In a recent NUS survey, 90% of students said they were concerned about climate change (about 10 percentage points higher than the population as a whole). Students, and young people in general, are naturally more anxious about the climate crisis - the impacts of a destabilising environment will only become more acute over their lifetimes.
UK farms produce about 10% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions (due to cows, fertilisers, heavy machinery... and the fact that 71% of the UK is farmland) and pressure is mounting to address this, if we’re to meet our climate change mitigation ambitions.
When we browse websites or store information in the cloud, we’re not just outsourcing computing power, we’re outsourcing the emissions needed to run the internet. Data centres pick up the slack. They consume more than 2% of electricity worldwide and collectively have the same emissions as the airline industry. With global data traffic doubling every four years, this is likely to increase - adding even more to the strain on the climate.
While climate science is alarming (suggesting just 10 years left to limit warming below the dangerous 1.5 degree level), it presents an opportunity for businesses to step up where governments have made little progress. Sustainability can give your company an edge and set you apart as a leader in your industry.
You may see it as a moral urge to reduce your business carbon footprint. Or perhaps it’s the long term financial savings that appeal. Either way, it makes sense to be a step ahead of future regulations which are likely to penalise polluters.
According to a Nielsen survey, 81% of customers think it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important that companies act to improve the environment - so there’s a great commercial imperative to engage in climate action too.
But where do you start? We’ve broken down the question of how to reduce your company’s carbon footprint into five key topics to help you create an actionable plan.