Planet Mark, the sustainability certification, has created a series of free toolkits to help any size of business start on their sustainability journey.
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The toolkits are designed to help organisations take the first steps in measuring the carbon emissions associated with five key areas:
Without a rigorous waste strategy, many items can unnecessarily end up in landfill. Businesses are increasingly embarking on zero-waste-to-landfill targets, with an aim of streamlining a number of business processes to meet this goal.
Although every business is unique, and the waste profile of each business will vary depending on industry, location, and working style, there are some benchmarks which can be used for typical office spaces and Planet Mark details how you can measure and understand your waste emissions.
For the majority of businesses, water usage isn’t a major contributor to their overall carbon footprint. However, the process of heating water has an impact on carbon emissions. Furthermore, appliances and systems that are water wasteful may also prove to be wasteful in other ways. Water and sewage treatment also result in direct emissions of two greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide.
Planet Mark argues that every business will benefit economically from taking simple water efficiency measures, and could save up to half on the business’ annual water bill. In manufacturing, this can be much higher, with water bills accounting for over one per cent of turnover.
The modern technological revolution means that businesses are consuming more electricity than ever before. Smart devices and increased electrification has seen global demand for energy skyrocket. How organisations create and consume energy is at the centre of how we manage climate change.
Picture: a graphic showing a person and the words: "An estimated 77% of organisations say energy is now their biggest business risk. 82% believe the government needs to do more to protect businesses from wholesale market volatility." Image Credit: Planet Mark
Businesses and organisations are also beginning to understand the many benefits of measuring and reducing their energy output, and these benefits are felt even more acutely in the current volatile market for energy.
The effects of fuel shortages are already impacting prices. Businesses and organisations with lower energy use will be future-fit and more resilient to price fluctuations. This guide acts as a step by-step approach to measuring and reducing your energy emissions in the most responsible way.
From ensuring that the working conditions of its suppliers’ employees are decent, to sourcing products that are sustainable, to addressing socio-economic issues such as inequality and poverty – sustainable procurement plays a key role in all these elements.
Picture: a graphic showing a cardboard box and the words: "Did you know? 50% of a company's expenses often come from the acquisition of goods and services? Image Credit: Planet Mark
Acquisition of goods and services may account for over 50 per cent of a company’s expenses and may exceed 80 per cent in sectors such as retailing, electronic and automotive industries. What an organisation buys, who it buys from, and how it uses the goods and services once bought, can have a huge influence on everything from performance and employee well-being to reputation and stakeholder relations. For this reason, the private sector has a great ability to influence markets, playing a key role in social responsibility and helping integrate it at the governance level.
This toolkit will be useful and relevant to Procurement Managers, Facilities Managers, Office Managers, Operations Managers, and the Finance Team of businesses and organisations.
As businesses, we have a huge part to play in reducing emissions from travel. Measuring your travel output is a critical first step in any sustainable travel policy.
The aviation industry alone contributes around 2.4 per cent of global CO2 emissions. On a national level, transport produced 27 per cent of the UK’s total emissions in 2019, and in total, business travellers from the UK took approximately 8.98 million business trips abroad in 2019.
This toolkit provides the building blocks to travel measurement and reduction best practices.
To find out more about how to access these free toolkits, click here.
Picture: a photograph of a waste paper basket with screwed up pieces of paper shown on the floor nearby. Image Credit: Pexels
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 September 2022
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