Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Carbon footprint

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Environment

Carbon footprint

What is your Carbon Footprint?

Energy iconYou need to measure your greenhouse gas footprint to gain a detailed understanding of your contribution to global warming and how you can reduce emissions. Calculations and reductions are usually based on your energy consumption but they can also include business flights, fuel consumption by your fleet and waste sent to landfill. There are many small business calculators online that will calculate what your business' carbon emissions.

"You can't manage what you don't measure"

The majority of carbon emissions generated by small business is through their electricity consumption. In NSW most electricity is generated by burning coal. For every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated it produces just over the equivalent of 1kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Steps to Minimise the Carbon Footprint of Your Business

GreenPower logoThe best way to look at reducing your business' carbon footprint is to look at your electricity consumption. Energy efficiency is the quickest way to reduce your electricity consumption around you business. You can also purchase GreenPower or offset your carbon emissions through an accredited carbon offset provider. Take a positive step today to reduce global warming.

Top Energy Saving Tips

There are many power saving actions your business can do to make a difference. Reduce the cost of your power bills over a year, and reduce carbon pollution by:

  • increasing the temperature setpoint of your air conditioning in summer
  • switching to energy efficient lighting
  • replacing your old air conditioner
  • fixing leaks in compressed air systems

Council's target sustainability @ marrickville team has also produced this carbon pricing fact sheet for small business.

For more tips visit the NSW Government Website, and for tips on improving energy efficiency at work visit the Energy Australia website.

Join a business program

The Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program has been developed by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW to help small businesses save money by reducing power consumption. You can make simple power saving changes across your business that will cut hundreds of dollars off your energy bills and reduce carbon pollution at the same time.

If your business spends up to about $20,000 a year on electricity or employs around 10 people, you may be eligible. The Program provides personalised energy assessments, tailored action plans and rebates of up to $5,000 for making energy efficiency improvements that both save money and reduce carbon pollution.

If you are a larger business, you may qualify for the Sustainability Advantage Program or the Fast Track subsidised energy audit program. Call the target team on (02) 9392 5000 to find out what program will suit your business.

Staff Training and Green Skills

The NSW Government has a number of skill development initiatives to ensure that our workforce has the skills and knowledge to support the transition to a lower carbon world, and that businesses are well-positioned to take up new opportunities as they emerge. Green Skills enable employees to protect or improve the environment in the context of their job. Visit the NSW Department of Education and Training Green Skills website to find out more.

What are other local businesses doing?

Many local businesses across Marrickville are involved in reducing their carbon footprint. Over 170 businesses in the Marrickville Council area have already undertaken an Energy Efficiency for Small Business Assessment to highlight where they can make electricity savings. Many members of the target program are purchasing GreenPower.

What is GreenPower?

GreenPower is electricity generated from clean, renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind, water and waste. Your energy supplier purchases this electricity on your behalf from government accredited renewable energy sources. Your business can make immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by choosing GreenPower. Always look for the GreenPower logo, which signifies government accreditation. There's plenty of GreenPower available in the market. Call your electricity retailer or visit the GreenPower website to arrange the switch.

Organisations to assist with Carbon Accounting and Offsets

Before buying carbon offsets, try and reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. Look at the tips for buying offsets at the Carbon Offset Watch who have also independently ranked Australian offset providers. The following list from 2008 show the carbon offset providers who were ranked as outstanding with a score above 90%.

Sustainable Transport Resources

Ask the target team about incorporating car pooling, car sharing, public transport, walking, cycling and teleconferences or emailing instead of travelling.

In 2005, the transport sector accounted for about 14% of Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1990 and 2005, the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2-e) from the transport sector grew by 30% or 18.5 million tonnes. Over 75 per cent of Australians in capital cities use a car to get to work and 12 per cent use public transport. Nationally 5 per cent walk or cycle to work and in Sydney 6 per cent walk or cycle to work. (Australian Greenhouse Office 2007, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2005)

Handy Links

For more information - Call the target team on (02) 9392 5000 or email sustainability@marrickville.nsw.gov.au.