How SMEs Can Play an Important Role in Combating Climate Change

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By Eric Lee

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), firms with fewer than 500 employees, believe that global climate change is an issue that can be swept under the rug due to the lack of immediate impact that is associated with their daily operations. Furthermore, the small pool of business owners that do carry a sense of urgency fail to take the necessary actions because they feel as if only little can be contributed to this massive war against climate change. However, here at Carbon Credit Capital (CCC), we think differently and want to challenge these notions.

Before diving into the statistics and research, a picture needs to be painted on how important and crucial the SMEs are to the economy. For the U.S. alone, SMEs make up more than 99% of all firms, employ over 50% of private sector employees, and generate over 65% of net new private sector jobs. Furthermore, SMEs contribute to over half the U.S. non-farm GDP and represents 98% of all U.S. exporters as well as 34% export revenues.

small businesses carbon neutral challenge 2With that in mind, let’s dive in.

First, climate change does impact routine businesses of all sectors and sizes! According to a study by Nature, climate change due to unmitigated global warming will leave the average income around the world 23% lower in 2100 than it would be without climate change. With the constant fluctuations of temperatures and precipitation levels, the Earth is more prone to natural disasters and natural hazards, such as flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and fires. In result, these consequences of climate change can damage various asset classes, increase supply chain shortages and disruptions, halt distribution processes, alter the current state of the economy by driving up prices, crush various streams of revenues, and even result in bankruptcy. For example, a report published by CDP disclosed that 44% of businesses suffered a disturbance in production from flooding or drought while 31% experienced higher production costs. Moreover, a piece in the New York Times revealed that the United States alone incurred costs of over $25-billion from natural disasters in the year 2014.

Second, SMEs do play a crucial role in the global efforts against climate change. In 2013, it was reported that 334 out of 500 (67%) companies on the S&P 500 have reported their carbon footprint to CDP. These 334 companies totaled 1.6-billion MT of CO2-equivalents for Scope 1 & 2 emissions, which constitutes to only 30% of the U.S. emissions and only 5% globally. In other words, SMEs are part of the 70% of unaccounted carbon emissions in the United States and the 95% worldwide. These alarming numbers show that the majority of work needed to be done lies in the hands of small and medium-sized business owners, contrary to the commonly conceived notion of large market players and fortune 500 companies being the big players.

Now exposed to the vulnerability and power the SMEs have in this global effort against climate change, innovative solutions should be seriously considered.

But how?

Many environmental consultants and sustainability-minded professional are now turning to carbon reduction and carbon offsets, which is the process of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in order to compensate for an emission made elsewhere. CCC also believes this is the solution for SMEs to do their part in preserving the environment and fighting against climate change.

 

Here at CCC, we provide this novel service called Carbon Neutral Checkout TM (CNC). It offers a customized carbon footprint tool unique to each company and allows the operations and products associated it to become carbon neutral without any significant modifications and upfront costs. Overall, this service helps preserve our environment and reduce negative environmental impacts with ease. Together Carbon Credit Capital and SMEs can partner up in carbon reduction to help save our environment!

 

 


Eric is a business development intern for Carbon Credit Capital LLC. Specifically, he assists with client relations, market research, sales outreach, and account management of corporate GHG mitigation to local businesses.