Creating a Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan

Last updated: May, 2023

Creating a Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan

A corporate carbon reduction plan demonstrates your commitment to a sustainable future and provides a blueprint for becoming a carbon-neutral company.

But how can businesses reduce carbon footprint? it involves more than simply introducing a recycling program at the office.

To achieve net zero and create an effective plan, you need to understand your company’s impact on the environment, the strategies to reduce your footprint, and the tools that can help you accelerate change.


What to Include in Your Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan


Still trying to figure out where to start? Follow these six steps to create a plan to reduce emissions and engage your employees.


1. Analyse Your Carbon Footprint


The first step in creating a carbon reduction plan is thoroughly analyzing your carbon footprint.

You can use net zero tools and methodologies like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to develop a comprehensive review of all the activities that emit greenhouse gases within your organization.

These are broken down into the following carbon emission categories:

  • Scope 1: Greenhouse gases your company directly makes.
  • Scope 2: The emissions you make indirectly.
  • Scope 3: The emissions from your value chain.


This process will help you identify where your largest emissions sources lie by examining operations, energy use, supply chain logistics, and even employee commuting patterns and give you the data you need to put together an effective plan. 


RELATED: How Do You Calculate Business Carbon Emissions?


2. Set Your Carbon Reduction Targets


Once you know your carbon footprint, the next step is to set clear, ambitious, and achievable carbon reduction targets.

These goals should align with global benchmarks, such as the Science Based Targets initiative, which ensures companies are contributing meaningfully to combating climate change.

Using science-based targets, you can realistically work towards a net-zero economy while driving innovation and sustainable growth.

Let’s look at an example from one of the companies taking action with Science Based Targets.

A.G. Barr, a Scottish soft drink and energy drink manufacturer, set two goals:

  1. Reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2050.
  2. Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 60% by 2030.


Like A.G. Barr, setting long, mid, and short-term carbon reduction targets is a good idea to provide direction and motivation. 


RELATED: 6 Steps to Achieve Carbon Reduction for Businesses
Identify Your Carbon Reduction Strategies

3. Identify Your Carbon Reduction Strategies

With clear goals set, it’s time to work backward and determine what carbon reduction strategies will help you achieve net zero.

For example, if you want to reduce your energy consumption by 60%, your emissions strategy might look like this:


  • Switch to a renewable energy provider.
  • Replace lightbulbs with LEDs.
  • Encourage employees to switch plugs off at the wall and shut down laptops.
  • Install SMART lighting and HVAC systems.
  • Encourage hybrid working.
  • Ensure regular maintenance takes place.


Now, if your business is fully remote, these energy efficiency goals will look different. The key is tailoring each strategy to your business model and operational needs to create a more sustainable ecosystem.


RELATED: Why Reducing Carbon Footprint for Businesses is Hard


4. Identify Carbon Offsetting Projects


While direct emission reductions are preferable, carbon offsetting helps your business neutralize the impact of unavoidable emissions.

In these cases, your company can balance out its carbon footprint by investing in projects like reforestation or clean energy. 

Here’s how it works:

Your company can purchase carbon credits for the CO2 emissions you haven’t managed to reduce and use it to fund a certified emission reduction project.

Tree-Nation is an excellent example. It allows citizens and companies to plant trees around the world to offset their CO2 emissions.

Your company can “create a forest” and track the trees it plants worldwide. You can even gift trees to your customers with every product sold and install a piece of code to compensate for all the CO2 emissions your website generates.

However, it’s important to note that the offsetting process complements your carbon reduction plan. It should never replace it. You should always actively work towards reducing all your Scope 1,2 and 3 emissions first.


Related: The Best Net-Zero Strategies for Companies Who Want to Make a Change


5. Your Employee Engagement and Education Strategy

The success of any carbon reduction plan heavily relies on the support and participation of your workforce.

That’s why developing a strategy to educate and engage employees in your sustainability goals is crucial.

Your initiatives could look like this:

  • Incentives for reducing personal carbon footprints.
  • Subsidizing public transport costs.
  • Access to climate awareness training and certifications.
  • Sharing your net zero progress.


One of the easiest ways to achieve this in your strategy is with an employee engagement tool like Emission Sentri.

It connects all your emissions data into one dashboard and brings visibility to your net zero goals by delivering your progress across your digital ecosystem.

The platform offers on-demand training on basic to advanced topics and personalized Gen-AI recommendations to keep employees engaged and reduce emissions at scale.


RELATED: The Best Employee Engagement Solutions


6. Define How You Will Monitor Your Progress


The last part of your carbon reduction plan is monitoring your progress.

Keeping track does three things:

  1. Ensures transparency for all your stakeholders.
  2. Allows you to measure the effectiveness of your strategies.
  3. Provides data to inform your future actions.


For accurate reporting, you’ll need to decide how to collect and consolidate your emissions data. It can be on spreadsheets or carbon reporting software like Carbon Chain.

With a regular monitoring system, you’ll have accurate data to communicate your achievements to your customers, investors, and regulatory bodies.

Solidifying Your Commitment to Carbon Reduction

Creating a carbon emissions business plan is the first step toward sustainability.

Your business can make a tangible impact on the environment by analyzing your carbon footprint, setting realistic targets, implementing reduction strategies, and building capacity through employee education.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an example of a carbon reduction strategy? 

    An example of a carbon reduction strategy is investing in renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to replace conventional fossil fuels. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and diminishes your reliance on non-renewable energy resources.

  1. How do you calculate corporate carbon footprint?

    To calculate a corporate carbon footprint, you first identify and quantify all sources of greenhouse gas emissions within your organization, including direct and indirect emissions from operations, energy consumption, and supply chains. Then, emission factors are applied to these activities to estimate the total carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.

  1. What can companies do to reduce carbon emissions?

    Companies can reduce carbon emissions by optimizing their energy efficiency in operations and buildings, transitioning to renewable energy sources, adopting sustainable supply chain practices, and encouraging eco-friendly transportation options for employees.

Drive Emissions Reduction through Employee Engagement

Engage with your employees on your emissions reduction commitment and progress through multi-channel insights, awareness training, intelligent recommendations using Generative AI and more.