Running a profitable business is hard. Running a profitable business that is carbon accountable is even harder.
But just because our current free-market economic system does not make it easy to run a sustainable operation doesn’t mean your business should surrender to climate crisis. Climate change will devastate populations, ravage economies and significantly raise the cost of doing business as resources become scarcer and more expensive. From both a humanitarian and business standpoint, it makes a lot of sense for us to take a stand against uncontrolled climate change by negating our company’s carbon footprint.
Beyond dwindling resources, there are other practical reasons to enact policies that reduce your business’s greenhouse gas emissions. For one, as the climate emergency escalates, international governments will likely begin to introduce more stringent environmental policies – meaning that if you can neutralize your carbon footprint now, your company will be ahead of the game. In addition, research has found customers prefer eco-friendly brands and has linked a positive impact on the planet with employee satisfaction and morale.
Major corporations like Microsoft, Google, Lyft, and Salesforce are already committed to going carbon neutral, as are smaller companies like Burts Bees and Diamond Foundry. If you want to join them as a pioneer towards sustainability, here are four powerful first steps business leaders can take to make their company more carbon accountable.
Move towards zero waste
The current way we conduct business – that is, through production, transportation, consumption and disposal of materials –accounts for 42% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Implementing a zero-waste approach is a short-term, powerful action that can pay off immediately for the climate.
Moving towards zero waste begins with an assessment of your business’s current waste generation, management and disposal. During the audit,