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The climate diet: Your 10 step plan to cut carbon in 2009

| Sourced From Climate Change Corp |

Xanfeon’s Dr Michael Gell offers businesses 10 pointers to reduce emissions in 2009

2009 is going to be a pivotal year for businesses embracing carbon reduction initiatives. With the recent UK Climate Change Act committing to 80% cuts in emissions by 2050 and potential for the US to enact similar targets as the new administration takes office, now could be the right time for your business to make some New Years carbon resolutions.

Here are 10 to consider:

1. Establish a carbon reduction plan

If your carbon reduction plan is going to be successful, it needs several important ingredients. Leadership. Ownership. Governance. Communication. Advocacy. If someone in executive management has ownership of the plan and there is strong leadership and a sound governance structure, this will send positive signals through the business and to stakeholders that the business is serious about reducing its carbon emissions. The plan needs to be well communicated and for that the business needs advocates to promote the plan, both internally and externally.

2. Identify some bite-sized carbon reduction projects

Once the business has decided it wants to reduce its carbon emissions, identify examples of projects that could be carried out and prioritise them. That could be in terms of return on investment or the potential to gain a competitive edge in the market. By choosing bite-sized projects to start with, it will be easier for people to engage and understand what needs to be done. Pilot projects are a great way to explore the scope for carbon reductions in different areas, for example on a process line or in an office or across the fleet of delivery vans. Lessons learned through a pilot project can then be implemented with success on a larger scale. Dont forget to delegate as emissions reduction projects are established across the business!

3. Start with successes (do low cost / no cost first)
As with any endeavour, it is a good option to achieve early successes while incurring little or no cost. Simple actions like making sure that the building heating systems are operating only when needed, that lights are automatically turned off when no-one is in the work place, and that someone has responsibility to clean the dust of the heat exchangers at the back of the refrigerators can achieve energy and carbon savings at very little expense. Dont limit activities just to energy systems. Think about business purchases. By purchasing remanufactured laser printer cartridges rather than new ones there is the potential to reduce embodied emissions in the product by up to about 60% – as well as gaining cost savings. The materials used for business stationery (brochures, letterheads) reflect the company culture

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