12 climate change solutions for businesses to explore

Climate change is a reality and one with frightening consequences if left unchecked. In 2021, the UN declared a “code red for humanity” in its climate report, indicating that human actions have accelerated climate change to the point where it can no longer be reversed.

The long-term effects, however, can be mitigated if people and companies worldwide commit to serious corrective action. Here are 12 climate change solutions businesses like yours can follow today to fight climate change effectively:

1. Choose the right suppliers and drive sustainability in supply chains

A company’s environmental impact also extends to its upstream and downstream partners. This matters if your business wants to get certifications like GRI or B Corp. You should thus ensure your suppliers adopt fair labour and waste disposal practices and change over to more sustainable suppliers if necessary.

Similarly, businesses with large cash reserves and extensive influence can actively help their suppliers become more environmentally friendly. For instance, they could pay a premium upfront to suppliers who commit to adopting sustainable practices and also provide the necessary financial assistance.

Suppliers are also keen on keeping relations with the company and are aware that more and more customers want environmentally-friendly goods. They will, therefore, be ready to go along with such climate change solutions.

2. Engage employees to contribute to planet conservation

Taking a ground-up approach to energy saving can lead to new ideas and more consistent results. Part of this involves educating your employees on the need for carbon efficiency and daily actions they can take, but for more active engagement, you can take a leaf out of GE’s book and organise ‘treasure hunts’ that encourage employees to examine the company’s facilities for suggestions on energy efficiency and rewarding them for participation and innovation.

3. Have better workplace waste disposal methods

Waste generation also affects the climate in a big way, especially when unsustainable methods of waste disposal are resorted to. You can reduce waste by using eco-friendly/biodegradable materials, replacing coffee pods with coffee grinds, replacing disposable kitchenware with proper crockery, and so on. Also, install proper recycling bins across the workplace, so your employees know how to dispose of dry and wet waste.

4. Encourage diverse ideas at the workplace

The private sector is ideally positioned to experiment and come up with new ideas for things like renewable energy and waste management. You can support that by creating an open-door culture where any employee can make suggestions about sustainable practices and be assured of an audience.

A big part of this involves investing in diverse workforces, especially at the decision-making level. The more diversity there is in terms of gender, age and background, the more likely it is that all voices will be heard.

5. Switch to eco-friendly ways of working

Daily practices that reduce environmental impact without hindering productivity exist in plenty. Remote working, for instance, cuts down on emissions due to travel as well as the carbon footprint of maintaining an office space. Choosing green-certified computers and devices is also one of the positive climate change solutions, as is reducing the amount of daily paperwork.

6. Support climate change initiatives

Multiple companies are fighting against climate change, many of which need support with resources. You can invest in these businesses and actively campaign alongside them too. Much of the onus lies with governments to implement strict laws against activities that harm the environment. Especially those with vast influence can play a big part in demanding accountability and the right environmental regulations.

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7. Analyse and reduce carbon footprint

A company’s carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide released directly and indirectly due to its operations. Your business needs to know exactly what its carbon footprint looks like, with the help of an external audit, and then set a timeline with clear and aggressive goals to cut down carbon emissions at your establishment.

8. Invest in greener infrastructures

Today, many sustainable energy options are available for use at an organisational scale. Governments are also subsidising the use of clean energy, and investors and consumers also care about the climate impact a company is having. Understand the climate change solutions you can avail, identify the changes you can concretely make and then set aside a budget and timelines for making investments.

9. Cultivate a zero-waste approach

This is less about the literal reduction of waste (although that is important too, obviously) and more about prioritising one’s time and resources. No company can adopt all the suggestions listed here in one go. Instead, they can start by choosing activities that use their resources and time most efficiently while eliminating the practices that are obviously harmful and not reaping any rewards for the efforts put in.

10. Cut down on energy consumption

In addition to the transition to green energy, there are daily actions every business can take to reduce energy usage. Switching off lights and fans after use, turning down heating/cooling systems and tweaking daily processes to reduce electricity usage can all add up in a big way for your company.

11. Optimise employee commutes

CO2 emissions can be brought down in a big way if people drive less. Your business can invest in eco-friendly commutes by offering discounts on public transit fares, organising carpool sign-ups and incentivising those who walk/bicycle.

12. Invest in biodiversity

Businesses can invest resources into activities like forest conservation and reforestation, such as planting one tree for every product sold or protecting one acre of forest land for every team member. Employees can also be roped into activities like tree planting as a fun team-builder.

Over to you

In conclusion, things are undoubtedly grim on the climate front, but with purposeful collective action, things can improve. Companies have the power to influence consumers and governments to take positive steps by committing to operating sustainably.

We owe it to ourselves and future generations to fight climate change – and if businesses embrace that responsibility, it is still not too late to fix things. Small steps can lead to a big change in the fight against climate change. Check out how Waste2ES is contributing: https://waste2es.com/why-us/

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