Reports on the activities of some of the world’s largest companies show that commercial interests are driving carbon reduction plans. The 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project Global 500 report found that the majority have climate change action plans embedded in their overall business strategy.
The report shows that 68% have climate change at the heart of business strategies and 45% have reduced greenhouse gas emissions resulting from reduction activities. Of these activities, which included energy efficiency projects, low carbon energy installations and staff behavioural change, over half stated a return on investment in three years or less. Employee incentives to reduce carbon emissions are found in 65% of companies.
The findings also demonstrated a correlation between higher stock market performance over a period of time.
These findings demonstrate the importance that larger companies place on reducing carbon – it simply makes good business sense to manage and reduce carbon emissions. And many of the activities undertaken by these bigger firms are not out of the reach of SMEs, particularly when reviewing overall business strategies for the forthcoming year.
How long will it be before small businesses that operate in the supply chain of larger firms will be required to follow suit? When will the pressure really build for companies to demonstrate how they are reducing their carbon footprint by recycling, waste reduction or energy efficient measures? The big players have spent time and money on green action plans because they see the overall benefit to their business and how it boosts the bottom line.
They are under pressure from investors and consumers who are increasingly demanding proper environmental credentials in all aspects of the business, both directly and indirectly, ie all parts of the supply chain. So if you’re starting to review your business operations and want to make savings take a look at how implementing green initiatives can help improve overall efficiencies and save you money.
Those businesses that stay ahead of the game will reap the rewards, those that don’t may get pushed out. Which one do you want to be?