Why Reducing Carbon Footprint for Businesses is Hard

Last updated: May, 2023

Why Reducing Carbon Footprint for Businesses is Hard

Exploring renewable energy sources, enhancing energy efficiency, and adopting sustainable supply chain practices are crucial strategies for how businesses can reduce carbon footprint and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Yet it’s not that straightforward.

Many companies across the globe are grappling with the complexity of minimizing their carbon footprint while building a sustainable and profitable business.

Here are some of the biggest hurdles and how overcoming these obstacles is achievable.


Why Reducing Carbon Footprint for Businesses is Hard


The path to reducing carbon footprint for businesses does have its challenges, each unique to the organization’s size, sector, and operational scope. 


Initial Investment Hurdles


Transitioning to eco-friendly operations isn’t cheap.

It often entails a hefty initial investment to switch to green technologies or renewable energy sources.

For example, commercial solar panel installations can cost between $100,000  to $1,000,000 and higher.

These financial requirements can create a barrier to entry for small or medium-sized businesses, but the return on investment is worth it.

Solar PV can save 16% in electricity costs, meaning these systems can pay for themselves within three to eight years of installation.


RELATED: Creating a Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan


Accurately Measuring Your Carbon Footprint


Gauging and tracking your company’s carbon footprint is no easy task.

It involves a deep dive into your direct and indirect emissions, with the latter stemming from your supply chain, which is the hardest to tackle.

For example, if you’re a multi-national corporation, you need to account for emissions from the production of raw materials, manufacturing processes, transportation, and even the use of its products by consumers. 

While tools like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol offer a comprehensive global standardized framework to measure and manage emissions, it’s still a complex undertaking.

To simplify the process, you can use a carbon accounting tool like Carbon Chain to automate the accurate tracking of your emissions.


RELATED: How Do You Calculate Business Carbon Emissions?

Lack of Employee Engagement and Education


A critical but often overlooked obstacle in reducing carbon footprint for businesses is the need for employee engagement and education. 

Employees are the driving force behind your daily operations and directly impact your environmental footprint. Without building capacity in your workforce to take action to meet your sustainability goals, you’ll struggle to build momentum. 

According to a study by Deloitte, companies that educate, engage, and empower employees in sustainability improve worker satisfaction and accelerate impact.

But what can you do if you’re struggling to engage your workforce?


  • Invest in an employee engagement platform like Emission Sentri. With on-demand awareness training and personalized AI recommendations, the platform helps you increase green skills in your organization while keeping your sustainability goals front and center.
  • Incentivise your team. Drive eco-friendly practices by subsidizing public transportation for the daily commute and offering tangible benefits to make the greener choice.


By engaging employees through continuous education, clear communication, and incentives, you can turn them into active participants in your company’s sustainability journey and reduce emissions at scale.


RELATED: How to Promote Environmental Awareness in the Workplace


Regulatory Uncertainty

The ever-evolving regulatory landscape is a major challenge when it comes to reducing carbon footprint for businesses – especially when you compare the inconsistency and variability of environmental regulations across different regions and countries.

Like the European Union’s ambitious Green Deal. It aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, imposing strict regulations on carbon emissions. In contrast, other regions may have less stringent or vastly different environmental policies. 

Another example of regulatory uncertainty impacting business decisions is the automotive industry’s shift towards electric vehicles (EVs). 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that global EV sales doubled in 2021, partly driven by government policies and subsidies promoting clean energy. However, the variability in support and infrastructure development for EVs across different markets complicates the industry’s transition efforts. 

Companies must constantly adapt to new standards, and this can delay investments in sustainable technologies and practices as businesses weigh the risks of future policy shifts against the immediate costs of compliance.


RELATED: 6 Steps to Achieve Carbon Reduction for Businesses


Embrace The Challenge of Sustainability


Despite these challenges, reducing carbon footprint for businesses is a strategic move. Consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever, and companies that fail to adapt risk being left behind. 

Implementing sustainable practices and investing in green technologies are effective ways to offset carbon footprint for business, ensuring environmental responsibility aligns with corporate goals.

But for that to happen, you first need to build capacity within your organization.

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.