COP26: A cropped shot of hands painted to look like the earth

Five ways your company can reduce its carbon footprint


Any company can start to track and reduce its environmental impact, and with COP26 coming up, we highlight five ways your company can reduce its carbon footprint.

3rd Nov 2021

Why should your company reduce its footprint?

The journey to making your company carbon neutral can take time, resources, and budget. So before you start it's important to understand that there are huge benefits to becoming a more sustainable company.

Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and according to a 2016 CONE report "64% of Millennials won’t take a job if their employee doesn’t have a strong CSR policy, and 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues".

From an HR point of view, becoming more sustainable can help your company to attract the best talent, and help you keep your top-performing employees for longer.

So what steps can you take to boost your impact?

Ensuring your electricity is from a renewable source can be low-hanging fruit and can save up to a quarter of the company's carbon footprint overnight.

Five ways to reduce your company's footprint

1) Measure your emissions

'What gets measured, gets managed' is an old adage that rings true when it comes to reducing your company's environmental impact. It can be hard to drive change in employee behaviour when you can't point to a specific metric that you are trying to reduce.

Measuring your emissions can be hard but once you have a baseline in place it becomes easier to manage and keep track of each year.

There are several resources like the SME Climate Hub or Net Zero Climate to help you get set up. You can also sign up to the SBTi initiative, or become a B Corp to show how the company will reduce its emissions over time.

2) Switch to a green energy supplier

Ensuring your electricity is from a renewable source can be low-hanging fruit and can save up to a quarter of the company's carbon footprint overnight.

However, if you are in a shared space or are renting a meeting room, this process can be trickier and will often require you to work with your building manager to switch the building’s energy to a new supplier.

With so many renewable energy providers in the UK such as Bulb and Octopus, switching to renewable energy has never been easier.

3) Change your company commuting habits

It’s important to first analyse your employees’ current habits such as the average journey length, mode of transport, and total distance to help determine which type of initiative would work best. You can do this through a simple survey such as this one.

There are a few ideas for when you know this information. You can implement a Cycle to work to reduce commuting emissions and boost employee wellness.

You can also continue to encourage working from home. This study found that if everybody was able to work from home for just one day a week, "it would save around 1% of global oil consumption for road passenger transport per year."

Lastly, offering a season ticket loan for bus and rail travel can help employees save up to 20% of their costs by buying an annual ticket instead of a monthly one.

Google runs all of its technology on renewable energy so your servers can be 100% carbon neutral.

4) Use greener software

If you are a services-based company, your team will probably be using laptops and software to get the job done.

On software, your company might run most of its tech on servers that use up lots of electricity. Depending on the provider that you use and the location of their servers, this can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.

The good news is that there are some sustainable alternatives out there. For example, Google runs all of its technology on renewable energy so your servers can be 100% carbon neutral.

On hardware, Apple has started to publish the emissions that are generated for each of its laptops and is working to ensure the materials they use are more sustainable.

As a policy, you can also enact schemes to recycle or even refurbish any hardware that is being used within the company.

5) Change your pension scheme

Make My Money Matter found that switching your pension can cut carbon 21x more than going veggie, giving up flying, and switching energy providers. Switching your employee pension over could have a massive impact on your employee's emissions.

You can get in touch with your pension provider to see if they have a specific climate fund to invest in or check out Cushon who is offering one of the UK's first Net Zero pensions.

If you're interested in starting your sustainability journey, Dodo is a tool that connects to your accounting software to measure your company's footprint in just a few minutes. You can get in touch through our website or email [email protected].

Interested in the topics? Read How can HR create a climate-conscious culture?

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