Doing Business in a New Climate
A Guide to Measuring, Reducing and Offsetting Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Around the world, a growing number of businesses are taking steps to reduce their climate impact by managing their greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, these businesses are discovering that effective greenhouse gas management can enhance their brands, motivate employees, increase operational efficiencies, and save money. This guide walks readers through the key activities that make up a greenhouse gas management program, including measuring, reducing, and offsetting emissions and developing a communications strategy around the program. Throughout, case studies of over fifty leading businesses from around the world highlight innovation and solutions to common challenges, and further resources are provided for each section. While this guide was developed primarily for the business community, many of the greenhouse gas management practices explored can also be used by other organizations that wish to reduce their climate impact, including government agencies, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions. Published with the David Suzuki Foundation.
Table of Contents
Introduction Climate Change Impacts on the Economy Part I: Getting Started: Planning for the Success of the GHG Management Program Define the Business Case Establish Goals Obtain Buy-In and Commitment Create a Climate Leadership Team and Allocate Funds Helpful Resources Part II: Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions Why Carry Out an Emissions Inventory? The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Setting Boundaries Collecting Activity Data Calculating GHG Emissions Quality Control Helpful Resources Part III: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets Identifying Reduction Opportunities Selecting Reduction Measures Tracking Reductions and Cost Savings Examples of GHG Emission Reduction Opportunities Helpful Resources Part IV: Offsetting Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Going Carbon Neutral What Is Carbon Neutral? Making a Decision to Go Carbon Neutral Benefits of Carbon Neutral Initiatives Risks Developing an Effective Carbon Neutral Initiative Different Types of Carbon Neutral Initiatives What Is a Carbon Offset? High Quality Carbon Offsets Deciding Which Offsets to Purchase Helpful Resources Part V: Communicating Effectively: Supporting the GHG Management Program Developing an Effective Communications Plan Principles of Good Communications for Environmental Initiatives Tailoring Messages to Different Audiences Helpful Resources Part VI: Moving Forward and Overcoming Challenges Time and Money Too Many Options A Steep Learning Curve for the Emissions Inventory Lack of Internal Expertise Motivating Employees Integration of GHG Management into Decision-Making Ongoing Monitoring and Adjustment Helpful Resources Conclusion Additional Resources Glossary Endnotes
The David Suzuki Foundation is committed to protecting the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future. Paul Lingl has been developing climate change solutions at the David Suzuki Foundation since 2001, and has advised businesses, governments, and major event organizers. He has also worked for a number of leading green businesses in Canada. Deborah Carlson has worked at the David Suzuki Foundation since 2006 developing greenhouse gas management strategies for businesses and other organizations. Previously she practiced law in Vancouver and Geneva. Lingl and Carlson have also co-authored Meeting the Challenge, A Carbon Neutral 2010 Winter Games Discussion Paper, which was commissioned by the organizers of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.