Business Transport and Travel – Cutting Carbon Emissions
Transport is a significant – and growing – cause of carbon emissions but there are steps that all businesses can take to limit their carbon footprint.
First, evaluate the impact of your business travel on the environment. This includes travel to and from meetings and other out-of-office appointments – whether this is by car, plane or train; journeys that employees make to and from work; and the way your business makes and receives deliveries.
How can the impact of these journeys be reduced? For example, it is sensible to book several appointments in the same area on the same day. Some employees may be able to work from home, or use other methods of transport with less environmental impact, such as walking, cycling and trains. Those that do have to drive could use low-emission vehicles and alternatively-powered vehicles – or drive conventional vehicles more efficiently to reduce fuel costs.
If your business transports freight, moving freight by rail or water instead of by road can help reduce the environmental impact of logistics and be good for your business. However, switching freight to rail or water may require capital expenditure on new facilities for handling equipment, or new connections to the rail and waterway networks.
To reduce your carbon footprint further you should also consider the journeys that suppliers of goods and services make to and from your premises. You could aim to use local businesses where possible and check out your suppliers’ environmental credentials by asking to see their environmental reports and policies.
Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or taking the train, air travel has a greater climate impact per passenger kilometre – even over longer distances. It’s also the mode of freight transport which produces the most emissions. However, if you do have to fly:
• Fly the most direct route, as take-offs and landings use the most fuel;
• Fly during the day because night flights have a greater impact on the climate;
• Fly economy because more people per plan means fewer emissions per person;
• Pack light because lighter planes mean less fuel is burned.
How are you reducing your carbon footprint?
Sources: David Suzuki Foundation, nibusinessinfo.co.uk
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