Consumers Must Help Reduce Emissions

Consumers Must Help Reduce Emissions

With the easing of the lockdowns meant to slow the spread of Covid-19, carbon emissions have made a massive comeback—and that means more change is needed to curb carbon emissions, says Eckart Zollner in BusinessDay.
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Consumers Have A Part to Play
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Reducing emissions cannot only be the responsibility of manufacturing and industry, Zollner says. Consumers must also make conscious and informed decisions in order to reduce their carbon footprint if there is to be any hope of averting catastrophic global warming.
Making effective, sustainable change at any level—industry or individual—means quantifying the problem, and technology can play a significant and helpful role.
Zollner gives an example from South Africa: after March 27th, South Africa’s carbon emissions dropped by 250,000 tons a day. This is a huge reduction: if it had been applied across the whole year, emissions would have been cut by almost 100 million tons, or 22.4%.
A study found in Nature indicated that while population confinement had an effect on energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, the reductions will be only temporary unless there is structural change in the world’s economic, transport, and energy systems.
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Business Benefits
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Product carbon certification and labeling are important for reducing emissions. Measuring and certifying a product’s carbon footprint | Learn more on Commonshare | by taking a full inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to this process.
There are already several different product labels indicating different carbon-related attributes, and thus communicating which products are significantly lower in emissions than the dominant market products. This can facilitate consumption of green, eco-friendly products | Learn more on Commonshare |—if consumers decide to prioritize it.
Qualifying the carbon footprint, then, can actually provide a business with significant benefits if consumers make sustainability their goal | Learn more on Commonshare |—and indeed, an increasing number seem to have been doing exactly this since the pandemic.
Industries and businesses need consumer support if they are to go through with the often complex and challenging steps they need to take to reduce carbon and produce more sustainable products for a more sustainable future.  

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