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5 Ways Companies Can Decrease Their Carbon Footprint

Headshot of a man with a blurred background By Ben Reiland May 10, 2019

Categories: Industry Trends Mobile Workforce Vehicle Reimbursement

Companies that care about their carbon footprint can take these steps

Carbon footprint is a weighty term. We all have one, based on the waste we produce, the emissions we’re responsible for. It’s no surprise that companies have the largest carbon footprints. Regardless of your opinions on climate change, no one prefers the alternative to fresh air. It’s been a few years since the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Despite this government back pedal, companies are stepping up to the plate with their own terms.

What are companies doing to shrink their carbon footprint?

There are multiple paths to the right goal. Most companies are using more than one tactic to cut back on their emission contribution. Here’s a list of five that you can look into starting in some form or another at your own company.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We’re all familiar with the mantra. It’s what has us separating the junk mail and aluminum cans from the rest of our garbage. Dell decided to take things a step further by shipping their products with recycled packing material. There are benefits to making changes like this, besides saving the planet one box at a time. The material, called wheat straw, requires less energy and expense than traditional packaging. Take that, polluters!

2. Green Appliances

You’re no doubt familiar with energy efficient light bulbs. Replace your old light bulbs with those and you have a better electricity bill, while shrinking your carbon footprint. The next step? Green appliances. It’s more than the color of your latest refrigerator. Many appliances are less than Eco-friendly and the recycling process leaves something to be desired. One of the main causes of this? The type of refrigerants used, many of which can harm the ozone and negatively impact the environment.

Nestle decided to make serious changes to the types of refrigerants they used and pledged to introduce more eco-friendly freezers. That’s in addition to using alternative power sources like wind and even coffee grounds. Captain Planet would be proud.

3. Cut Down on Food-Related Waste

Maybe you’re not a food company. This doesn’t apply to you, right? Wrong! Reducing food waste goes beyond food production. If you have office events, open houses, celebrations, all company meetings, you’re going to need food. The best way you can reduce food-related waste is supporting local businesses that work with farmers in the area. By cutting down on transportation needs, your business cuts down on food-related waste!

You can also start an office compost, letting food waste back into the cycle it came from. If that doesn’t seem feasible for your company, you can find services near you through ShareWaste.

4. Invest in the Future

This could be as small as installing solar panels at your place of work or as big as purchasing carbon offsets. Supporting renewable energies like solar and wind is a great way to bring them closer to industry standard. However, this isn’t an option for every company. Another great way to invest in the future is a carbon offset. Carbon offsets are programs or projects with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions. Many large companies already use these to comply with the emission caps they’re under. Some carbon offset projects include renewable energy, methane combustion, pollutant destruction and reforestation.

5. Electric Vehicles

As a nation, we drive a lot. The more vehicles on the road, the more carbon dioxide in the air, right? Well, not if you’re driving an electric vehicle. Coca-Cola realized how big their carbon footprint was based on their transportation costs alone. With the goal of cutting back on those emissions, they added a considerable number of hybrid vehicles to their fleet of delivery trucks.

These trucks use around 30% less fuel than the typical delivery truck, in addition to reducing emissions by 30%.

If you can overhaul your fleet with electric vehicles or provide all your employees with Tesla Roadsters, awesome! But we understand if it isn’t feasible for all companies to do this. There are alternatives, like incentivizing your employees to purchase alternatively fueled vehicles. There are tax credits offered to those who buy certain electric vehicles. The tax credits do have a per-manufacturer cap, which means purchasing more popular vehicles now might not have the same credit offering today. Further help might be the push your employees need to reduce their, and your company’s, carbon footprint. But that leads to an important question…

How do you reimburse electric vehicles for business driving?

Reimbursing mobile workers for gas may seem easy to measure, but there’s more to a reimbursement than fuel. Just consider the fixed and variable expenses driving requires. Electric vehicles are taxed differently, depreciate differently, have different maintenance schedules and use electricity instead of gasoline. If you want our take on the process, contact us! We’d be happy to share our methods.

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