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Creating a carbon plan for a competitive edge

A reduction in carbon emissions is a direct approach to saving on energy costs

David Arkell, Owner & CEO, 360 Energy Inc.
David Arkell, Owner & CEO, 360 Energy Inc.

To remain competitive in the global market, it is important for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. A carbon plan can help businesses accomplish this goal while maintaining improvement in their profits.

A reduction in carbon emissions is a direct approach to saving on energy costs, attracting new customers and using fewer resources that cost money.

Creating and implementing a carbon plan is easy; it just takes commitment and dedication from all members of an organization. With careful planning and execution, any business can reduce its carbon footprint and become more profitable.

1. What is a carbon plan, and why do businesses need them?

A carbon plan is a roadmap for reducing carbon emissions generated by a business. The goal of a carbon plan is to identify clear actions a company can take to reduce its carbon footprint, and therefore energy usage, to improve its profits.

Many businesses are implementing carbon plans to become more environmentally responsible and competitive in the global market.

2. How to create a carbon plan for your business

Before developing a carbon plan for your business, you first need to assess your current carbon emissions. This can be done by measuring the company’s current energy usage and then calculating the corresponding carbon emissions. With this information, you can then continue to identify areas where you can make reductions. 

There are many ways for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions, such as changing how they produce and consume energy, improving transportation methods and reducing waste.

The next step is to develop a strategy for implementing these reductions. Tailor the strategy to the specific needs of your business. Involving all members of every level of the organization is crucial in the carbon reduction process so that everyone understands and supports the plan.

Implementing a carbon plan can be a challenge, but the end justifies the means, and an improvement in profitability is the end goal. 

3. The benefits of having a carbon plan in place

As the world realizes the need to reduce carbon emissions, businesses with a carbon plan will have a competitive advantage.

Customers are increasingly interested in backing businesses committed to sustainability; a carbon plan is a tangible way to show this commitment.

Ultimately, the fewer resources you use, the fewer you must pay for, and a carbon plan is a path to reducing consumption and waste. This can also open the door to growing the business, updating equipment and increasing efficiency using these supplemental funds.

In today’s business environment, those who can show a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint will have a leg up on the competition.

4. Case studies of businesses that have implemented successful carbon plans

Patagonia is an outdoor apparel and equipment retailer that has committed to using only recycled or environmentally friendly materials in its products.

This brand has managed to reduce its carbon emissions through several methods, including implementing renewable electricity sources into 100 per cent of its facilities in the U.S., using recycled fibres that reduce carbon output by 44 per cent to 80 per cent in manufacturing, and investing in regenerative agriculture.

While operating more sustainably, Patagonia maintains its high standards of quality and has seen profits increase to the highest value in its history in 2021.

Another notable company that has used a carbon plan to reach new levels of success is IKEA, which has worked to source all its wood from responsibly managed forests. Thanks to these efforts, IKEA has avoided the use of approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of wood over the past decade.

Tesco, one of the world’s largest retailers, details the company’s successes:

“Efficiency improvements: Since 2006 we have invested over £700 million in energy and refrigeration efficiency improvements. This has reduced emissions from our stores and distribution centres by 41 per cent per square foot and delivered absolute reductions against our 2006 baseline despite significant floor area growth. We will continue to invest in efficiency improvements to meet our targets.”

Tesco claims to have developed a cost-neutral renewable electricity plan for 2030 that includes a commitment to ensuring a majority of its renewable electricity comes from renewable onsite generation and power purchase agreements.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, tracks its renewable, recyclable and carbon footprint on its website.

5. Tips for reducing your company’s environmental impact

Reduce energy use: Carbon is energy, so one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to use less energy. This can manifest in various ways, including investing in energy efficient appliances and lighting, using alternative forms of transportation and telecommuting when possible.

Eliminate single-use plastics: Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eliminate single-use plastics from your business. This includes items such as plastic straws, water bottles and shopping bags. Many businesses are now offering biodegradable or reusable alternatives to single-use plastics.

Recycle and compost: Recycling and composting are great ways to reduce the amount of waste your business produces. By recycling and composting, you can reduce your carbon footprint while also saving money on disposal costs.

Offer a flexible work schedule: Allowing your employees to have a flexible work schedule can help to reduce carbon emissions by eliminating the need for commuting. This can also be beneficial for your employees, as it can provide them with a better work-life balance.

Track for supply chain efficiency: A significant amount of carbon emissions derive from the many steps in an organization’s supply chain. Tracking carbon emissions throughout the entire chain helps identify other areas where the aforementioned actions can be implemented.

Educate employees: One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to educate your employees about sustainability. This can help to create a culture of sustainability within your company and encourage employees to make environmentally friendly choices in their everyday lives.


Implementing a carbon plan is not only a method for acting on your social responsibility as a business to reduce your impact on climate change, but it is also a means to cut costs and increase profits. There are several ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and many businesses are already taking advantage of these strategies.

By following the tips we’ve provided, you can help your business operate in a more sustainable way and become more competitive.

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