Specific regulation such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, increasing transparency around reporting on carbon emissions as well as expectations from stakeholders and customers mean UK businesses are increasingly looking at how they can manage and reduce their carbon footprint. Simone Looi-Britton from Veolia Environmental Services (winner of the 2012 Climate Change Award in BITC's recent Awards for Excellence) hosted a round table discussion at BITC’s Environment Knowledge Swap event, focusing on carbon measurement and reduction. Simone had the following advice for businesses trying to reduce their carbon emissions:
“Often global environmental issues can seem too overwhelming or too big of an issue, which leaves individuals feeling powerless to act. The importance of context shouldn’t be understated - putting the challenge in the right language and making improvements in the areas that we can influence.
My top five key practical actions in terms of how to improve your company’s carbon measurement and reduction include:
1) Ensure correct level leadership and governance of carbon issues
2) Have good data so that you have confidence in the information
3) Make the data visible and relevant and link to other key business metrics, e.g. financial data
4) Make carbon communications relevant to your audience to enable understanding and engagement – give them tools to enable them to effect change in their area of responsibility.
5) Set goals, and if your context permits, inject a bit of competition with performance league tables, as well as incentives and seek external accreditation by organisations that recognise improvement eg the Carbon Trust.
Finally, remember that carbon efficiency is a rapidly changing sector where ‘best practice’ is constantly evolving – every business can improve!”
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