One of the biggest priorities for many companies today is finding a way to lower carbon emissions and reduce environmental impact – and it’s clear to see why it’s at the top of the agenda.
Not only does the latest research clearly state the need for radical operational changes to create a healthier planet, but there are an ever increasing variety of regulatory requirements and frameworks in place that mean businesses need to track and monitor their impact for compliance.
Whilst compliance is often seen as a “need to do”, it is clear that there are many important benefits to understanding ESG performance – from reducing operational costs to optimizing efficiency and saving time when it comes to data collection. Therefore, wherever you are on your ESG journey, it’s beneficial to start monitoring your carbon footprint today (if you’re not doing so already).
What is a carbon footprint?
To truly understand how to lower your impact, it’s crucial to understand what exactly is meant by ‘carbon footprint’. You may already be familiar with initiatives like Race to Zero or Net Zero – many of these initiatives align with the same goals and agenda; to create change for the better – and your carbon footprint is a central part of that.
Put simply, your carbon footprint is the amount of emissions and greenhouse gases your business produces (whether that’s through direct business operations or your supply chain). There are a number of metrics that are measured and considered as part of your carbon footprint including fuel, energy and emissions, to name just a few.
Why the ‘E’ in ESG is so important
Your carbon footprint falls into the environmental pillar of ESG. It’s arguably the most well-known ESG pillar and is crucial to monitor for a number of reasons:
Consumers are seeking out more sustainable choices and searching for brands that care about the planet. According to a report by HBR, 65% of consumers want to buy from purpose-driven brands that advocate for sustainability. With more and more consumers focusing on how ‘green’ a company is, it’s crucial to focus on your own credentials in order to attract and retain new customers. Equally important is to measure and track data accurately and in a timely manner, to avoid any forms of greenwashing.
Investors are also seeking more sustainable investment opportunities. According to research by Gartner, 91% of banks monitor ESG and 85% of investors considered ESG factors in their 2020 investments. It’s clear more investors are looking for more eco-friendly investment options, so reporting and monitoring your performance could add value to your overall business and make it more attractive for investment.
Consumers and investors aren’t the only ones looking for greener companies; employees are too. According to research, more employees want to work for companies that have a strong environmental ethos and those companies with strong credentials actually report a stronger work culture; globally companies with the highest ESG scores performed 14% higher in employee satisfaction. So ESG strategy can be a central part of your recruitment strategy, helping to attract and retain new staff.
There are a number of other benefits to focusing on ESG reporting including enhancing your brand reputation as well as opening up opportunities to save money and boost efficiency. By monitoring your output and looking for ways to improve what you do you can also make a difference to the health of the planet, working towards critical goals like Net Zero by 2030.
How we can help you reduce your carbon footprint
At Turnkey, we can work with you to help you gain a clearer understanding of your carbon footprint and the areas in which you can make a positive change.
Our advisory team is here to support you with your goals, tailoring an ESG strategy that works for you and your business. We know every business is different, but when it comes to reducing your footprint there are a number of key areas everyone can consider.
One of the biggest areas you can focus on is assessing the energy you use across your business and supply chain. From understanding the lights you use in your offices and analysing the amount of electricity you consume to reviewing the fuel you currently power your vehicles and machinery with, energy consumption filters through everything:
The built environment generates almost 50% of global carbon emissions every year. Operational factors account for 27% of those, while materials and construction accounts for the rest. So, it’s clear that the built form can have a huge impact on the environment, but that also means it can present big opportunities for change. Whether you have a couple of offices in one location or multiple offices around the world, there are a number of ways you can use ESG to make improvements (for example, monitoring key data such as building temperature to assess improvements to insulation).
Travel is one of the biggest emitters of GHGs (greenhouse gases) but it’s not just the vehicles and fuel you use in your own business; your supply chain can have a big impact on your carbon footprint too. Known as Scope 3 emissions, these are historically difficult to track and monitor manually as they are largely out of your control. It can also be confusing to understand how different modes of transport and fuel consumption can differ in impact; the carbon emissions of something being transported by car can vary significantly when compared to sea or air. Similarly, diesel fuel consumption will have a different emission factor than electric or petrol. With our technology platform, Sustainion, all of the guesswork is taken away. Our intuitive system has all of the updated metrics you need along with easy-to-digest data and visuals to help you make comparisons across your business. By aggregating this data centrally, you can make decisions for your long-term strategy, such as looking at renewable energy sources or analysing ways you can adjust your travel mileage.
Waste and water
Waste management is a critical part of any ESG strategy and can provide lots of opportunity to not only make changes that are better for the environment but changes that are better for your business too. Whether it’s looking at the materials you use for construction or assessing your approach to recycling, we can work with you to find opportunities to reduce your impact.
Water consumption is equally crucial to understand. Reducing your water usage can have a direct impact on your carbon footprint and, on a wider scale, it can help you mitigate against serious world threats. According to the World Economic Forum, the gap between global water supply and demand is projected to reach 40% by 2030 and water scarcity is hindering economic growth. So, not only is monitoring your water usage critical for your operational efficiency and potential cost savings, it’s critical for the health of the planet too. Our platform can help you monitor and track your water consumption across multiple buildings and multiple locations, enabling you to understand if there are some locations that are performing better than others and where you could make improvements.
Would you like to better understand your environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint?
Talk to our team today to discuss how we can help