How can businesses supercharge net zero plans after COP26?

In 2019, the UK government became the first major economy to set a legally binding target to be “net zero” by 2050. Since then, the term has become something we’re all familiar with. But what does it actually mean?

To put it simply, net zero refers to a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) produced and removed from the atmosphere. It’s critical to climate change because, for CO2 at least, the evidence suggests this is the point at which global warming stops. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that achieving global net zero by mid-century was the key topic of discussion at the COP26 summit earlier this month.

If you feel overwhelmed by the global challenge of meeting net zero targets, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. But, by breaking this down into manageable steps, you can start to make small changes that together can have a big impact.

We’ve pulled together a few simple tips to inspire you to take actions that will help your business to supercharge its net zero plans and contribute to making the world a more sustainable place.

1) Measure environmental impact and identify areas for improvement

As the old saying goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The first step for businesses wanting to achieve net zero, is to measure impact and spot the activities causing the most damage to the environment.

Once you’ve identified the causes, use this information to set ambitious but realistic targets and start your journey to reducing your environmental impact

2) Focus on reducing all types of waste

Wasted energy, materials, food, and water have a significant impact on the environment and ultimately cost businesses money. Focussing on reducing all types of waste is critical.

Two simple but practical ways to reduce waste include cutting down on unnecessary printing and making sure all equipment is turned off overnight.

For larger assets, use the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ waste hierarchy to help categorise your equipment and understand how they can be managed to reduce waste, promote reuse and advance the circular economy.

At Ramco, we help organisations make more of equipment that’s no longer needed by giving surplus assets a new lease of life. It promotes reuse, reduces waste and generates funds to reinvest in essential services. If you need guidance on managing surplus assets, contact a member of our team.

3) Switch to sustainable transport

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, so making the transition to electric vehicles now is a great way to make a head start before the policies come into place.

Although the cost of an electric vehicle (EV) can be more than conventional cars, EV’s have lower maintenance costs, road tax and fuel cost per mile.

However, EV’s aren’t the only sustainable transport options. Encouraging your team to walk, cycle, car share or use public transport is a great way to reduce environmental impact too.

4) Reinvest cost-savings into sustainable operations

Conduct annual reviews to find out how much you’ve spent on energy, materials, disposal, and water. Then, introduce low or no-cost actions such as switching off equipment after hours, reducing printing or cutting down on unnecessary waste.

Keep track of your savings and reinvest these funds into more sustainable technologies such as LED lights or solar panels. Repeat this process each year to ensure you keep up to date with the latest innovations and continue to reduce your environmental impact.

5) Make your environmental ambitions known

If your business is starting to implement ambitious net zero goals after COP26, you need accountability. Going public with your climate goals is a great way to build the accountability needed to drive change.

Add an environmental policy statement to your website and release content that reflects this. Doing this will help you home in on what you’re trying to achieve and make it easier to review progress.

Businesses have the opportunity to play a vital role in raising awareness of environmental issues with their employees, consumers, clients, and other stakeholders.

Organising in-house environmental contests and initiatives or launching campaigns to spread the word about the importance of environmental issues can help to create a ground for best practice that inspires others to do their bit too.

About Ramco

At Ramco, our mission is to give every surplus asset a new lease of life. For years, we’ve been helping organisations make more of equipment that’s no longer needed. It’s better for the environment, reduces disposal costs and generates funds to reinvest in essential services.

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Call: 07483 016871