Individual Carbon Footprints

Individual Carbon Footprints

Sam Hope

5 years: Carbon Markets

The global average carbon footprint is 4.69 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. And we need to get it down to zero. Join Sam Hope as he explores the individual carbon footprint.

The global average carbon footprint is 4.69 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. And we need to get it down to zero. Join Sam Hope as he explores the individual carbon footprint.

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Individual Carbon Footprints

5 mins 4 secs

Overview

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by a person or company, directly or indirectly. While popularised by fossil fuels companies (who share the vast bulk of culpability), the fact remains that human activity is the cause of climate change. To reduce your carbon footprint there are four main areas of focus: energy efficiency, transportation, spending habits and investments.

Key learning objectives:

  • Define carbon footprints

  • Outline how you can reduce your carbon footprint

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Summary

What is a carbon footprint? 

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by a person or company, directly or indirectly. 

Why is it important to understand carbon footprints? 

While the concept came around in the early 90s and was popularised by fossil fuels companies for disingenuous reasons, the fact remains that human activity is the cause of climate change. Instead of waiting for these players to slowly move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we can accelerate this transition and reduce our collective annual greenhouse gas emissions. 

What areas should we focus on to reduce our carbon footprint? 

1. Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency refers to retrofitting your home and improving your energy consumption habits. For example, further insulating your home, switching heating systems and upgrading electrical infrastructure. 

2. Transportation

Transportation reductions can be made by switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle, changing commutes to include public transport, reducing air travel, and walking and cycling more.

3. Spending habits

Spending habits can be divided into two sub categories – food and goods. Reducing meat consumption, buying seasonally and locally can have a big influence on your emissions through supply chain impacts. With goods, the emissions related to the production and distribution of the goods could vary drastically depending on where they are produced.

4. Investments

Where you choose to save and invest your money is vital. Many banks, pensions and investment portfolios still invest in fossil fuels, industrial industries and intensive agriculture. Investigate greener options and let your money do the talking. 

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Sam Hope

Sam Hope

Sam Hope is the Senior Carbon Advisor at Plannet Zero, a tech company dedicated to developing smart carbon footprinting software for SMEs. He joins from Redshaw Advisors, an advisory firm that will help organisations clearly understand the assignment of net zero.

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