So the present recommended advice for all businesses is to first find ways to reduce their energy consumption, invest in renewable energy and then after all options have been explored, then buy carbon offsets.
Although major companies seem to IGNORE this advice with all these companies investing in carbon offsets.
This is what all businesses are told to do and unfortunately it is a FLAWED strategy that has resulted in 100,000’s tonnes of additional carbon emissions that should have been saved still going every year into out atmosphere.
In the UK we have approximately 5.6 million businesses and the vast majority are classified as smaller to medium sized and for them this strategy is flawed and will never work. So let’s consider the following facts in order to understand the problem :
5.6m UK businesses - mostly smaller to medium in sized
30% of all UK carbon emissions come from these businesses
Only 3% of all these businesses have considered how they can reduce carbon emissions
Which means 97% of all UK businesses have done nothing. Why?
Think about for just one second.
97% of all businesses have done nothing, zero, zilch when at the same time :
COP26 in Glasgow had nearly 200 countries around the world saying we had a major problem
Politicians are saying we must take action
Experts are saying we are close to the 1.5 degree increase tipping point
And then we are seeing crazy unpredictable weather in the UK and around the world that is all attributed to climate change. Yet most of the companies who are responsible for 30% of all carbon emissions are lethargic and taking no action.
So the question is ‘why?’
And then where is all the help from the UK government to support these companies reduce their carbon emissions, whether that be financial or from direct advice to use innovative products or ideas?
Especially, as the UK government can with a wave of its magic wand give billions of pounds of aid to the likes of Ukraine. Or even send a private jet to collect the prime minister from a holiday in Cornwall and take him home.
Back on topic, the question still stands as to why smaller businesses are so unwilling and so unmotivated to take the recommended action to reduce their emissions. The truth is that these businesses find it both expensive and difficult to reduce their emissions for a number of reasons.
Here are the four areas that businesses can focus on to reduce carbon, but each comes with a larger inherent problem that derails its implementation :
AREA 1 : Solar PV
Works amazing well with attractive paybacks and some carbon reductions
However most businesses are in leased buildings where landlord approval is required, which can be difficult as the tenant has to accept any damage cause to the roof and any water ingress.
Furthermore, why invest in a technology where the payback is longer than the lease period?
Many roofs are unsuitable too.
AREA 2 : Air Source Heat Pumps
Why would any businesses invest in technology with a high capital expense that will increase their energy costs?
The exception being electrically heated buildings, where the financial modelling can be justified
Even then, why invest if the payback period is longer than the lease period?
The big benefit being the amount of carbon reductions emissions, but these will never be achieved if the financial modelling is unjustified
AREA 3 : Fabric Improvements
Again a sensible suggestion and there are innovative products to reduce heat loss from badly insulated windows and doors
However, carbon savings are minimal
AREA 4 : Electrical Vehicles
Attributed as the way forward but there are still issues
Many businesses are unable to charge vehicles
Many businesses are experiencing excessive grid connection charges making the decision to go electric too expensive
Each business must be either able to meet the large capital expense of buying vehicles or the extra monthly expense of leasing them. This is extremely difficult is todays economic climate.
With electricity prices continuing to rise, which may be at faster rates that fuel, there is the uncertainty over future running costs too.
So it suddenly becomes clear why smaller businesses simply have no motivation to reduce their carbon emissions. You can also add to the list of issues two other areas :
No clear guidance how to reduce carbon
No recognition on the success they achieve when reducing carbon
This demonstrates the advice to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible before considering offsetting as FLAWED. To throw more oil on the fire, major companies will use carbon offsetting as part of their strategy to become ZERO carbon as opposed to the final step. We see this on TV with adverts from EasyJet and as part of a common strategy with other companies including google, Amazon, Tesco, Aldi, Ford, Shell, Mitsubishi just to name a few.
Let’s reverse present thinking.
Let’s find a way to motivate smaller businesses to become carbon reduction CHAMPIONS.
Let’s give those smaller businesses a chance to increase their profits from green recognition from new and exiting customers.
Let’s remember 81% of customers prefer shopping with sustainable companies (SmartestEnergy)
And that green businesses make 18% more profit than there non green competitors (The Guardian)
Reverse the thinking and here is how :
Stage 1 : ANALYSIS the businesses carbon emissions
Stage 2 : OFFSET carbon emissions to ZERO
Stage 3 : LEARN how to reduce energy saving both money and more carbon
This strategy works especially well, when these green sustainable businesses receive the recognition for the carbon savings achieved. It is this recognition that attracts both new customers and increases the retention of existing customers. The end results for the business is increased income and therefore profit.
And it is worth remembering that each of these companies have invested money into carbon credits, so they have made a financial commitment to help save this Planet too. This must be recognised and publicised.
Do the opposite of the present thinking and 100,000’s of tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved. And this will be achieved from businesses who previously TOOK NO ACTION !!!
It is really that simple.