We recently spoke to Madison Savilow, Chief of Staff, Carbon Upcycling Technologies Inc, a guest speaker at this year’s AtlanTec festival, about climate change and how both businesses and employees can apply more environmentally friendly business practices. Carbon Upcycling Technologies Inc are a Canadian carbon utilisation company that develop real life solutions to utilise carbon as a resource.
Read below for insights into some steps that a business can take to support the environment, the challenges that lie ahead and what we can do to try and overcome them.
Take a deep dive into your business practices
When it comes to supporting the environment and creating a more sustainable workplace, there are a lot of things businesses and employees can do. Madison recommends businesses start by taking, “A deep dive into their practices and making the necessary changes. Some environmentally focused business solutions include making manufacturing processes more efficient, relying on renewable energy, offsetting carbon footprints, or funding in green investment initiatives”. Carrying out this initial audit will help a business assess the initial requirements, giving a strategic standpoint from the get-go.
There are some in the business world that are leading the way when it comes to helping reduce climate change, and as a carbon utilisation company Carbon Upcycling Technologies Inc. have seen many companies putting out calls for innovation to reduce their carbon footprint. However, despite most industries having their own environmental champion in some way, shape or form, there is a need for more leaders across the board.
There is no magic bullet when it comes to implementing true sustainable practices, it is a process and does not happen overnight. Madison mentions that businesses should be wary of “quick fixes”. A great step forward is awareness and assessment of individual and corporate carbon footprints.
Opportunity to reset
One positive thing to come out of the current COVID-19 crisis is that we have been afforded an opportunity to rethink and reset. Madison believes it’s a good opportunity for us to begin to incorporate better regulatory solutions into areas such as construction, “The COVID-19 crisis has offered an incredible opportunity to pause, reflect, and make the necessary changes for a healthier future. In just the short time that the world has been on lockdown, we’ve seen how quickly the earth can recover from pollution. However, the global economy has suffered. One major area of improvement will be in construction. Infrastructure projects have been used for centuries as an economic stimulus. This is a chance for regulations to be put into place requiring lower carbon solutions to be incorporated into these projects”.
However, future sustainability challenges for many businesses will go far beyond regulatory compliance. Madison explains, “In the past, companies have released sustainability reporting to have an edge on their competition and to reach a market of customers that value sustainability practices. I think one of the new challenges will be that simply complying with sustainability regulations won’t be enough. Companies will need to go above and beyond to remain in the market. As environmental regulations become stricter, this will require businesses to make big changes in their current practices”.
Inaction is the biggest challenge
One of the biggest climate challenges Madison believes we face globally in the next ten years is inaction. There has been great progress made in educating the general public about the dangerous effects of the climate crisis, but there are further steps we need to take to overcome the challenge of inaction. Madison suggests, “To overcome this requires government and corporate buy-in through dedicating funding and expertise to developing environmentally beneficial innovation as well as implementing programs to reestablish natural systems”.
Everyone has a role to play in overcoming the climate crisis and there are a number of steps people can take to develop their sustainability skills. Madison always found her favourite way to learn was by directly reaching out to leaders in the environmental sector, a very welcoming and engaging space to learn. Keeping up to date with new developments in the sustainability sector is also important because environmental practices are always evolving and there are constantly fascinating developments. Lastly but most importantly, Madison recommends, “Take a look at your own environmental footprint and research where you can make changes. However, one of the most important things to remember is that sustainability and environmentalism are not perfect so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t live a perfectly environmentally conscious lifestyle – just do your best and push yourself to learn more whenever possible”.
Find out more
Carbon Upcycling Technologies Inc is based in Canada, their vision is to create a world where carbon is a sustainable resource to shape the future of humanity. You can read their full story here.
The AtlanTec festival is supported by Avaya, Cisco, ITAG Skillnet, Fidelity Investments, Genesys and NUI Galway. To see the recordings of the sessions or to find out more about AtlanTec, visit www.atlantec.ie. Learn more about the courses that ITAG Skillnet have on offer over on the ITAG website. Keep up to date with their latest news on ITAG’s Twitter and Facebook pages.