If you don’t know where to start tracking and reducing your emissions, consider a carbon calculator. And here’s the best part: it’s free.
With help from Google’s charity arm, Google.org, a new carbon calculator has just been rolled out by Stockholm, Sweden-based Normative for use by small businesses. Normative provides carbon accounting software.
The calculator is available for free thanks to the SME Climate Hub, a joint non-profit initiative that helps small and medium-sized businesses achieve their climate goals. Small businesses can identify and track emissions with the calculator, a tool that helps them take action to reduce energy waste, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
“It will provide estimates broken down by size and activity,” Pamela Jouven, director of the SBM Climate Hub initiative, tells Inc.
SMEs will be asked to provide specific data points that correspond to the energy they use and how they work — then the calculator will use that data to provide those estimates, Jouven adds.
Amazon also recently rolled out a similar tool for free.
According to the recent SME Climate Hub survey, 63 percent of respondents admitted that knowledge was a primary barrier to taking action. That’s why education is key to finding your company’s climate pain points — and that’s why tools like the carbon calculator can play a big role.
The worsening climate crisis is putting more pressure on developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An executive order signed by President Joe Biden last December sets a goal for the United States to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. He also plans to halve emissions by 2030. In his first State of the Union address, Biden proposed incentives (tax credits or investment subsidies) for both businesses and consumers who choose more energy-efficient options.
There doesn’t seem to be much that small businesses can do against such a massive problem, but solutions will have to come from everywhere. In what some call the defining decade for climate action, it is necessary to reduce emissions by 50 percent worldwide, said Jordan Faires, project manager at the Environmental Defense Fund, a New York-based environmental organization.
“Small businesses are a huge part of the economy and can play a huge role in achieving this goal, helping us transition to a prosperous, low-carbon future,” explains Faires. “We’ve seen a wave of net zero commitments from companies large and small, but we really need companies to put those commitments and commitments into action.”
Climate risk is increasing. The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) couldn’t be more grim. “Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse effects and related losses and damage to wildlife and people, beyond natural climate variability,” read part of the abstract. The UN estimates that 3.3 to 3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate change.
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