How to reduce your carbon footprint
We have all heard about the carbon footprint. It could be considered as a trendy topic, as there are many people concerned about it, but do we really know what it is?
“When talking about climate change, footprintis a metaphor for the total impact that something has. And carbon is a shorthand for all the different greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming” – Mike Berners-Lee, The Guardian
The term “carbon footprint” is an abbreviation that measures the estimate impact of any action on the environment, and ultimately, on climate change. It is a given that society is starting to be concerned about these issues, as well as looking for realistic solutions.
Throughout this article, I am going to consider some ways of reducing the carbon footprint in a daily basis, in your work or in your private life. Something I try to do myself, but don’t always achieve!
Calculate the carbon footprint for freight forwarding operations
You can check this guide from the UK government to determine the value of the carbon footprint in every freight forwarding operation. Moreover, this guide includes recommendations and practices to reduce carbon emissions, specifically directed to freight forwarders. Don’t miss out!
3D printing with biomaterials
I recently wrote an article about the benefits of 3D printing for the air freight industry. As stated by Dr. Ad van Wijk in the newly published book, “Truly sustainable products can be realized by 3D printing with biomaterials, reducing the carbon footprint for material by more than 60%”
Encourage employees and colleagues to reduce paper use
Promote a “think before you print” mentality. Not every document needs to be printed. If something must be printed, train your team to use “duplex printing,” i.e., printing on both sides of the page. In addition, most businesses are accepting PDF or e-documents for the official documents. Forget the obsolete world of paper and join the eco-sustainable world of the e-documents! My aim is to be a paperless office by the end of 2016! An ambitious goal in the world of international logistics……
Collaborate with specialised charities
For instance, www.groundwork.org.uk is a charity whose mission is to advise and help businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and costs. Maybe they could have the key for your reducing emissions and costs goal!
Turn off your electronic devices!
How many times do you leave your computer on when leaving the office? Do you turn off the printer? Do you leave your computer/tv screen on stand by? It might seem surprising, but 4 computer screens on standby can incur a cost of £100 per year!! Maybe this financial figure will encourage you to make sure that you turn everything off, avoiding the stand by and high electric bills.
Reduce your private carbon footprint
Well, this is a pretty straight forward advice. On the other hand, how can we measure our private carbon footprint? There are several pages that you can find online in order to calculate it. For instance:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/
- Carbon Footprint.com http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx?lang=es
Simple things like eating food in season or change your motorbike for a bicycle could help towards reducing your personal carbon footprint.
Consider the ENERGY STAR® products (if you live in USA)
Products bearing the www.energystar.gov labels are more energy efficient than standard products. In general, according to the Agency, ENERGY STAR qualified products reduce energy costs by at least 30 percent.
In Quick Cargo Service UK we are totally aware of the carbon footprint. We include several strategies to accomplish this goal. For instance:
- Some of our employees use the bicycle to come to work or share a car.
- We check everyday that our electronic devices are turned off before closing the office.
- We only send electronic statements and invoices and are currently about to launch our QTRAX system that will enable us to give all our partners direct access to their documents, real time and on line. No waiting and no printing needed.
- We specialise in the sending of 3D printers with biomaterials to China – so are doing a little bit to help.
They might be small steps, but remember, every small steps count towards a sustainable world!