Quick wins: How to reduce your carbon footprint – Part 2

05/05/2022 17:11

These quick wins come from CAFA (Climate Action for Associations). CAFA help membership associations all over the world work collectively to address the climate emergency and drive faster, efficient climate action for and on behalf of the industries they represent.

The CRA will regularly impart knowledge, guidance and resources from CAFA. Starting with the quick wins we will, over time, build up to templates, policies and commitments to help our sector accelerate towards net zero. So here’s our second set of quick wins, which can be applied to the office or home-work, and where possible – to shops:

<< You can view Part 1 here

Heating and cooling
Understand how the heating and cooling systems in your workplace operate and take advantage of any energy efficient settings that are built in. For example, you may be able to use timers or sensors to control your energy output. Turn off heating and cooling in unoccupied rooms and ensure windows and doors are closed when using heating or air-conditioning to optimise efficiency. The optimisation and regular servicing of your boilers is key. In the summer if it’s not too hot and its secure to do so, open windows instead of opting for air-con.

Check your windows are properly sealed when closed and with no draughts. The same goes for doors and door frames. Address and fix all draughts. Ensure your roof and, where relevant, walls are properly and evenly insulated with environmentally sustainable insulation.

Renewable energy provision
Switching to renewable energy sources will enable your retail operation to reduce carbon emissions and its dependency on fossil fuels.

Conserve water
Keep unnecessary water usage to a minimum by fixing leaks within pipes or taps. Consider fitting low-flow aerator taps or electronic taps with sensors which will not only reduce the amount of water used but also improve hygiene. Ensure dishwashers are full before starting a wash cycle. Don’t overfill kettles – only using exactly the amount of water you need will make a big difference over time.

Select and procure green suppliers where possible, whether it be in relation to lower carbon products and services, suppliers that manage and measure their own carbon footprint or products and services that are supplied on a carbon equivalent basis.

Encourage greener commute
Reduce overall travel wherever possible, public transport over private, bicycles over powered vehicles, trains over domestic and short haul flights, petrol over diesel vehicles, and electric and hybrids over petrol vehicles. Look to implement flexible working and working from home strategies where possible, which can to help further reduce emissions. If you have a company car park, ensure there are EV charging options. Consider adding staff shower facilites to remove blockers to employees wishing to run or cycle to work. This will also be seen as an employee benefit. If you do offer shower facilities, communicate information regarding the optimal length of showertime/water usage.

So – in summary:

  1. Understand your heating and cooling systems to get them working as efficiently as possible
  2. Fix all draughts and insulate where necessary
  3. Switch to renewable energy sources
  4. Fix leaks, don’t overfill kettles, conserve water
  5. Use green suppliers where possible
  6. Reduce travel if unnecessary, and where necessary choose the greenest option open to you

<< You can view Part 1 here