I Am In Love With Sustainable Businesses

by Stephen Karbaron

Wake-up Wednesdays - a weekly look at ethical businesses

In November 2020 I was introduced to Eoin McQuone, as someone who had a passion, like me, for making the World a better place. Eoin believes we are acting as if the planet is an infinite and endlessly compliant resource and that this simply is not the case. Unless we change our approach our economy, our businesses, and our way of life will fail.

However, Eoin sees an opportunity to re-engineer the economy and our businesses to enable us to live within the means of the planetary bank account, its “natural capital”, without dangerously depleting it and even to regenerate the bank of natural capital. Constraints are the mother of creativity and this strikes Eoin as being a fantastic opportunity to re-invent our businesses and create long-term sustainable growth.

In February 2020 Eoin launched Go Climate Positive as a way to encourage businesses to re-invent themselves and to provide them with the first steps to start their sustainability journey. He says, “most business owners I talk to understand the need to re-align their business with the environment but simply do not know where to start in a way that will make a real difference”.

The company, is focused on two of the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG13: Climate Action, whilst also embracing several other SDGs and a commitment to helping businesses take measurable action to change the World and their businesses for the better.
Go Climate Positive gives simple direction for businesses to start tackling the climate emergency by taking them through a 3-step journey:
1. Calculating their carbon footprint and creating meaningful and practical plans to reduce their carbon emissions.

2. Becoming carbon neutral by investing in projects to save carbon and regenerate natural systems on their behalf.

3. Becoming climate positive by saving more carbon than they are generating through showing them how to de-carbonise their products, services, and supply-chain.

Ceramic water filters manufacture in Cambodia. This is one of Go Climate Positive's offsetting projects.
Go Climate Positive then make it easy for businesses to talk about what they are doing by issuing a certificate and publishing both their carbon footprint and the actions they have committed to do to reduce it.

Here are three things you can do to make a difference. (and you know how much I love the magic of three).

Switch to green energy.

Electricity from 100% renewables is carbon neutral, if you have not already done so at home or with your business, find out more about providers using green energy, it is often less expensive than traditional energy and you can easily find out more by a simple search online.


· Increasing renewable energy sources helps reduce prices for renewables bringing the cost down and making it more attractive for everyone.

· Switching to renewables reduces demand for building new polluting energy plants and makes it clear to your politicians and other energy suppliers that you no longer want them to support polluting energy sources.

· It will directly reduce/offset your personal emissions.

Do follow-up meetings on video.

During lockdown, we have become used to making video calls and have discovered that they can be very effective. Once lockdown eases, we can use this insight to reduce the amount of emissions from travelling to meetings. It is understandable that first time meetings might need to be face-to-face but perhaps follow-up meetings can be made by video call.

If a person has 3 meetings per day driving on average 20 miles there and back in a typical diesel car, around 4.7 tonnes of CO2e per year will be generated. Replacing two of these meetings with video calls would save over 3 tonnes of CO2e (even once the emissions of the video call have been considered) and probably save 2-3 hours per day travel time increasing productivity or improving work-life balance.

Upgrade computers rather than replace.

It has been estimated (by Mike Berners-Lee in his excellent book “How bad are bananas”) that a desktop computer contains around 800kgs of “embodied” CO2e. Embodied CO2e is the total greenhouse gases that were emitted during its manufacture. It is estimated that most computers are replaced after about 3 years, this could be extended by 2-5 years through careful upgrading.

Upgrading a computer rather than replacing it could halve the carbon footprint of a business’s computer purchases. If an average of 10 PCs are replaced per year this would give a saving of around 7 tonnes of CO2e per year (once the embodied carbon of the upgrades is taken into account).

For more information on how you can measure your carbon impact, reduce your drain on the Worlds resources and have a positive effect on the environment, you can contact Eoin McQuone at Go Climate Positive, email info@go-positive.co.uk, or visit their website www.go-positive.co.uk.

If you own or know of a company that is ethical, sustainable and cares about all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and you think I’ll love them, please let me know and I will be happy to amplify them and share their story on Wake-up Wednesdays.

Stephen is a serial entrepreneur, world citizen and protagonist for World Peace.  Born in the UK, he has also lived and/or worked in England, Russia, Spain, Chile, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, USA and China.  His love of people, planet and personal development has taken him to many countries and cultures, now focusing on bringing his experience to companies for a more conscious and sustainable future.  Stephen is currently working with businesses who would like to focus on their purpose, embrace all stakeholders and create a corporate culture that attracts and nurtures the best people, through conscious, ethical, service leadership. Contact Stephen at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenkarbaron/


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