Setting out to reduce our carbon footprint.
When it comes to being a modern business that involves maintaining a production facility, it is critical to consider the long-reaching impact our work has on the environment? In the past, we have implemented small changes that offer better sustainability. Still, from today we will be pushing for wider business changes to help reduce our carbon footprint. After a short trip to Southampton Docks, we collected our first new Electric Car. We are at the early stages of introducing a program of initiatives to improve our footprint. Our aim to help the government achieve its ambitious goal on climate change.
UK Climate Targets:
- UK emissions target of net-zero by 2050.
- A 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.
- Committed to reducing UK emissions by the fastest rate of any major economy
As greenhouse gas emissions cut to virtually zero by 2050, this short period of time offers little time for indecision. Swift action is all the more important due to the number of issues that need to be resolved. This includes areas such as; energy companies, business, industry, travel, homes and transport. If you focus on just the highways alone, the UK needs to replace 31 million gas emitting vehicles with a cleaner option. Considering the average age of a vehicle on UK roads is only 8 years old, this will take considerable time to filter through.
The scary science bit:
We, as a species, need to keep the average rise of temperature under 1.5C above preindustrial levels. At current emission levels, we are set to pass this important mark before 2030. If we go beyond this target, we may have to deal with many planet changing events which may be irreversible.
- Runaway temperatures due to the melting of arctic ice, which will alter the planet’s albedo.
- Sea-level changes of up to 87cm could displace 10% of the world’s population.
- Heatwaves could endanger up to 37% of the global population. Air pollution alone causing an additional 150 million people to die prematurely.
- A third of all life on earth may face extinction, including 100% of all coral reefs and their surrounding biospheres!
In 2015 the IPCC set a carbon budget of how much carbon we can emit. From a baseline of 1850 until the end of the 21st century this figure is a total of 2,900 Gigatonnes (GT). This seems like a huge number until you consider we are currently using 1,330 tonnes a second. Click below to see how much time is remaining on our 1.5C and 2C carbon budgets! Remember, 1.5C is the target, and 2.0C is a climate disaster.
What we can do:
Rather than think the problem is just too big for one person or business to tackle, consider that you are not alone. If everyone did something today, we might keep this future in the realm of nightmares. Even if you don’t believe in this science, there is no doubt when all the world’s governments finally settle on the body of knowledge and take adequate action; the monumental change will be enforced on everyone. To prevent your business from suddenly having to overcome heavy restrictions all at one time, it makes better sense to voluntarily make changes now and keep in front of eventual legislation. One small change every month or so may sound like an insignificant action, but if everyone does their part, this crisis will be controlled, mitigated, or even hopefully reversed.
What has RH changed:
As part of a new continuous policy, RH will steadily become a greener company. We want to announce our first electric car, but not our first electric vehicle. Heading back in time 25 years ago, RH used to own electric milk floats to transport materials and personnel between their three manufacturing plants in Winchester before moving to Andover.
Everyone is familiar with the experience of being sat in morning traffic, no one moving, but every car rattling away as they pump out tons of CO2. Imagine if every car was now electric, the stationary queues are silent, no gas is being pumped out, no energy is being wasted, and everyone is saving money!
The major benefit of owning electric vehicles is that towns and cities benefit from removing carbon dioxide emissions from the air. This will help people with growing respiratory conditions. Furthermore, towns will also benefit from a substantial reduction in disturbing background noise. Just one electric car can save on average 1.5 million grams of CO2; this is the equivalent of four commercial flights from London to Venice. It is also interesting to learn that one-third of the emissions from an electric car is due to the vehicle’s original manufacturer.
Obviously, one electric car will not save the planet, but we will continue to add new electric cars to the fleet as the current cars come up for renewal. We are also researching other ideas that will help reduce our carbon footprint and improve the environment, which we will share in due course. RH wants to be part of the greater good and help positively shape our future environment.