Written by Jeremy Baines
Good for the Environment. And the Bottom Line.
Caring for the planet and ensuring that we leave it in a good place for future generations has moved from an idea of marginal concern to one of widespread interest. From big corporations to small farms to schools to governments, it’s been a heated topic. For many, though, the debate is over. And yet, the question remains, what do we do next?
As we just celebrated our 48th Earth Day, there’s never been a better time to take a closer look at the steps we’re taking to ensure we’re leaving our planet better than when we arrived.
This responsibility doesn’t just fall to individuals. Entire companies are searching for ways to make a difference. With efforts that are not just making a positive impact on the environment—they are also helping their own bottom line.
Tech pioneers, Google and Apple, are aiming to cut their carbon footprints through new deals created to fully support U.S. renewable energy projects. They’ve signed deals that support the development of nearly 2.8 gigawatts of clean power, roughly equal to the capacity of all power plants in Iceland.
Nissan has announced they will launch three new electric cars in the Japanese market by 2020, as they’ve just reached the 100,000-milestone for sales of their flagship EV, the Nissan Leaf. This can only further help eliminate CO2 emissions from the environment, particularly as abating CO2 emissions can reduce health risks associated with air pollution and CO2 has been shown to be the largest driver of climate change.
Small Changes Still Make a Big Impact
Creating positive change within your company, however, doesn’t always require a massive investment or changes to infrastructure. When it comes to the environment, small changes can make a big difference with the added bonus of making a positive impact on your bottom line. Here are some easy ways your business can be more environmentally focused:
Drive Down CO2 Emissions
There are a lot of ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. You can encourage employees to begin carpooling to work. Or to telecommute more. If your business maintains a fleet, switch to a more sustainable fuel. You can even switch to a green web hosting company that offsets its carbon footprints by using renewable sources of energy.
Chop Your Paper Usage
The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. Collectively, that's four million tons of copy paper used each year in the U.S. alone. Why not add a ‘Think Before You Print’ message to all corporate emails? Set your printers to print on both sides of the paper. Or print more than one page of a document per sheet. Experts say that with a little encouragement a reduction of paper usage of 20 percent or more is possible in most offices. That’s great for the environment and can reduce your office expenses.
See Illumination in a New Light
Older overhead lighting is the biggest electricity drain in a typical commercial building. The heat generated by these bulbs places a heavy burden on a building's cooling system. Instead, consider replacing your lamps with newer high-performance ones. New lenses and reflectors on fixtures can also reduce energy consumption by up to 71 percent. Motion sensors and daylight dimming controls can round out solutions, cutting energy consumption while minimizing your energy costs.
Doing Our Part
At Neste U.S., we have been leading the charge on creating cleaner renewable fuels since 2012. We’re empowering commercial fleet vehicles, city sanitation, utility companies, and schools to become more environmentally responsible, by making Neste MY Renewable Diesel readily and widely available. This high-performing, low-carbon biofuel produced entirely from renewable raw materials offers an easy way to lower traffic emissions. With Earth Day just around the corner, I’m immensely proud to share that we’ve just sold our 1 billionth gallon of Neste My Renewable Diesel in North America. This represents a reduction of more than seven million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Earth Day should really be every day as we’re in a symbiotic relationship with our planet. Companies and the people in them are demanding more action, more ways to be involved. There are more conversations happening, particularly around renewable sources, all with the shared goal of making the air we breathe, the soil we grow from, and the planet we call home more prosperous, healthy, enjoyable and lasting.
As we move forward toward future Earth Days, let’s all make the choices, big and small, that showcase how we are more fully realizing, understanding and addressing the impact of our actions.
Jeremy Baines is the vice president of sales for Neste U.S., Inc. Neste is proud to be ranked 2nd in the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. For more information about Neste MY, visit NesteMY.com.