Greener Care

Devon Care home Collaborative

PILLAR ONE

Reduce your own emissions

In this section you will find information around how to measure your own carbon footprint. We have made a selection of available tools and some information on how to make a start. There are various things you can start to look at and measure when analysing where in the business carbon intense processes are taking place. 

The most obvious one might seem to look at the power you need to generate to keep the business running, keep the rooms warm in winter and cool in summer.  is this energy from a sustainable supplier? Could I look at generating it myself? what steps can I take to use less and minimise waste.

Another significant part of the foot print is our food print. Savings can be made by analysing the food supply chain. Buying local and reduce the animal products you buy can quickly make a difference

.Does your staff bring in their own meals? Does that contain a lot of packaging and processed food? What difference would it make to them and the business if the staff ate at work?

What transport related emissions do you have a direct influence on? Do you have a fleet of cars and could they lessen their impact on the environment. Have you mapped out where your staff lives and could they choose alternative ways to get to and from work?

Are there any other choices you can make in the products you use? Is there a greener alternative? Can we buy some items in bulk?

 

Some of these questions overlap the other 3 pillars and this illustrates that these pillars act as  a supporting structure for the bigger picture of the business.

What does this means for my business and what can I do today?

It may be obvious that the first thing to do will be to measure the carbon footprint.  Measuring this is about more than just carbon. It has the potential to have benefits in other areas too. It can make your organisation more efficient and cost-effective. It can highlight the most resource intensive and inefficient parts of your organisation. This can include finance, energy, water, waste disposal, travel and procurement. Lastly it can also help you improve your positive impacts while improving the experience of your staff and clients. This will also improve your organisation’s reputation and make you stand out. More on this in pillar 3 and 4.

This initial phase can be used to perform energy audits. Tools for doing that may already exist within your organisation but they are also available online. But the initial step can also involve a hands on method whereby you observe what is happening with regards o energy use in your business. This can be as simple as just a walk around. What do I see, hear or smell?  Where in the home am I using what. Are lights being left on or are the windows open unnecessary whilst the heating is on? 

This simple exercise is a good starting point for analysing your company’s emissions

Another area where you can start measuring the impact on the environment and cost is in the waste production. It speaks for itself to start looking at how to stop the waste coming in in the first place. You can start weighing your waste and categorise it. Not all the waste you have produced has the same impact. It can be useful to try and determine what waste has the biggest footprint. Food waste is a good starting point. Involve the kitchen staff in this process too. Other waste like clinical and general waste can also be audited and scrutinised.

Food consumption is another factor. Meat and dairy products have a big impact on the environment and come in at a high carbon price. This may not be the easiest of option to go for but later in the process where you start looking into transforming your business model and start creating a vision and strategy for the future.

Transport is another area that your company can have a direct influence on. The most carbon heavy would be business travel by air and cutting down on that would be a quick reduction. SME’s on the whole would probably more be looking at road and rail travel. Here you can be looking at sharing of vehicles, electrifying the fleet or look at the option of electric bikes.

Tools to help you get started can be found below

The GHG Emissions Calculation Tool is a free, Excel-based tool from Greenhouse Gas Protocol and WRI that helps companies estimate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on the GHG Protocol.

The Carbon Footprint Calculator has been designed to help UK based SMEs measure their corporate emission footprint following GHG Protocol Guidance, including direct emissions from fuel and processes (Scope 1 emissions) and those emissions from purchased electricity (or Scope 2 emissions) for the assets they operate.

The following tool is not a complete evaluation of an organisational footprint. It only includes selected emission sources, common to the majority of SMEs using an operational control approach. 

It is important that your carbon footprint is calculated as accurately as possible. But to us it is even more important that there is a quick and easy way for you to estimate your footprint and learn from the important lessons in the test. This is why the calculation contains some general assumptions, enabling us to limit the number of questions and estimate your carbon footprint in five minutes. As a rule of thumb, we have chosen to exclude/simplify questions if the outcome is less than 0.1 tons CO2 per year.

BRE delivers innovative and rigorous products, services, standards and qualifications which are used around the globe to make buildings better for people and for the environment.

An example of what a BRE efficiency report looks like, can be found here. This is a report that has been completed by the management team of Court House residential home

In the section below you can find links to energy alternatives for your business

We’re the energy regulator for Great Britain. We make sure the energy market works fairly for you.

Energy is essential for most businesses, from working laptops or factory machinery to lighting and heating your office space. Your needs differ from an average household; you will need to be aware of a number of things when making your commercial energy choices.

Here you can find out how business energy contracts work and what to check when choosing a tariff or supplier, or using an energy broker. We also explain who you can talk to if you need extra help, have difficulties with your business energy supply or want to complain. Get greener and save money on your energy too, with our guide on energy efficiency schemes and grants.