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There Really are Benefits from Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions!

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

You all know the story by now, and while we are increasingly personally and corporately affected by the ever increasing intensity and unpredictability of the weather, we are also getting weary of the endless blame games being bandied about, which consume a lot of media space, and cause us, well let’s be honest, confusion. But the simple fact is that it is proven beyond doubt that the changing weather is caused by what is called “ The Greenhouse Effect” and that in turn is caused by the emission of GHG emissions released primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, as well as landfills, agricultural systems, industrial and waste management processes, and more. All identified, all controllable – if we want to do so.



You all know the story by now, and while we are increasingly personally and corporately affected by the ever increasing intensity and unpredictability of the weather, we are also getting weary of the endless blame games being bandied about, which consume a lot of media space, and cause us, well let’s be honest, confusion. But the simple fact is that it is proven beyond doubt that the changing weather is caused by what is called “The Greenhouse Effect” and that in turn is caused by the emission of GHG emissions released primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, as well as landfills, agricultural systems, industrial and waste management processes, and more. All identified, all controllable – if we want to do so.


It is also increasingly understood that without concentrated effort towards greenhouse gas emission reduction, the world is not only in danger of suffering increased levels of damage, but suddenly needing to cope with an entirely new set of issues, entering the territory of climate disasters and constant risk to public safety. And you just need to turn on your TV now to see that this is already happening.


Of course, the environmental importance of curbing GHG emissions can’t be overstated, but the reality is that environmental protection is just one part of why businesses need to work to address this critical concern now. For one thing, compliance with increasingly focused and relevant regulations demands it, with the recent US SEC recommendations on Scope 3 reporting acting as a seismic shift in the industry ( ie. your responsibility for your suppliers behaviour as well!) For another, stakeholders are demanding these improvements as well, with customers, investors, and top-tier employee talent all signalling a clear preference for sustainability and a smaller ecological footprint. That seems to be just about everyone. So why isn’t it happening?



THE ACTUAL BENEFITS OF REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS


First, let’s start by making sure that we all understand the most obvious benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the effect it has on the world we all live in. Consciously reducing the emission of greenhouse gases during standard business processes impacts our global environment in many ways, including:


One: Air Quality

As temperatures rise and emissions increase both in volume and density, the Paris Agreement noted that air quality was certain to worsen, and it does! With the degradation of air quality comes decreased accessibility of outdoor spaces, and consequential damage to clean land and water, and we will be facing unprecedented challenges in trying to continue with personal and professional routines that have become our norm. Here in Indonesia it has become normal to accept high levels of urban air pollution, but when households, businesses, and people in general strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air quality will improve and result in an across-the-board increase in the health of our entire planet – from our bodies of water to our own internal bodily systems.


Two: Economic Growth

In conjunction with the improvement of public health, the global economy will also benefit from a cleaner environment through a reduction in GHG emissions. Clean, green energy is more appealing from an economic standpoint than ever before, with a 19-44% difference in price between new natural gas generation as opposed to new coal generation in the US. The reduction of electrical use within homes and businesses, longer-lasting electric and fuel-efficient vehicles and reduced waste from natural gas are only a few of the factors that will push the economy towards more tangible success than it has seen in recent years.


Not only will such investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions increase transparency with stakeholders, but they’ll also fulfil growing local, national and global laws and regulations, including Scope 3 legislation from the SEC in the United States, and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) in Europe.


Three: Slowed Climate Change

Finally, and arguably the most impactful aspect of greenhouse gas emission reduction is the overall

slowed climate change and environmentally beneficial practices that will be implemented. Climate change is the central cause of increased droughts, sea-level rise, drastic weather events, such as forest fires, and all the subsequent devastating effects of these events on humanity and our development in every sense. Reducing GHG emissions is the number one key to working towards a cleaner, greener, safer, and healthier society around the globe.


BUT DO COMPANIES ALSO BENEFIT?


So these are the “big picture” benefits, the tangible global, large-scale benefits, but companies will also benefit from the positive impacts of greenhouse gas emission reduction, making it a directly positive approach to take. The biggest benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions include:


Cost Savings


When it comes to cost savings, the simple reduction of energy usage both shrinks your

organizational carbon footprint and your operating expenses themselves. In 2016, Energy Star released a report – when Intelligent Energy Optimizers LLC (IEO) supplied LED lighting to replace the existing fluorescents and HIDs at KimberlyClark Berkley Mill, an investment of $350,000 by the owner resulted in annual savings of $160,000 with full ROI in just over one and a half years. There are even greater savings to be made here in Indonesia by making sure your whole air-conditioning system is state of the art, which can save many thousands of dollars a month!


Improved External Relations


Consumer spending power holds the ultimate sway in the process of influencing organizational actions. Visibly adopting the process of commitment to accountability in the arenas of broader sustainability as well as greenhouse gas emission reduction is a huge credibility boost in the eyes of the public. When your company takes direct actions towards reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas output, the causal increase in quality and depth of relationships with potential partners and external business connections is invaluable.


Improved Stakeholder Relations


Alongside the improved relationship with the buying public, the impact of transparent sustainability metrics and performance holds serious potential to deepen relationships with your stakeholders. More investors than ever before are diverting capital away from carbon-heavy, secretive companies, and turning towards those who chose to be open, proactive, and honest with their management of greenhouse gas emissions within the sustainability world, and beyond. Many organizations are now taking advantage of ESG software and solutions that are ideal for analyzing and changing company policies to match the environmental, social and governance demands.


Regulatory Compliance


With a 20-fold increase in the amount of global climate change laws since 1997, ensuring proactive regulatory compliance is more prevalent in the minds of organizational leadership, public spheres, and stakeholders than ever before – and it’s only rising in importance. Regulatory bodies and reporting frameworks such as GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), SASB Standards help organizations across the globe to stay transparent and take responsibility for their impacts on the planet. Implementing an effective strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as documenting and reporting on progress in that area, is a vital action for organizations to take in order to continue operations and reduce fines.



NOW WE HAVE TO FIND REAL WAYS TO REDUCE THOSE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS!


When it comes to the act of actually reducing these GHG emissions, there are several paths you can take – and the more angles you approach while working to solve the issue of effective greenhouse gas emission reduction, the more effective your final efforts will be.


Simply making an effort to decrease the amount of energy and supplies your organization is using during its daily operations will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of greenhouse gas emission reduction programs. You can install motion sensors to control lighting, reduce unnecessary paper waste, eliminate plasticware from your office, and encourage employees to work remotely to reduce overall energy consumption (although that does just shift the problem to your employee’s home!) . An energy treasure hunt is also an engaging way to encourage your employees to participate in workplace sustainability initiatives.


Clean Fuel Alternatives


With electric vehicles, innovations in solar energy, and countless more options available within the scope of moving away from fossil fuels and coal as primary sources of energy – as well as huge subsequent benefits when it comes to ROI and environmental protection – there’s really no downside to working towards using only clean fuel.


Have discussions with your sustainability team (you do have one don’t you?) and business leaders to learn how your business can invest in and implement cleaner energy sources.


Energy Efficiency


When the reduction of operating costs, as well as emission reduction, hinges on the simple act of investing in more energy-efficient equipment, the decision is simple. Committing to the installation of more energy-efficient systems throughout a company’s functioning areas, whether retail, production, warehouse or something entirely different, is the way to go.


Carbon Offsets


A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases made by someone else

probably somewhere else, to compensate for emissions made by your company. The money used to purchase these offsets is used to finance projects – forest preservation, energy efficiency efforts, and landfill methane capture – that would not have been built without that investment and funding. Some organisations do not recognise this as a legitimate way of reducing GHG emissions, since you are not doing it at source, but there is an overall beneficial effect for the planet so we include it here as a supplementary method, perhaps when the main ways have been exhausted. But we do need to beware of those organisations who simply buy tracts of forest – which do not need revitalisation – and claim them as carbon offsets. That is not correct.


Now that we have explored most of the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting the environment we live in, as well as pushing towards the next level of excellence within your company is more accessible than ever before. While efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions once were optional, now they’re pretty much mandatory everywhere, so don’t let the rest of the business world pass you by – invest in energyefficiency and sustainability efforts for your company and join the march towards greenhouse gas emission reduction today

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