Submitted by Cool Effect
As concern over climate rises, companies are stepping up at unprecedented rates and taking measurable action to reduce carbon emissions. According to a survey conducted by Cool Effect, a Bay Area based nonprofit dedicated to supporting projects around the globe that reduce carbon emissions, 67% of businesses ranked sustainability as a top 3 priority in 2021. But often, businesses don’t know where to start and how to ensure their actions have true impact.
Cool Effect’s VP, Director of Marketing & Partnerships, Jodi Manning, receives this question almost daily in conversations with existing and potential partners. “Organizations often approach us looking for direction and insight on where to begin in addressing the environmental impact of their business. ‘Sustainability’ as a whole is an incredibly complex topic. We want to make this much more approachable, actionable and measurable for businesses, so that we can see real action for the planet.”
Regardless of the size, structure, or current footprint of a business, getting started with sustainability looks very similar. Cool Effect has compiled years of knowledge and experience ensuring that businesses have the information, tools and resources needed to get started.
Step 1: Calculating A Company’s Carbon Footprint
The first step involves calculating a company’s carbon footprint. To do this, an organization should understand the impact of all aspects of its business on its emissions - from business trips to the amount of paper used each day. For a little insight into how most companies do this, large companies divide their emissions into three categories: Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.
Some businesses can be overwhelmed by the creation of their carbon footprint. Determine the best approach based on the size of the businesses and the business’ requirements for public reporting. If you're a business of less than 500 employees, use Cool Effect’s calculator for an easy and accurate accounting of the emissions of your business operations. If you're a large business needing to issue a sustainability report or provide public carbon accounting, you may want to consider a consultant.
Step 2: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of a Business
Once an organization has a handle on its emissions data, it can begin to determine the major sources of its carbon, and where it might be able to make adjustments to its business model or operations in order to reduce environmental impact.
There are a number of easy swaps that businesses can make, and these will vary based on the size and scope of a business, but below are some places to start:
One of the key principles behind Cool Effect is that every action, no matter how small, has the potential to make a tremendous impact, and Cool Effect encourages businesses to incorporate changes like those listed above into their overall path to sustainability.
Step 3: Investing in High Quality Carbon Offsets
As a final step, businesses can support high-quality carbon reduction projects in order to offset what cannot be reduced. This is always the final phase in addressing carbon emissions, after a business or organization has taken all of the steps necessary to reduce what it can.
Cool Effect partners with a range of businesses who have incorporated offsets into the business model in a number of different ways, including Ana Luisa, Crunchbase, Mate the Label, Nuun and TUSHY, to name a few. Check out below for some insight and inspiration into how these organizations are addressing their carbon emissions and leaving a lighter footprint on the planet.
"Assessing the impact of our operations on the planet and taking accountability for emissions has been a key pillar for our brand since day one. It's been a challenging but incredibly rewarding journey," noted Ana Luisa Co-Founder and CEO David Benayoun. "We're grateful for continued access to valuable resources through Cool Effect that allow us to showcase our commitment and inspire real change. We encourage businesses at all stages of their sustainability journey to join the fight."
Since its inception in 2015, Cool Effect has worked with hundreds of businesses of all shapes and sizes to address their sustainability goals, making a tangible and measurable impact in the fight against climate change with nearly 3.5 million tonnes of carbon reduced to date.
To learn more about how to partner with Cool Effect to develop a meaningful sustainability and carbon offset program, please visit cooleffect.org/for-business.
Cool Effect is a San Francisco Bay Area 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to reducing carbon emissions around the world by allowing individuals, businesses, organizations and universities to create a tangible impact on climate change by funding the highest quality carbon reduction projects that are verifiably and measurably reducing global warming emissions. The organization was founded by Dee and Richard Lawrence on their passionate belief that support of carbon offset projects will create a cumulative effect that will reduce and prevent carbon pollution. Like the Butterfly Effect, The Ripple Effect, and others, a single action can have global impact.
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