Reducing your business's carbon footprint

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is urging its members to be proactive in helping clients and employers reduce their business's carbon footprint. The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass a law to end its contribution to global warming by 2050 by bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

According to its survey, conducted in September, 88% of AAT licenced accountants think achieving zero carbon is important.

The AAT suggests the following approach for businesses getting started with carbon emission reduction:

Businesses should start by establishing and understanding what their current carbon footprint is before setting out how to go about reducing it.

There are a range of free tools and guides that can help with this. For example, the Government-back Carbon Trust offers a free Carbon Footprint Calculator for small and medium-sized companies.

The Trust also has a Climate Leadership Framework which helps senior management:

  • understand how their company is currently performing on climate change
  • identity the opportunities for measurable improvements via a low carbon roadmap
  • guide their strategic planning
Once the level of challenge has been accurately identified, setting out a strategy to reduce carbon emissions, including specific targets, is vital. Help and guidance with this is available from independent organisations like the Energy Saving Trust or Business Link and increasingly on AAT's own Informi platform for start-ups and small businesses.

Ongoing measurement over specific periods, eg monthly, quarterly, or annually should be made so businesses can compare emissions to their base year. The AAT suggest it's good practice to internally report progress regularly to encourage staff involvement and ownership. Results and achievements should also be communicated to clients and stakeholders.



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