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Why climate change is not the enemy and carbon is your friend

Did you take the Quiz above? What do your answers mean?

If you answered “Yes” to all three questions, that’s fine.

If you answered “No” to all three, that’s fine, too.

Even if you answered “No idea”, “Don’t want to know”or “Too scared to look” – this is fine as well.

Why? There’s no point squabbling about it – BECAUSE – carbon emissions are what we call a ‘proxy indicator’ of waste: they are one measurement that indirectly measures lots of other things.

So if your vehicle fleet is poorly maintained, you’ll be wasting fuel and oil – that is, carbon – and a good fleet maintenance program will save you not only fuel but also wear and tear on your vehicles. Yes, that’s right – it will save you MONEY.

It’s the same for any other form of waste. Everything we do or use has a carbon cost.

Those offcuts in your factory come from goods or materials that were grown, mined or caught, transported, processed, transported again, processed by you – then transported to the landfill. Reduce that waste, and you reduce the amount of carbon you emit whenever you waste goods or materials that you bought from your suppliers. What do you save? MONEY.

Work in an office? Good insulation, more efficient lighting and heating, more energy-efficient equipment and a host of other straightforward measures will reduce the carbon emissions from running the building and providing your services. What do you save? MONEY.

It works for everything from farming cows to cloud computing.

See? Climate change is not the enemy – and carbon is your friend!

It shows you where your use of resources of all kinds is needlessly costly, and how you can run a smarter, more cost-effective organization.

It also means we can leave the science of the debate to the scientists.

So, if climate change is happened and we are causing it, reducing our carbon emissions means we’ll have taken some big steps to slowing it down – thereby reducing some very serious (and expensive) risks to people and economies all round the world.

If it isn’t happening or we aren’t causing it, our businesses will be more intelligent, efficient and profitable.

Either way, we win. What are we waiting for!

What does this mean for your environment and sustainability training?

Does your sustainability training help reduce your organization’s greenhouse gas emissions? It will be doing so if your training covers topics like safe driving; other forms of energy efficiency; or solid, liquid and gaseous waste reduction and avoidance. Can you count the dollar value of your reduced GHG emissions as part of assessing the financial return on investment of your training? If not, then you should be! It all helps to build your business case for gaining more time and money to invest in your training. Find out more here.

Need more convincing?

Find out more at Net Zero New Zealand. It’s one of the first attempts to use scenario analysis to help illuminate New Zealand’s long-term low-emission pathways in order to meet the country’s obligations under the Paris Agreement. Better still, it’s supported by GLOBE-NZ, a group of New Zealand MPs from every party in Parliament, providing a platform for the cross-party leadership that is needed to fully address climate change and its associated economic, social and environmental issues.