These days, more than ever, reducing your carbon footprint is becoming more important every passing year. With global warming and environmental change ever on the horizon, we must all work together to reduce emissions and do our part for the planet. The US alone has one of the highest carbon footprints in the world, despite efforts to reduce emissions. If we are to change this, it’s best to start small. Six Sigma focuses on improving organizational efficiency, inside the office and out, and offers a strong solution to environmental impact.
Using Lean principles, Six Sigma can also help eliminate waste (Muda) in all its forms. When we talk about Six Sigma and waste, it is usually intangible waste, such as over-processing or time-related waste. But environmental waste also tolls heavily on efficiency and profits. Waste results from a high carbon footprint, producing a negative effect on the environment. By reducing yours, you can ensure your business stays efficient, profitable, and green. Today, learn how you can safeguard the environment by calculating your carbon footprint.
The Dangers of High Carbon Emissions
It’s essential that your business is aware of its carbon footprint. Your environmental impact can not only be detrimental to the planet, but to your company’s success. Energy experts concur that excessive carbon emissions indicate inefficiencies in a business’s operations. Therefore, by reducing your carbon emissions, you can increase savings. Studies show that carbon- and water-saving projects are directly related to a strong bottom line. The average household can save more than $2000 per year through reducing emissions by only 20%. Think how much a large business, with many more incomings and outgoings, could save by taking control of their carbon footprint. By reducing waste, you can increase savings and drive profits. Using eco-friendly vehicles, light bulbs, and resources all help. You could also invest in solar power and wind turbines, as well as encourage sustainable / green practices in your employees.
Six Sigma is incredibly useful here as it enables you to make lasting changes to your operations through intensive project work. Create a project team, including Yellow, Green, and Black Belts, targeted at reducing waste and inefficiencies. Techniques like DMAIC and root cause analysis will shed light on issues of waste and why they arise. For example, none-value-adding processes may be contributing to a buildup of waste, sapping cash, and reducing efficiency. If you don’t know what to look for, you may not even notice these issues, which will then go unchecked.
How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Calculating your carbon footprint will give you a better idea of how your business operations affect the planet. It will also show you which of these actions are most damaging, many of which have a negative effect on your success. Our method for calculating carbon emissions focuses on the consumption of several key resources. These include electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and water, as well as the level of waste produced. For electricity, the calculation is as follows:
(kWh/yr) x EF (kg CO2e/kWh) = your emissions for the entire year (kg CO2e/yr).
If you wish to calculate your footprint for other resources, such as natural gas or water, simply alter the above figures appropriately. Kilowatts per hour would become therms per year for natural gas, and liters per day for water. Similarly, you would need to multiply your water figure by 365 before multiplying again by your EF.