The volume of carbon dioxide (CO2) that we emit into the atmosphere – either as individuals or organisations – is one of the most commonly used and recognised ways of measuring impact on the environment. As a company that wishes to balance dynamic expansion with environmental responsibility, measuring, rationalising and reducing our carbon footprint are naturally high on the Rawlplug corporate agenda.
How do we measure our carbon footprint?
We use a Lifecycle Assessment approach to measure our carbon footprint. In the context of Rawlplug’s key business activities, this means measuring the emissions generated and emitted during the process of sourcing raw materials, production, sale, useful life and, ultimately, disposal at the end of the useful life of our products.
To calculate our carbon footprint, we focus on the following:
- Electricity consumption
- Use of thermal energy
- Water consumption
- Fuel consumed and emissions generated by company cars
- Consumption of gas for industrial use
- Consumption of gas for heating
- Gas consumed by forklift trucks
- Use of hazardous chemical substances for production purposes
- Volume of waste materials generated (hazardous and non-hazardous)
- Pollutants (such as greenhouse gases) emitted into the atmosphere.
What is Rawlplug’s carbon footprint?
It should be noted that measuring carbon footprint across many manufacturing sites, distribution operations and subsidiary branches in several different countries is a difficult and complex process. We recognise that the process we use today can be improved further still and are investing significant time, effort and resources to improve the way we measure our carbon footprint. We are confident that we will continue to improve not only our environmental performance, but also the accuracy of our measurements in years to come.
Encouraging employee accountability
Our production activities and our business operations account for the lion’s share of our carbon footprint. At the same time, we are acutely aware that the behaviour of our employees will be central to our success in reducing our corporate carbon footprint. With this aim in mind, we encourage our employees to contribute to the cause and provide them with practical advice on how to reduce their own personal carbon footprints. Examples of this include:
- Switching off lights when not present in the office or home or limiting use to only when absolutely necessary. Following this advice can deliver annual savings of up to 270kg of emissions
- Adopting energy-efficient practices in the kitchen, such as leaving warm food to cool before refrigerating or boiling only as much water is needed. Following such guidance can result in CO2 savings of over 30kg a year
- Printing only when necessary and using long-lasting, reusable bags instead of one-use carrier bags when shopping will save over 15kg of CO2 each year
- Commuting to work by bike – and not by car – can save up to 240kg of CO2, depending on journey distance, typical traffic and model of car
- Reducing home heating temperatures by just one degree can bring yearly emissions down by around 300kg.
We encourage our employees to use recognised self-assessment tools such as the WWF Footprint Calculator so that they are more aware of the environmental consequences of their actions – both at work and at home.