a bike.
Encouraging employees to car share can also significantly reduce commuting emissions, whilst saving money and increasing connections among your staff. Businesses can sign up to schemes such as Liftshare, which connects employees via a mobile app to make car sharing easier and suitable for your company.
Charge My Street are a community benefit society that install and operate community-funded Electric Vehicle (EV) chargepoints across Lancashire, to help residents without off-street parking make the switch to an EV. Local businesses can either suggest their site for a chargepoint, register to use one, or invest in community shares. Two points have already been installed locally by the society in Hambleton and Great Eccleston, and you can visit Charge My Street to find out more.
Go green with your equipment
Making the change to green office equipment is a great way to help tackle climate change. Most energy providers will offer a green tariff which is good for the purse strings too. There are a number of companies across the North West that provide sustainable office equipment to support you to make greener business choices, including the Coggin Group who offer quality upcycled office furniture, and 1st Technologies who offer wholesale distribution of refurbished IT equipment.
You can also make changes such as switching your lightbulbs for LED lighting, and checking all lights and IT equipment are turned off at the end of the day.
Consider also switching appliances that have a low EPC rating (A, B or C are ideal ratings!).
Join Wyred Up today for access to advice, grant funding information, networking and business support all for free for Wyre businesses.
Visit www.wyre.gov.uk/wyredup today.