The emissions associated with businesses accounted for 9% of our total emissions in 2021 but they also contribute to emissions across other areas such as electricity, transport and waste. These emissions attributable to business activity are a significant part of the Isle of Man's overall net emissions, thought to be around 40% in total.
Key emissions associated with business include heating and cooling premises and products, but more work is required to understand business emissions and how they can be effectively reduced.
Globally, businesses are becoming increasingly proactive in climate change actions as they acknowledge the risk of not doing so. Now is the opportunity to embrace the economic opportunities presented to engage the growth of green businesses and enable innovation.
Business emissions make an important contribution to our overall emissions. While many businesses are already engaged in emission-reducing activities, there is the need to accelerate the reduction of those emissions.
Government will play a key role in assisting businesses to reduce their emissions, mainly via the transition to renewable energy. Businesses will also benefit from enhanced commitments to high standards in Environment, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG), particularly in the context of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation.
We need all businesses and organisations to understand their carbon footprint and reduce their emissions. This means establishing baselines, setting targets and milestones, and sharing and celebrating progress as planning develops. The scale and type of action taken will vary between businesses, but it is up to each business to ensure that it contributes to reducing emissions in a way that benefits all.
Many local businesses are already taking a proactive approach to assessing and reducing their emissions. For example, the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce has a Climate Change Programme to work with Government on finding climate solutions and assist the business community to deliver on climate change. Many businesses are also signed up as Biosphere Partners and work to support the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Tips for you
1. Set a target and commit to it
The 1.5°C Business Playbook provides guidelines on how to set a climate strategy and move to action. It highlights key actions to reduce your emissions and those from value chain emissions, as well as how to integrate climate in your business strategy and contribute to climate action in society.
2. Measure your business emissions
The Carbon Trust’s Carbon Footprint Calculator is designed specifically for SMEs to measure some scope 1 and 2 emissions. Doconomy’s interactive tool is helpful to understand the footprints of products that brands and material suppliers produce, and EcoAct’s guide leads you through measuring your working from home emissions. The Climate Hero Carbon Calculator is designed specifically for service businesses.
If you are interested in detailed guidance in Greenhouse Gas Protocols (the standard accounting term used to calculate emissions) take a look at the thorough guidance on Scope 2 emissions and guidance on Scope 3 emissions, as well as the new cross-sector calculation tool.
3. Create an action plan to reduce emissions
- Set a strategy and move to action — The 5°C Business Playbook – Pillar 1 helps businesses reduce their emissions by highlighting essential energy, building, and travel actions.
- Start today — The UK Business Climate Hub highlights several steps businesses can take to cut emissions starting today.
- Pursue energy efficiency projects — Carbon Trust’s SME-specific guide introduces how SMEs can finance energy efficiency projects, which help reduce emissions and drive down business costs.
- Remote working & employee output — Many employees have been working from home. Flexible workplaces are an important way to reduce emissions from commuting and office space. Use EcoAct’s guide to measure work from home emissions and explore ways to reduce these emissions using the Carbon Trust’s report recommendations.
- Reducing travel emissions — For businesses that rely on vehicles to transport goods or with significant commuter emissions, the Energy Savings Trust offers a Fleet Management Toolkit to reduce road transport emissions.
4. Reduce your value chain emissions
Value chain emissions include emissions that are part of the company’s supply chain, but outside its internal walls, as explained in detail in the Emission Possible guide from WWF, these include emissions created from suppliers or caused by the use of your sold products. These emissions typically represent the largest share of a company’s total footprint.
5. Contribute to Climate Change Action in Society
- The 5°C Business Playbook – Pillar 4 – highlights key actions on how you can contribute to climate action in society.
- To complement reducing emissions and providing climate solutions, you might consider investing in local nature-based solutions or projects avoiding emissions, often referred to as offsetting projects.
- Encourage employee climate action — Climate Hero’s Carbon Calculator helps individuals calculate their carbon footprint in five minutes, and Net Zero Pensions Guide for SMEs provides guidance on contributing to climate action through your pensions.
- The Climate Justice Playbook for Business provides insights, guidance, and case studies on companies seeking to advance climate justice in their operations, supply chains, and the communities they impact.