Even if you have never read the Paris Agreement report, you’re likely to know that one of its main objectives is to avoid world temperature rise above 1,5 °C. The situation requires : achieving this goal is crucial, if we want to limit global warming consequences (natural disasters magnitude, for example).
Now : how to succeed ? In fact, we don’t deal with rocket science… It’s even simple : we need to reduce world greenhouse gas emissions (also called GHG).
Why ? As a reminder, the greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon, which aims at maintaining Earth temperature compatible with human life. However, the excess of greenhouse gas emissions - linked to human activities - accentuates this phenomenon, increasing world average temperature. Consequence? Terrestrial ecosystem is jeopardized.
Conclusion : let’s not waste time. To succeed in reducing carbon footprint, you first need to know how much carbon you produce as an individual or a company. That’s why GHG emissions scopes have been drafted. How do scopes 1, 2 and 3 work ? What do you need to know ? No panic : you don’t have to be a scientific expert. Greenly explains.
We’re gonna make it simple : at the beginning, you have an initiative, which is called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative. Briefly, it is a multi-stakeholder partnership of businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and others - met by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
Launched in 1998, its goal is to develop international greenhouse gas accounting and reporting standards. As well as to promote their adoption, of course. 😇
Inside this GHG Protocol Initiative, you find two separate standards:
To show companies how to quantify and report their GHG emissions, the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard provides them a step-by-step guide.
You see where we want to go ? Indeed, the guide classifies a company’s GHG emissions into ‘scopes’ : scopes 1, 2 and 3.
In practice, this classification is organized in this way :
You keep going ? Great.
Scope 1 deals with direct emissions released in the atmosphere by a set of companies activities. In other words, these greenhouse gas emissions come from company-owned and controlled resources.
These emissions are divided into four categories:
Scope 2 is related to indirect emissions, released by the consumption of purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling.
Most of the time, electricity is the unique source of scope 2 emissions. If the energy is used during transmissions and distribution, it is considered as scope 3 emissions.
With a little humor, it's the GHG emissions jackpot. 😱
Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions – not incorporated in scope 2 – produced by a value chain. Both upstream and downstream emissions are included. They are linked to the company’s operations.
In fact, scope 3 includes :
You’re still here ? That’s wonderful.
You think measuring your all 3 scopes emissions is time loss ? Only theory ? Unnecessarily painstaking ? Of course, you can. Anyway, be aware : measuring your all 3 scopes emissions can allow you to save and earn money. Amount of money. Literally. How ? By offering the opportunity to highlight and cut useless expenses, while making your model sustainable… Functionally and commercially - not to say “marketingly”.
You know Kraft Foods ? Certainly. This company reported that 90% of its greenhouse gas emissions were scope 3 included. In other words, most of its carbon footprint lies outside the heart of its activity. In fact, Kraft was able to reduce its carbon footprint by cutting useless expenses and developing the image of a brand in line with one of the biggest century’s challenges. Not that bad, isn’t it ? 😉
Just remember that carbon emissions are responsible for 81% of global GHG emissions. As businesses are mainly responsible for this figure, they also should seek to present a role model to the rest of the society. Beyond any ethical question, companies should remember too that individuals have never been so demanding for equity, sustainability, transparency and engagement. As more and more people claim their values and beliefs, brands have to do so, in order to gain and retain consumers and employees - especially younger of them. As well as potential partnerships, investors and fundings.
No, you are not dreaming : even sustainable finance is emerging. That is to say that businesses which follow the trend are now about to attract money, whereas others risk being blamed and boycotted. Worse : unable to subsist in a long term scenario, in a world where legislation progressively puts spokes in their wheel.
Let’s summarize ? Briefly, measuring your all 3 scopes emissions allows you to :
You believed that we were going to leave you without solutions ? That’s not Greenly spirit !
Greenly is committed to sustainable development. But we don’t just talk: we act and support all companies which aim at doing something for the environment. There is no small contribution: each effort counts. And yours will be welcome! Collective effort is the key to change. For this reason, we are now going to present 8 tips and ideas, so that you can start your journey toward an ethical and sustainable business model.
Is your motivation overwhelming? 🔥 Be careful, however, not to miss stages: before you start, don’t forget to realize your carbon assessment, in order to know your GHG emissions rate.
Your motivation is suddenly falling flat? 😶 No panic: Greenly handles the job. Better : elaborate personalized recommendations to your company. Contact our dream team.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. That’s the three R’s rule. The one which must become your guideline, when you’re looking at optimizing your business model. No exception: each department is concerned : sales, logistics, marketing, finance… Again : no exception. What can be reduced, reused, or recycled in all these services? There must be something - even a little thing, we don’t care. Do not forget : your bottom line will benefit too. 💰
Energy market has evolved : there have never been so many green energy providers. Don’t waste time: start now your switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies. In fact, their use is likely to develop and last. Sooner or later, everybody will have to jump on the bandwagon… It’d be a shame to be the last to chase it, right? 🐌
Let’s be clear: even if you turn your company into a sustainable development pioneer, you certainly won’t be able to eradicate all your CO2 emissions. That’s normal : even the so-called "green" levers emit CO2. The idea is only to reduce these emissions to the maximum... Or, failing that, to compensate them. For this reason, we advise you to inquire about carbon offsets (or “carbon offsetting”) to fill in these potential gaps. ✌
Have you ever thought of your web hosting? By definition, it is intangible - and often outsourced. So, we easily forget it. However, it is an absolutely significant source of energy consumption. Be aware : if your servers are externally hosted, energy costs that are related to them might neighbour stratospheric levels. Fortunately, new solutions are now available, combining energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and carbon offsets. Shortly : do not hesitate to start switching. 💫
In many companies, travel is one of the most important carbon emissions points. Indeed, it is often part of the business functioning. Should we conclude that it is impossible to reduce the emissions associated with it ? Of course not. After measuring your carbon footprint, you can easily identify the most consuming means of transport. Then, think about alternative choices (traveling by train when possible, for example). In the same way, also reflect about your accommodations - some certifications now allow you to target establishments which are environmentally sustainable. Finally, if you cannot avoid some consuming transportation means, try to offset your carbon emissions. 💨
Employees’ commutes are part of your carbon footprint. Do not forget it. Have you ever tried to figure out the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by your employees' daily journey to work ? If not, try the experiment: the results are likely to be staggering. 😵 In this context, one of the first measures you can take to reduce your carbon emissions is to support your employees in changing their habits. How ? For example, by :
To say the least, ecology is no longer reserved to scientists. With the media coverage of the issues we are facing in a near future - imminent, really - many individuals and organizations want to react, in order to tackle global warming. In this context, many projects have emerged from all sides... A perfect opportunity for any company to show its support for sustainable development, while taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concretely: do not hesitate to inquire about environmental projects currently on track. Projects to which you could provide financial or material support, for example. 💚
Finally, be aware that one key to success is communicating. One advice : involve your employees or your partners in your sustainable actions. Communicate, inform, explain and federate. Your actions are a thousand times more likely to show convincing results, if people who implement them and contribute to them are motivated by these changes. Don’t worry: you don’t need to become a global warming specialist. Make simple observations after completing your carbon footprint. Then, present the solutions developed to reduce your emissions. Climate change is a collective problem: you can bet that your approach will catch your employees’ attention, if you show them the real benefit of your initiative. 🌱
Sustainable development is Chinese language ? You need help getting started? Just ask our teams. Greenly helps companies to simply measure, reduce and offset their greenhouse gases.