7 Ways Businesses Can Help Prevent Global Warming
Did you know that the seven warmest years ever recorded all occurred since 2015? The top three were 2016, 2019, and 2020, while 2021 ranked the 7th-hottest.
2021 was, in itself, a record-breaker in North America. For instance, this was when the so-called Western North America heat wave occurred. This caused temperatures to rise by 10° to 30° C above average regional temperatures.
Global warming is the chief reason all those extreme heat events have occurred. This phenomenon is primarily the result of human activities, though.
That’s why it’s also our responsibility to prevent global warming from worsening. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies to achieve this goal.
Below, we’ve discussed some of the top ways your business can help mitigate global warming, so read on.
1. Switch to Renewable Energy
One way your business can help prevent global warming is to rely less on fossil fuels. After all, fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and petrol emit the most greenhouse gases (GHGs).
GHGs are gases that blanket the Earth and trap heat in the atmosphere.
On the other hand, renewable energies, such as solar and wind, generate little to no GHGs. They’re also readily available, unlike fossil fuels that require energy-intensive mining or fracking. To top it off, they’re now often cheaper than fossil fuels.
Going green with solar may be your best option, though, as its technology is more affordable than wind. For example, a solar power system costs less to install than a windmill. It also needs less maintenance and space, especially if you mount it on the roof.
2. Stop Electricity Waste
In 2021, the monthly commercial electricity usage in the U.S. averaged 5,795 kilowatt-hours (kWh). That resulted in a monthly average bill amounting to $650.04, or a staggering $7,800.48 for the entire year!
Unfortunately, many businesses use and pay more due to energy-wasting habits. A perfect example is failing to turn off lights, equipment, and systems not in use.
Unfortunately, that waste still emits GHGs, as most electricity comes from fossil fuels.
So, as part of your global warming prevention plan, enforce electricity conservation practices. For example, remind everyone to turn off lights in empty rooms and unplug devices that aren’t in use.
3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Technology
Businesses that use energy-inefficient products consume more energy. These include old and ill-maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
By contrast, energy-efficient HVAC systems use far less energy to do the same job.
For instance, high-efficiency AC units consume 30% to 50% less energy than those made in the mid-70s. However, even those made only about ten years ago are still less efficient than newer models. So, even if your AC is only about a decade old, replacing it with an energy-efficient one can cut cooling costs by 20% to 40%.
Switching to LED lights is also a more environmentally friendly way to light up your office. For starters, they consume up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they last at least 25 times longer, so they also help reduce waste.
4. Cut Back on Resource Consumption
Using fewer resources reduces the need to harvest and process raw materials.
Harvesting and processing raw materials, in turn, harms the environment through:
• Soil degradation
• Consumption of significant amounts of energy and water
• GHG and pollutant emissions
• Damage to ecosystems
• Disruption of biodiversity
A perfect example of resources you can cut back on is paper. After all, the pulp and paper industry uses 33% to 40% of globally traded industrial wood annually. Such high usage contributes to deforestation and significant energy and water consumption.
Thus, the less paper your business uses, the less it contributes to deforestation.
5. Implement a Recycling Program
The average American generates over 4 pounds of waste daily. Over 75% of that is recyclable, but only about 30% gets recycled.
So, let’s say your business employs ten people. That puts your total daily waste generation to about 40 pounds. If only 30% gets recycled, then about 31 pounds end up in landfills, where they decay and emit GHGs and pollutants.
Therefore, one of your priorities should be implementing a strict recycling program. This should include placing easy-to-access and convenient recycling containers. Each container should also have clear labels indicating the type of waste they’re for.
6. Use Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Consider using recycled office supplies, such as recycled paper and writing products. Another is to switch from single-use plastic to compostable trash bags. Buying used furniture and refurbished electronics are also more eco-friendly.
7. Participate in a Climate Action Plan
A climate action plan is a detailed roadmap of activities aimed at reducing GHGs. They often include all the above steps plus carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies.
CDR strategies include high-tech equipment, such as direct air capture (DAC) technologies. DAC technologies are expensive, though, making them inaccessible to smaller businesses.
Fortunately, some DAC manufacturers allow you to participate in their climate action plan. For example, they may let you subscribe for a low monthly price as a supporter. They then use your money to help fund their programs, including CDR strategies.
You may also want to join environmental movements involving tree restoration programs. Their goal is to plant trees with the help of the generous donations they receive.
Planting trees helps restore forests that act as biological carbon sequesters.
Remember: Trees take in carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis. This process, called carbon sequestration, removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Then, once sequestered, trees store the CO2 in their woody parts as long as they stand.
So, by “planting” trees, businesses can help boost the number of carbon sequesters. And the more trees there are, the more CO2 they can remove and store. That can ultimately help prevent global warming and climate change.
Help Prevent Global Warming With These Tips
As you learned in this guide, one way your business can help prevent global warming is to rely less on fossil fuels. You can do that by switching to renewable energy or, at the very least, reducing energy use and waste. Consuming fewer resources and recycling can also help.
So, why not implement these strategies as soon as possible? That way, your business can do its part in countering global warming.
For more environmental and business guides, check out our latest news and blog posts!