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Tips to reduce carbon emissions for organisations

EmissionsAware™ Organisations

Ultimately every organisation should attempt to cut unnecessary energy consumption. But this doesn’t happen overnight. To ensure your emissions reduction plans are successful involves careful planning and commitment. It requires a change in corporate policy and behaviour. Your organisation needs to be emissions aware. Every organisation needs to control carbon emissions.

It is possible for an organisation to reduce fossil-fuel-energy demands and continue to grow and expand. The ease of reducing carbon emissions depends on the complexity of your organisation. For some, following a few tips may result in large energy demand reductions; for the more serious, your organisation could reduce its energy demands by up to 50 percent. Larger and more complex organisations will require an assessment of current carbon emissions and a long-term plan to reduce them. Contact us to help guide you.

With this knowledge you are on the road to helping stop damaging climate change. The first step in reducing carbon emissions is to measure the emissions you generate today. Knowing where your carbon emissions come from allows for a plan to reduce the emissions through improving and changing your behaviour. Over time you can monitor the improvements in carbon emissions. An assessment of carbon emissions can be as complex as you require.

As a simple example, you can decrease your carbon emissions in the office by being thoughtful about what you leave turned on and better managing your paper waste. Recycling reduces the carbon emissions from producing, collecting and disposing of the waste.

Of course, because electricity makes up such a large part of any professional services organisation, changing a percentage of your electricity to green energy will reduce the carbon emissions produced from carbon- intense power sources.

Following are some simple ways you can change your behaviour and reduce you emissions.

Lighting

  • Switching to compact fluorescent lighting or high-efficiency lighting can cut your electricity bills by up to 75 per cent
  • Use only the lights you need
  • Switch off the lights when they are not needed

Air conditioning

  • Replacing air conditioners that are more than 10 years old can reduce your energy cost for cooling by up to 40 per cent
  • Fixing leaks in compressed air systems can cut your electricity use for that machine by up to 50 per cent

Travel

  • Travel smart, cut down on long-distance travel
  • Help with carpools by starting a carpooling scheme
  • Consider public transport instead of driving
  • Consider walking short trips
  • Favour video conferencing
  • Opt for the green electricity tariff from your power provider

Computers

  • Switch off the computer whenever possible. Studies show that for many organisations the biggest power consumption demand comes from employees’ personal workstations. Most computers can be configured to switch off the screen and hard drive after a certain amount of idle time.
  • Avoid using screensavers – they use unnecessary energy
  • Consider upgrading your PC rather than buying new
  • Choose low-energy-consumption screen monitors – flat monitors can require up to two thirds less energy than an old TV style CRT
  • If you are buying a new computer, consider buying a laptop as they are designed to be energy efficient
  • Consider reducing the number of servers needed to run your IT operations. Server rooms use enormous amounts of energy to run the computers and to cool the processors. In a study conducted by the Australian Computer Society the carbon emissions of Australian business IT usage were 7.94 million tonnes (which is greater than the carbon emissions from Australian domestic civil aviation)

Vending machines

  • Turn off vending machines when possible (for example at the end of the day)
  • Minimize waste – when choosing a drinks machine, make sure ordinary cups and glasses can be used to reduce waste
  • Ask for the most energy-efficient and best insulated vending machine with no unnecessary lighting

Fax machines

  • if you have more than one fax machine, divert messages to one at night and turn off the others to reduce running cost
  • check standby energy consumption
  • Set the default print quality to draft
  • Consider using an inkjet rather than a laser fax as they use less energy

Photocopiers

  • Photocopy in batches – it takes energy for a photocopier to warm up
  • Set the default to duplex – or consider printing on the back of old pages
  • buy low spec machines if possible as they do offer all you need and are cheaper to run
  • Set the printer to standby at all times

Fittings

  • Save on lighting and use natural light if possible
  • Ensure your work area is properly insulated. Insulation can reduce heating and cooling needs
  • Use blinds for better insulation

Eating Habits

  • Bring lunch to work in a lunchbox or
  • Eat out at a café to avoid packaging waste from takeaway lunches
  • Take your own mug when you go to get a coffee and
  • Have some extra mugs set aside for visitors

Recycling facts:

Recycling one tonne of paper or cardboard saves:

  • approximately 13 trees
  • 2.5 barrels of oil
  • 4100 kWh | 14,760 MJ | 140 therms, of electricity
  • That’s 2.51 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in electricity (using an average carbon emission factor)
  • 4 cubic meters | 141.2 cubic feet, of landfill
  • 31,780 litres | 8395 gallons, of water

Recycling also bring financial savings

  • Recycling office paper reduces the amount of waste disposal collections needed and therefore reduces cost
  • In some cases 70% of office waste can be office paper; so the savings are potentially significant
  • Recycling reduces the amount of resources going to landfill

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