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Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

Through our partnership with Green Office Academy, we’ve created a list of five quick and useful tips on how to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Since just about everything we do creates greenhouse gases, we chose activities that might not be covered in other categories such as waste, energy, water, or purchasing.

Tip #1 – Reduce Business Air Travel

Air travel is remarkably carbon intensive but there are some things you can do to reduce that.

Eliminate or reduce air travel by doing video conferencing when possible. Video conferencing has been gaining traction and has come to be the norm for the past year. It will be interesting to see how much of it will continue.

If you must fly, then streamline the flight. Choose direct flights (take-off and landing are most fuel-intensive part of flight), and pack lightly to lighten the load on the plane 

Tip #2 – Lower Commuting Emissions

Go in groups by either using mass public transport or carpooling.

If you must travel individually, use a less carbon-intensive mode of transportation such as a bicycle, fuel-efficient or hybrid or electric car.

Tip #3 – Consider Teleworking vs In-Office Work

Far more nuanced than might appear, but I’ll wade in and invite critique with some gross generalizations. In short, remote work can lower emissions, but it can also increase emissions. It depends on how you do it.

Work from home is a good option because it removes the impacts of commuting.  However, there are redundancies when everyone has their individual remote office, so Work From Home is the best answer if the employer can also reduce the size of or do-away with the office space.

Counterintuitively, work from office can have less carbon impact if folks set their thermostats higher in summer and lower in winter for the entire time that they are gone from home.

Tip # 4 – Change Your Internet Habits

Internet usage is surprisingly impactful.

Choose WiFi over a cellular mobile network.  Using a mobile network is twice more energy-intensive than using WiFi.

Choose text messages over email. And when you email, choose links to documents over attachments. This is especially true for photo attachments. In general, smarter use of data centers, disk storage, and data transmission can lower emissions.

Tip #5 – Offset Your Carbon Footprint 

Carbon offsets are the subsidizing of an activity taking place somewhere else that reduces or sequesters the same amount of greenhouse gas that you have emitted.

These activities can include planting trees, reducing deforestation, and capturing methane from landfills or decaying manure. These projects often have environmental and social co-benefits.

Carbon offsets are somewhat controversial and not the best choice compared to reducing greenhouse gas in the first place.

About the Author

Julia Craighill

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
ENSIGHT

Julia Craighill is the founder and president of Ensight. She is a driven, award-winning sustainability expert committed to helping organizations build value through green strategies. With more than three decades of experience in architecture, construction and sustainability, she collaborates with her clients to align green goals with business goals. A frequent speaker and prolific author on issues of sustainability and resiliency, Julia is known for her solid, pragmatic guidance that helps organizations make the leap from good intentions to long-term, profitable performance. Since starting Ensight Consulting seven years ago, Julia has helped dozens of companies, from large multi-national corporations to a two-person yoga studio, reduce their environmental impact and demonstrate corporate responsibility.

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