Inspired by Earth Day, discover four sustainability resources to try today
In the follow on from Earth Day 2021, discover four easy-to-use sustainability resources to help you and your business take direct action on climate change. And direct action is needed. After a steep decline in early 2020, global carbon dioxide emissions have rebounded alarmingly. International Energy Agency data released in March shows that while the Covid-19 crisis triggered the largest annual drop in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the Second World War, emissions in fact rebounded dramatically and ended 2% higher in December 2020 than December 2019, driven by economic recovery and a lack of clean energy policies.
In New Zealand, the Government declared a climate emergency and launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. In January this year, New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission released draft advice and recommendations on a pathway to reduce national emissions and meet our Paris Agreement goals. Read the executive summary (PDF). However, most of our greenhouse gases stem from agriculture, and these initiatives have been criticised by many as not going far enough.
We list three resources to try today, no matter where you are in the world. And one special bonus resource for the fashion and apparel industry, courtesy of sustainable footwear and clothing brand Allbirds.
- Find easy ways your business can reduce carbon emissions with the Climate Action Toolbox. Launched in April by the Sustainable Business Network and supported by MBIE, BNZ, NZTE and other partners, this free, easy-to-use online tool lets businesses identify key areas where they can reduce emissions, and gives step-by-step guides and links to information to help. Businesses can save their climate action plan and return to it anytime.
- Reduce the impact your website has on carbon emissions. The internet consumes more electricity per year than the entire United Kingdom. Data centres, transmission networks, mobile devices all consume electricity, in turn producing carbon emissions. The average web page tested by the Website Carbon Calculator produces 1.76 grams of CO2 per page view. For a website with 10,000 monthly page views, that’s 211 kg CO2 per year. Test your homepage on the calculator and find out more about sustainable web design principles.
- Generate the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) profile for your business. Agreed by 193 countries in 2015, the 17 United Nations SDGs are underpinned by 169 targets and 244 indicators. They are the world’s to-do list for the next 10 years and form the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Achieving SDGs requires global coordination between governments, businesses, philanthropy and civil society. Generate your SDG profile by choosing topics and actions related to your organisation’s work.
And the bonus resource for those in the fashion and apparel industry:
- Calculate the carbon footprint of your fashion products using Allbirds’ suite of Carbon Footprint Tools. To celebrate Earth Day, Allbirds have made their Lifecycle Assessment Tool (LCA), the manual guiding its use and its Carbon Footprint Labels all open-source to help brands document their carbon footprint, and to help the public make better buying decisions for the planet.
What toolkits or resources does your organisation use to benchmark, measure or reduce carbon emissions? Share your most practical resources by getting in touch at [email protected]
For more information on SDGs, read Kate Sutton’s take on using innovation to target some of the worlds biggest problems.
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