Insights on Carbon Neutrality for Organizations

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Flickr / cariliv

Carbon Nuetral – it’s a statement we’re hearing more from clients, suppliers and colleagues. But what does it really mean?

We were recently forwarded a short report titled Greener Horizons – Insights on going carbon neutral by our friends at Bullfrog Power. The document summarizes the key points presented at a panel discussion on carbon neutrality (for which Fairware provided speakers gifts).

As the report outlines, net neutrality means achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing carbon released with an equivalent amount eliminated or offset.  One of biggest criticisms of this approach is the risk that organizations buy offsets without changing energy consumptions behaviors first.

Environmental groups recommend organizations first eliminate emissions through conservation, then switch to environmental benign or lower-impact products and services.  Only once these efforts have been maximized should unavoidable emissions be offset by purchasing credits from a reputable source. It’s stressed that offsets shouldn’t be considered a substitute for conservation efforts or green products – whenever possible, emissions should be prevented in the first place.

At Fairware we’ve undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce our carbon emissions. Our most recent project has been switching over our office lighting to new LED technology which features extremely energy efficient and long-lasting bulbs.

LED’s are a great technology that in many cases are leap-frogging compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours (compared to reductions of approximately 75% and lifetime of 10,000 hours with CFLs). On the downside, the bulbs are expensive, but we’re making the switch over time as our current bulbs burn out.  We believe we’ll see longer term savings through reduced energy and replacement costs (we’ve been joking that we’ll take the bulbs with us if we move offices). Once the switch is complete we’ll be doing some analysis of of our previous energy bills to determine the difference.

But back to the report. It takes just a few minutes to read and is a great briefing for anyone considering carbon neutrality (or just reducing carbon emissions) in their organization.

Read the full report HERE.

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