A greenhouse gas is a substance that causes the greenhouse effect or as we all know it, the process of climate change. Greenhouse gasses are emitted into our atmosphere, acting as radiation and it warms the planet’s surface.
Greenhouse gas emission levels are heightened by a lot of things we do including: the transport we use, the way we produce and consume our food and deforestation. A huge contributor is the manufacturing sector. This sector produces raw materials and goods that we use every single day, we probably couldn’t survive without half of it.
These factories produce two kinds of greenhouse gas emissions:
- Direct emissions: greenhouse gasses that are emitted at the factory/facility
- Indirect emissions: greenhouse gasses that are associated with the facility’s use of energy, but it’s not on site.
In recent news, it has been reported that China (the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world) was reducing their coal power projects in a bid to use more renewable energies that won’t have a damning effect on our planet. With this movement leading the way, we have looked into the ways other businesses are trying to protect our planet.
1. Energy reduction
Big buildings are the biggest energy users in the world. This is textbook. Businesses have taken action to create certifications that ensue realistic energy reduce goals that will, in time, reduce the amount of energy they’re using – from 12% reductions to 100% reductions.
2. A green commute
Some workplaces are setting rewards for workers who have a ‘green commute’. They are being encouraged to bike to work, use public transport (even though public transport isn’t the MOST green way to travel, if 20 people use a bus/train as opposed to 20 cars? You see the difference) or even walk, instead of using cars and paying congestion charges as well as parking charges.
3. Developing a response
The effects of global warming are being felt in some regions of the world already. In more urban, MEDC, populated areas – this doesn’t feel like the case. In spite of this, businesses have been creating their responses to when these changes do start to happen. It’s allowing them to have a better understanding of how climate change will effect their business and themselves. Baby steps.
4. Assessing carbon footprint
When an organisation investigates how much pollution they are creating, they can gain a lot more scope into how they need to reduce said pollution emissions. A greenhouse gas emission assessment is actually a thing – a business can get one to determine where their changes need to be made once a figure is found.
5. The carbon tax
Basic economics tells us that putting a tax on an action reduces that action. The London congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic (and car pollution) in the capital. Alas, it worked. In the US, a firm must have a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere. Therefore, this introduces a price on pollution through a permit – which eventually leads to the prevention of global warming.
These simple steps are just some of the things that can be done to reduce global warming. If a large factory can do it, you can too.
W/C 23rd January 2017 sees #ClimateChangeWeek2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University. A week dedicated to raising awareness and having some fun with it to. Full details of events on our social media pages.
By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer