While the world takes a stand by joining the Climate Strike movement and governments implement policies, if you are a business puzzled about how to play your part in SDG13 climate action, read on.
Today marks a big day in the Climate Strike movement. What initially started as a small, unnoticed action by one person, Greta Thurnberg, has become a global call to action. Not only have school children joined the #Fridaysforfuture movement, today, adults across the public, private and education sectors are doing the same.
What is Causing Climate Change?
Climate change is a result of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. Any activity, business or domestic, which is dependent on the destruction of forests and the use of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas contributes towards climate change. Our desire to develop and consume at a fast pace has unsurprisingly resulted in vast amounts of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, far more than it can handle. Thus resulting in the rise of global temperatures.
Impacts of Climate Change
The last 2 years have been no stranger to the abrupt weather patterns, some saw heavy rain and flash flooding while others experienced heatwaves. Forests and oceans which act as natural management systems and play a vital role in storing and managing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) have drastically been affected. In the last 8 weeks we lost a vast coverage of forest due to illegal fires. We have lost established forests that would otherwise have continued to act as Carbon absorption hubs in the future. The recent fires in Brazil and Indonesia have undoubtedly emitted millions of tonnes of CO2 back into the atmosphere.
The long term gradual shift in global temperatures and weather patterns will impact food production, water availability, biodiversity, rising sea levels and deforestation. Ultimately everyone will be affected by climate change as it is here to stay.
So while the world is taking action by joining the Climate Strike movement and governments implement policies, if you are a business who is puzzled about how you can start playing your part in mitigating the impacts of climate change, here are a few tips:
Role of Business in SDG13 Climate Action solutions?
Businesses should consider carrying out an energy audit of the business’ operations. This could be the starting point before making drastic and expensive changes to machinery and processes. An energy audit can save money and energy in the long run. At Smart Money Green Planet, we can assist with carrying out an energy audit.
Alternatively you can start by taking small steps as identified below to reduce energy consumption:
- It may sound obvious but encouraging staff to switch off lights, appliances and computer monitors will reduce energy consumption.
- Consider changing your energy supply to green energy solutions. A number of big energy firms now offer renewable energy options.
- Consider installing solar panels. If you own the building, why not look at solar panels as a long term solution? If you lease it, speak to the landlord and see if you can come up with a workable solution that benefits both parties.
- Have you assessed the amount of energy used in your processes? It may be time to replace old machinery for newer, smarter equipment.
Vehicle Replacement Options
- Encourage staff to choose a fuel efficient vehicles, take public transportation, carpool to work, ride a bicycle or walk when possible.
- If your business is dependent on vehicles, have you considered a vehicle replacement programme? By gradually replacing old vehicles, including company cars for individual use, with energy efficient ones you will start to see a reduction in the running and maintenance costs of your fleet.
- Believe it or not, but having the correct infrastructure to reduce, reuse and recycle waste can help towards climate change. Reusing and recycling materials means that less raw materials are needed, thereby reducing our reliance on extracting raw materials that are often energy intensive and pollute more.
- If you have a canteen, consider sourcing the foods locally and buying food with less packaging. Not only will this reduce the amount of energy used to transport the food, it will reduce your overall waste disposal costs for packaging.
- Encourage staff to use coffee mugs and reusable water bottles to reduce reliance on disposable cups and bottles.
- Unless a face to face presence is required, encourage staff to carry out frequent conference calls even for meetings.
Global Business Solutions to Climate Action
- Participate in programs designed to maintain forest and ocean health.
- Fundraise or donate money to help reforestation or other community led projects.
- Carry out an audit of your supply chain to see where your raw materials come from. Work with your supply chain to reduce energy consumption across the board, starting from extraction of raw materials to final sale of goods.
Every small change made by a business towards SDG13 climate action will collectively lead to a bigger impact.
Sustainable Development and the role of Business
Want to help achieve the SDG 2030 targets? Below are links to articles written to assist small businesses with SDG ideas: