Aside from the current precarious economic conditions, businesses of all sizes can be affected by extreme weather, a shortage of resources, and supply chain disruption. Climate change makes all these things more likely, however there are steps that businesses can take to mitigate its effects. One thing businesses can do is take action to reduce their carbon emissions through creating a Carbon Management Plan.
Why should we manage carbon emissions?
Just as world leaders began to meet for the Cop 28 climate summit, experts from the Global Carbon Project released a report which stated that global carbon emissions from fossil fuels reached record levels again in 2023. As a result, 1.1% more carbon dioxide ended up in the atmosphere, which may not sound a lot, but it’s steadily warming the planet and making it more hostile to human life and wildlife.
Why businesses need a carbon management plan
Despite the Prime Minister reaffirming his commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, 40% of business have no Carbon Management plan in place to reduce emissions, and of those businesses, 70% have no plan to develop one. So, what is a Carbon Management plan and why do businesses need one?
A Carbon Management Plan is a strategic approach that outlines actions businesses will take to reduce their carbon emissions. As part of the plan, businesses assess their current carbon footprint and outline and implement measures to reduce it over five years.
As well as being a blueprint for a business’s commitment to sustainability and tackling climate change, there are other clear benefits of having a Carbon Management Plan in place:
- It positions businesses as leaders in sustainability, making them an attractive proposition to clients and employees who care about the planet.
- There are financial benefits in setting carbon savings targets and being more efficient.
What’s involved in a Carbon Management plan?
The first step to creating a plan to reduce carbon emissions is calculating the business’s carbon footprint. This involves looking at any direct or indirect emissions produced during the course of normal business operations. Direct emissions could come from transporting goods or from lighting and heating a building. Indirect, or scope 3 emissions, are emissions produced elsewhere in the supply chain, for example, by a supplier of raw materials.
Once a business has a baseline to establish how it’s performing, the next step is identifying key changes that need to be made and where there’s room for improvement. For best results, businesses should set achievable targets which meet their needs and capabilities.
Lastly, targets should be reviewed regularly to monitor progress, reassess goals, and to enable businesses to compare themselves with others in the same industry.
A worthwhile undertaking
A Carbon Management Plan is a worthwhile undertaking for any business that wants to demonstrate its commitment to tackling climate change and becoming more sustainable. By setting achievable targets to reduce emissions and making changes to improve the sustainability of their operations, businesses can contribute to a more certain future; for their existence and for the planet.