As countries around the world implemented strict lockdown measures in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, everyday life was put on hold for many. The drastic impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on work and travel has resulted in a temporary but significant drop in CO2 emissions. However, as these restrictions begin to ease here in the UK and across the globe, it’s likely that we could see an upsurge in carbon emissions unless governments start to take action.
Last year the UK set a goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 and it’s vital that we continue working towards this target, and even more so once lockdown is lifted. With this in mind, we wanted to find out which region had made the biggest improvements in tackling their carbon emissions by analysing local authority data from 2005-2017.
As you can see from the slope chart, the region with the biggest drop is the South East, which has reduced its emissions by 21,576.60 kt CO2, from 65,484.1 kt CO2 to 43,907.50 kt CO2. This was closely followed by the North West which saw emissions reduced by 20,527.80 kt CO2. The North East also managed to reduce their emissions by more than half during this time, from 33,358.6 kt CO2 to 15,289.40 kt CO2. Despite the North East dropping their emissions by 54 per cent, the region currently in the lead to win the race to net-zero carbon emissions is Northern Ireland, who have the lowest emissions overall at 12,076.50 kt CO2.
We want to highlight the importance of continuing reducing the UK’s carbon emissions and to reach the net-zero climate goal by showing you three ways that your company can help meet the target.
- Reduce energy consumption and upgrade office equipment
Companies need to cut down on energy usage and put procedures in place to reduce the overall consumption. By making small changes such as switching off appliances that are not in use or using energy saving light bulbs your company can instantly become more energy efficient. Additionally, consider upgrading your office equipment and remember to check the energy star label. Equipment that has a good energy rating can help save up to 50 per cent in energy use.
- Use modern technology and go paperless
Businesses can lower their carbon emissions simply by making the most of modern technology and reducing the amount of paper used in the workplace. The technology that is readily available allows companies to replace paper processes by switching to digital measures. Not only does using tools like Google Docs or the iCloud allow employees to access them from anywhere at any time, it also reduces the need to print out hard copies and file them away.
- Allow employees to work remotely
With almost half of the UK’s workforce currently working from home during the pandemic, a remote working approach is something that many businesses can adopt as we look to move into a post-pandemic era. By utilising electronic processes such as using Google Docs, employees can access their work from home without the need to commute to the office. Eliminating the daily commute means cutting down the use of cars and public transport.
These are just a few of the ways businesses can reduce their carbon emissions. It’s important that we try to do as much as we can to help reach our net-zero climate goal. If you have more tips on how businesses can reduce carbon emissions, join in the conversation using the hashtag #theCO2race.