Carbon footprint: the involuntary legacy
The highest increase in temperature of a total 0.85 ºC has occurred over the last 100 years, causing sea levels to rise and glaciers to melt. This change in the climate not only impacts the weather but will also have economic and social consequences caused by damage to crop harvests and lower food production, health problems and extreme weather phenomena such as droughts or hurricanes.
In both our daily lives and our productive activities, humans generate emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that accelerate this warming effect, known as greenhouse gases (GHG).
That is why we need to be aware and take action now, in every sphere. The first step is therefore to understand our impact or our contribution to this global warming and the carbon footprint concept is a useful tool.
Generally speaking, the carbon footprint is equivalent to the GHG emissions that are directly or indirectly emitted by an individual, organization, event, product or service.
At a personal level, we can measure our own impact by recording the transport that we use and the number of kilometers travelled; the size of our homes (including the energy they consume, the type of domestic appliances we have and even the habitable floor area); the type of power supply we use and the consumption caused by our leisure activities. In fact, there are various programs available that can calculate the emissions produced by one person during one year, which are designed to raise awareness about lifestyles that are more environmentally-friendly.
” We can therefore carry out small actions that help to reduce emissions.
We can therefore carry out small actions that help to reduce emissions, such as recycling, saving water and electricity (such as only using the washing machine when it is full), reusing plastic bags, and in particular driving efficiently (by maintaining a constant speed at low revs, changing gear at 2,000 rpm –revolutions per minute– and regularly checking our tire pressure at least once a month).
” Abengoa records the emissions associated with its own processes as well as those generated by its suppliers.
At a business level the calculation is more complicated, since the sources of GHG emissions are more diverse. Abengoa’s commitment to combatting global warming is illustrated by the company’s actions to record the emissions associated with its own processes as well as those generated by its suppliers in producing the goods supplied to the company. In turn, it also records the emissions created by the production of the electrical energy that it consumes and those generated by constructing the plants that it operates.
In order to reduce our impact on global warming, initiatives to reduce GHG emissions are implemented across all of our businesses, which made it possible to decrease our emissions by more than 459,000 tons of CO2 in 2014 (equivalent to 4 % of Abengoa’s GHG inventory).
We also carry out training and awareness activities with all employees to fully involve them in the company’s commitment to combatting global warming.
Awareness is the key to ensuring the planet’s future and both companies and individuals need to apply the principles of sustainability to their daily routines.