A carbon footprint, much like the name suggests, shows a trail of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere from human activities. Driving cars, using electricity, and eating meat are all examples of when carbon would be emitted and released into the atmosphere—amounts are expressed in tons of CO2. The idea of a carbon footprint is important to be aware of mostly because of its relationship with climate change. In this article, we will explore why a carbon footprint matters, the impacts technology has, and where companies can improve their footprint (read: reduce).
Why carbon footprint matters
Open any news site and you’ll likely find something about a weather event. More specifically, extreme weather conditions—flooding and heat waves being among the many examples. While we’re not here to get into the scientific details of climate change or what it means for the world, we can do our part to understand the impact using technology every day to run business and enjoy personal time has on climate changes.
- Climate Change: Greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere—causing adverse effects on climate patterns, sea levels, and ecosystems.
- Environmental Impact: A high carbon footprint is often associated with environmentally harmful practices (deforestation and pollution) that degrade vital ecosystems like rain forests, coral reefs, and marshland.
- Resource Scarcity: The demand for resources is increasing as the population grows—a large carbon footprint points to a heavy reliance on non-renewable resources.
- Health Impacts: The pollutants associated with high carbon footprints can cause respiratory issues and other health problems.
5 ways your company can start to reduce your carbon footprint
For businesses, their carbon footprint is determined across its operations, industrial activities, and machinery and equipment. The biggest areas of environmental impact for companies are energy consumption (data centers and the production of products) and e-waste (disposing of electronic waste).
The number one way to ensure your company’s efforts towards reducing your carbon footprint are achieved is by educating and engaging with employees—you need their buy-in. Start with building out initiatives and plans to promote a culture of sustainability, and then fine-tune the operations, sourcing, and specifics. The 5 suggestions below are ways you can reduce your carbon footprint—directly and in-directly involving employees.
- Energy Efficient Technology: LED lighting, upgraded HVAC systems, Green IT, and renewable energy sources (i.e., solar or wind).
- Cloud Storage and Computing: Cloud service providers optimize resource usage, and most are actively in renewable energy sources to power their data centers.
- Commute Changes: Encourage employees to use public transportation or carpool when commuting to work. For business travel, invest in hybrid or fully electric vehicles, or even consider virtual meetings. Technology can facilitate collaboration remotely for full-time or event-specific work.
- Waste Reduction and Recycling: Promote recycling after a well-organized strategy to successfully implement the changes. Great places to start are by reducing single-use plastics, switching to fully digital operations (paper-free), and disposing of electronics appropriately (avoiding E-waste).
- Supply Chain Sustainability: Work with suppliers who prioritize sustainable practices.
EasyVista’s Environmental Initiatives
At EasyVista is committed to protecting the environment and doing our part to be a sustainable technology company. Which is why we request an annual audit from Ecovadis—we want to make sure we practice what we preach. Additionally, we plant 15 trees (thanks to Ecotree) with every new EasyVista customer, adhere to the UN Global Compact have eliminated plastic bottles and cups from our offices, and have reduced the amount of travel we do (default to remote meetings).
Need help implementing Green IT solutions? Speak with an EasyVista consultant today to learn more about our Green IT solutions that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.