Resolving to be more sustainable in 2024? Here are 3 places to start.

The push for companies to embrace sustainability continued to gain momentum in 2023. While the overall economy did slow down some activities among corporates, a number of more macro developments took place. From funding for renewables starting to flow from the Inflation Reduction Act (which despite the name represents the largest investment in climate in US history) to the signing of the High Seas Treaty that will help protect the world’s oceans, major sustainability-related strides were made.

As we approach the start of 2024, sustainability continues to be a hot topic with both consumers and businesses alike. Buyers of products and services continue to seek out environmentally responsible and sustainable companies, which is leading many businesses to take stock of their practices, establish roadmaps and start taking action. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of starting points to consider as you map out your organization’s sustainability efforts in 2024.

1. Reduce your carbon footprint

Shrinking your carbon footprint (a representation of the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with a given activity) is a great first step to becoming more sustainable. For many businesses, there are “low-hanging fruit” opportunities to reduce carbon footprint by improving efficiency and lowering energy usage. These steps can range from policy changes, such as powering down workstations each day or minimizing certain types of business travel, to infrastructure changes like installing programmable thermostats or solar panels. In addition to reducing your energy consumption, sourcing electricity from renewable sources is a straightforward and complementary option that helps reduce Scope 2 emissions.

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is by utilizing carbon offsets. Carbon offsets enable companies to compensate for their emissions by supporting carbon reductions or removals elsewhere through designated offsetting projects. There are a wide range of projects to choose from to help meet specific needs with regard to industry relevance, price point or location. You can read more about the basics of offsets in our previous overview and our Guttman Renewables team is available to provide additional guidance and explain how our Carbon Offsets Program makes it easy to get started.

2. Expand your usage of renewables

When most people hear “renewables,” they typically think of wind and solar, which both can be leveraged to help reduce Scope 2 emissions by sourcing electricity generated from those sources. However, the realm of renewables also includes liquid fuels like ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel. These renewable liquid fuels represent opportunities to directly reduce emissions—particularly for transportation-related sectors where emissions are harder to mitigate.

While usage of biodiesel and renewable diesel is growing, many are still fuzzy on the details of these alternative fuels (Where do they come from? How do they compare? Where can I source them?). If you’d like to learn more, check out our previous posts on biodiesel and ethanol and reach out to talk with one of our Guttman Renewables experts. We’re happy to guide you in exploring how you can leverage renewable fuels and discuss sourcing options for products like ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel.

3. Collaborate with value chain partners and other stakeholders

As we detailed in our post about emission scopes from this time last year, emissions across the value chain are a shared challenge and responsibility. It is critical that suppliers and customers work together to tackle emissions reductions both up and downstream in the supply chain. Addressing the overlapping emissions scopes (one company’s Scope 1 is another company’s Scope 3) requires a collective effort—both from a cost sharing perspective and to support the exchange of ideas. The more stakeholders involved, the better the chances of success—and this doesn’t just apply to suppliers and customers. Employees are often a massively underutilized resource when it comes to problem solving. Engaging with those immersed in the day-to-day of your business is a great way to spark discussions and arrive at creative solutions.

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2023, it’s clear that sustainability isn’t just a buzzword anymore—there are real consequences and opportunities for companies to consider. From gaining market share to protecting reputation, a company’s stance on sustainability is becoming increasingly fundamental to its performance. Guttman Renewables wishes you a safe and enjoyable holiday season and we look forward to partnering with you on your sustainability journey in 2024.

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