As the world continues to wrestle with the adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions, it has compelled us to think of ways to create a sustainable future. The emission of greenhouse gases has led to global warming having numerous negative impacts on our planet. GHG emissions primarily originate from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and massive industrialization.
Various industries with little effort for waste management and emitting harmful gases along with cutting off trees which are natural absorbers of carbon dioxide, have caused huge increase of greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others, trap solar heat and prevent it from escaping into space resulting in global warming. Thus, we can say that, over the years, human activities have led to an imbalance in nature causing harm to the environment and human health.
While addressing the need for a more sustainable future, we must understand how our small efforts towards sustainability today can massively reward our future generation. To prevent climate change and limit global warming, we must stop or limit the release of these gases in the atmosphere.
In this light, let us discuss the numerous benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and certain ways to reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gas.
The benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions have a wide array of benefits for our ecosystem. It is equally beneficial for our global environment and individual businesses. From improved air quality, and prevention of climate change to social benefits and leaving a positive impression on the stakeholders, sustainable business does all.
Here are some of the benefits of reducing GHG emissions, both for business organizations and for the world:
1. Diminishing Climate Change
Undoubtedly, the primary benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is diminishing climate change. Over the years, climate change is largely caused by human activities while our earth had to endure numerous negative impacts for it. It includes global warming, the rise of sea level, loss of biodiversity, and frequently occurring disastrous weather events like severe storms and earthquakes.
You can considerably slow down the rate of climate change and reduce such negative impacts on our ecosystem just by adhering to healthy and sustainable habits in your daily lives. This is also true for businesses of varied scale.
2. Improved Air Quality
Non-sustainable practices result in air pollution. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane are hazardous to human health and other biodiverse lives of our planet. When you put in efforts in the reduction of GHG emissions, along with improved air quality, it has significant benefits for public health. Especially, for people with respiratory conditions, air pollutants can prove to be fatal.
3. Energy Security
Dependence on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels is not a piece of good news for our environment. Fossil fuels are finite resources and large usage will result in an imbalance in nature. Thus, using renewable energy sources like hydroelectric power, solar energy, and wind energy, will ensure energy security and reduction of our reliance on foreign oil.
4. Economic Benefits
There is also a high degree of economic benefits to reducing GHG emissions. Global economic growth can be observed when cheaper new natural gases are used for industries and there is less expense for waste management.
Organizations with investments in clean energy will see a significant rise in ROI due to improved product development and credibility to be accounted for sustainability initiatives among their peers. Additionally, reduction of energy consumption can reduce energy bills for both residential and commercial setups leading to cost-savings.
5. Social Benefits
The social benefits of the reduction of GHG emissions are immense. Improved air quality, better climatic conditions, energy security, and global economic growth – all result in improved quality of life on Earth. Again, instances such as renewable energies providing electricity to remote locations have huge positive impacts on the local lifestyle.
6. Improved relations with stakeholders
For businesses, this is a great opportunity to improve relations with stakeholders. Investors are increasingly taking away their trusts and funding from carbon-heavy and non-transparent companies. If your business portrays transparent sustainability performance with more inclination to green energy, then it is more likely to attract stakeholders including employees and investors.
7. Compliance with regulations
Companies non-compliant with sustainability metrics may face penalties and halted business operations from the regulators. Global climate change laws are getting stricter day by day ensuring proactive regulatory compliance. Thus, an effective GHG reduction strategy compliant with regulations is the need of the hour.
Tips on how to reduce greenhouse gases
To reap the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the crucial point is to identify the opportunities for reducing harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
Here are some ways to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions:
1. Reduce Energy Consumption
Reduction of energy consumption will produce instant results in reducing the amount of emitted Greenhouse gases. Energy-efficient practices such as turning off electrical and electronic appliances when not in use, and using less energy-consuming ‘green’ appliances, are sure to make the mark in sustainability.
2. Switch to Renewable Energy Sources
Less usage of non-renewable energy such as LPG gas and more dependency on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, contributes largely to a cleaner and greener planet. Renewable energy emits less to no greenhouse gases making them sustainable energy sources.
3. Use Public Transportation or Carpooling
More vehicles dependent on non-renewable energy sources such as petrol or diesel, more possibility of greenhouse gas emissions. With public transportation or carpooling, we can limit the number of vehicles on the streets, leading to fewer emissions. Electric vehicles were discovered in the vision of a sustainable future and are largely helpful in reducing GHG emissions.
4. Reduce Waste
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas known for its poisonous effects on existing life on Earth. Non-biodegradable wastes are significant sources of methane. By reducing waste from your daily business operations and personal lives, you can reduce methane emissions to a great extent. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are the three most basic and effective ways of reducing waste.
Other ways are composting, minimum or recyclable packaged products, buying in bulk, avowing one-time-use products, etc.
5. Supporting Government Policies
Government policies such as pollution control by exercising regulations on vehicles, high carbon pricing, and mandating renewable energy in certain areas can play a significant role in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. By supporting these policies, we can create a more sustainable future for all.
If we are to protect ourselves and our kids from the horrors of current modernization, then it is high time that we understand the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Especially, for industries it is crucial to come up with a sustainability plan that is compliant with sustainability regulations and helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its daily business operations. Again, even individual efforts for sustainability will go a long way toward the rectification of the current violation of natural resources.
A cost-effective sustainability consulting firm, Ethos Sustainability Solutions is the other name for a sustainable future. We provide personal sustainability at your fingertips through our Personal Sustainability app for mobile devices. It is mainly a companion software for the Pathways to Sustainable Living initiative and hosts diverse features to make personal sustainability fun, competitive and effective.
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