We don’t do inertia at The Planet Mark™. Like other organisations in our field, we balance awareness of the big issues with practical steps to make a positive difference. What we also add is a dose of urgency and a sprinkling of uplifting fun to help encourage us all to do more, faster.
For anyone with an eye on the future (be it loved ones, a love for the planet, self-preservation or simply wanting to do the right thing), 2018 is another rallying call to work harder and better at reducing carbon emissions.
The heatwaves this summer and their affects, from drought to wildfires, have reminded many that 2018 is on target to be the 4th hottest since records began. 2018 will make it 17 of the hottest years on record since 2000, with only outlier being 1998 when there was a record El Nino.
Global average surface temperature is increasing as we continue to emit carbon emissions and its effects are now being felt by all of us, around the world. Whilst some business owners are buckling under the heat, many more are turning to us and asking how do we do our bit to tackle climate change?
The answer can be narrowed into three opportunities to make a difference:
- Make your business operations more efficient and lower carbon
Understanding the impacts of your business is the essential first step because you can then focus on where you can do better. The Planet Mark Start! programme, which is free to many start-ups and small businesses in Bristol and the local area, helps you immediately identify your impacts and set actions and targets to improve them. If possible, start measuring your carbon emissions (see our guide), and you can quantify and report your carbon savings and your contribution to tackling climate change.
- Choose suppliers who are committed to sustainability
Who you work with says much about your business and sustainability offers an opportunity to collaborate to create better products and services. Ask your suppliers if they measure and reduce their carbon emissions and how they can help you do the same. You are unlikely to be the first to ask and most suppliers are keen to help and make relationships stickier. It can be a great way to reduce carbon in your value chain.
- Explore opportunities to innovate to reduce carbon emissions in your products and services
Perhaps the biggest ticket item is how you can innovate to reduce carbon in your products and services. How can you make a product that is not only low carbon but can also deliver carbon saving for others? Typically, this is best done once you have steps 1 and 2 underway, i.e. you understand your impacts and are engaging your supply chain as it can only be done in collaboration. And this is where opportunity can exist and is especially exciting for environmental entrepreneurs.
Our trajectory is for a warming planet. How warm depends upon us. It is a time for the brave, who won’t buckle under the heat, who won’t give in to inertia but will work together to create a better way of living. But the question for many is, not what can we do, but how to start doing something positive?
World Weather Attribution (WWA) research revealed that our extreme summer weather has been made twice as likely as a result of man-made climate change. “What was once regarded as unusually warm weather will become commonplace, and in some cases, it already has. This is something that society can and should prepare for,” said Friederike Otto, at the University of Oxford and part of the WWA consortium
Whilst this is true, at The Planet Mark™ and YENA we believe that we can do something to turn down the wick of our supper-heated summers and provide a balm to our scorched Earth.
We want to play our part in stimulating the Innovation and the power of our ingenuity to create positive change and solutions.