Reduce Your Organization’s Carbon Footprint Now: 4 Benefits
When was the last time you thought about your organization’s carbon footprint? Personally, when I think about being sustainable, I think about my own actions–do I recycle? Do I participate in eco-friendly travel? But everything I (and you) purchase, use, and dispose of comes from a corporation–a business. So really, I should be paying close attention to the organizations I support and the sustainability measures they undertake. But you know what would be even better? If all organizations committed to becoming sustainable and net-zero carbon businesses.
Now, I know it’s not that simple–change takes time and a lot of hard work. But there are both short-term and long-term strategies that your organization can take that will make a difference. And if you aren’t on the path to sustainability, you will fall behind.
What Is Net-Zero Carbon Emission?
Simply stated, net zero means that the amount of greenhouse gas you produce is no more than the amount you take away from the atmosphere. Achieving a net-zero status, or carbon neutrality, would mean that there is no net impact on the climate from your organization’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The Benefits of Becoming a Net-Zero Carbon Business
Preserving Our Earth
Let me give a little disclaimer before I dive further into how your business can benefit from reducing your carbon footprint–the most important aspect of making these changes is that you are helping to preserve the Earth. It is important to consider the future of our Earth and how unsustainable actions by individuals and organizations contribute heavily to its downfall.
There are many ways to help preserve the earth, but when talking about reducing our carbon footprint specifically, we are referring to reducing the amount of carbon emissions trapped in our atmosphere, which will in turn slow down global warming. NASA states that “the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and other human activities.”
Appealing to Consumers
According to IBM in a 2020 consumer report, “Nearly 6 in 10 consumers (57 percent) are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative impact to the environment, and among those who say sustainability is important for them, this jumps to 77 percent.” I only expect this number to grow–younger generations are seemingly even more passionate about corporate sustainability. Reducing your carbon footprint or becoming a net-zero carbon business will improve your reputation and customer loyalty. Your brand, and how people perceive it, can improve exponentially when you start advocating for sustainability (and proving it through your actions!).
Increasing Employee Satisfaction
It’s not just the consumers that will be satisfied with a net-zero carbon business. Employees are seeking job opportunities with companies that prioritize sustainability. If you achieve a net-zero carbon business, your employees will be more satisfied with their job and have more loyalty towards your organization. Who wouldn’t want that?
Evan Caron, co-founder of ClearTrace, a company that helps organizations reduce their carbon emissions through energy information, stated: “From my perspective, it’s a competitive advantage for large enterprises to really align themselves with employees’ ideas about creating more environmentally-sustainable choices.” He even conducted a survey that shows that 70% of respondents are more likely to work for a company with a strong green footprint, and half of the respondents would even accept a smaller salary if it meant working for an environmentally friendly company.
More Efficient Processes and Cost Savings
Enterprises that participate in the shift to carbon-neutral energy will benefit materially and will develop more efficient technology and business practices. Reducing carbon emissions actually leads to new business opportunities. More sustainable, eco-friendly machines and other technology processes are being invented or improved to mitigate carbon output, but are often proving to be more efficient in other ways as well. Many net-zero carbon businesses also see operational cost savings.
Let’s dive into one example of an environmentally friendly process that actually turns out to be more efficient and convenient for business. One major way that we are seeing enterprises shift is by going digital–less paper and ink is being consumed as we go paperless (think digital transaction management or workflow and content automation), which is great for the environment. Whether organizations are doing this to save the earth or because they are left with little choice as remote work increases, this is one way to decrease carbon emissions nonetheless. And, as it turns out, these paperless processes are actually more efficient, quicker, and more seamless than traditional paper processes.
Your strategy for reducing your carbon footprint depends on a number of factors specific to your business. In our recent research note, Aragon has laid out a detailed guide for how you can get started. This report dives into 3 short-term and 3 long-term strategies for achieving, or maintaining, net-zero carbon. As our report states, “The sustainability and carbon-neutral movement is not going away”. Get on board or get left behind!