How to Reduce Carbon Emissions in your Business*
The commercial industry can go a long way to help the United States bring down
its emissions. This section of EPA's Climate Change site provides examples of
the contributions businesses have made towards reducing U.S. emissions; how
to educate their industry, consumers, and employees about global warming; and
what further steps can be taken to further "lead by example."
Businesses can take a lead role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution
by implementing actions that save money, improve productivity, protect the
environment and increase the nation's energy security. Leading companies that
develop a comprehensive greenhouse gas management strategy and pursue energy
efficiency and pollution prevention stand to gain a competitive edge over
firms that fail to make these changes.
An increasing number of private firms now see significant opportunities in
addressing climate change. Thousands of companies are profiting from energy
efficiency improvements in their facilities and operations. Thousands more
are positioning themselves to be ready for new markets in energy-efficient
products and renewable energy technologies.
Industrial and commercial energy use accounts for nearly 30% of total U.S. greenhouse
gas emissions. These emissions primarily result from electricity use, product
transportation, burning fossil fuels to power boilers and produce steam, and
using gasoline to power vehicle fleets. Some industrial processes also
produce greenhouse gases.
Below are specific actions that businesses can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also saving money.
Manage and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Leading businesses are taking steps to understand and manage their greenhouse gas
emissions by preparing annual greenhouse gas inventories and setting
long-term targets to reduce emissions. EPA's Climate Leaders program provides
technical assistance and recognition to U.S. companies that have joined this program.
Business representatives can educate themselves, their customers and their suppliers
on the possible effects of future climate change. Additional and active information
sharing will expand the base of ideas, opportunities and solutions for everyone.
Improve Energy Efficiency
Improving energy efficiency not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere,
it is good for a corporation’s bottom line, as many U.S. businesses face rising energy costs.
Developing and implementing an effective corporate energy management program allows companies to manage
energy with the same expertise used to manage other aspects of their business. ENERGY
STAR offers tools and resources to help organizations improve their energy performance.
ENERGY STAR's flagship tool, Portfolio Manager, helps companies establish the current
energy use of their buildings, and determine reasonable energy savings goals.
ENERGY STAR also has resources for Small Businesses.
Buy Renewable Energy
Purchasing or investing in clean energy technologies (wind, solar, biomass, small hydro and co-generation)
can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. Some companies have installed solar panels
on their roofs and constructed wind farms to meet their electricity needs. As these alternative
energy sources become more popular, they can address both the environmental
and economic concerns of any business entity.
Lead By Example
Leading businesses and corporations are evaluated on many aspects of their
performance, including product quality, ethics or standing in the community.
These leaders can provide a powerful example promoting greenhouse gas
reduction strategies through corporate incentives such as financial
assistance for employees who use public transportation, car-pooling and even
telecommuting. Other "green" practices such as recycling and
purchasing recycled materials also contribute to emissions reductions.
Corporate policies involving employees and day-to-day operations can have a
positive impact on the climate in and outside the office.
* Adapted from EPA
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