News

Priorities for reducing UK carbon footprint uncovered

Greenworks' Carbon Capitalism event reveals key action points

London, UK – 20th March, 2007 – Greenworks Solutions, the leader in environmentally-friendly water coolers, is today outlining key priorities that need to be addressed in order to reduce the nation’s carbon impact. The list of action points has been developed around the issues raised at its recent Carbon Capitalism event, whose attendees included representatives from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The CarbonNeutral Company and London School of Economics and Political Science.

  1. Businesses need to review their business model – for example, oil and gas companies should have a long term strategy to leave oil and gas. While many invest in developing green energy alternatives, the vast majority of their investment goes into finding more oil and gas.
     
  2. Companies should look at the energy they use and how they use it – while companies like Good Energy are making it possible for businesses to procure all their energy requirements from renewable sources, businesses should also look at increasing their energy efficiencies.
     
  3. Carbon offsetting is not a solution but a consideration and should be carefully planned – it is not about planting trees but investing in green technologies in developing countries. If the developed world is responsible for the environmental damage done already, the developing countries will be responsible for the damage done in the future.
     
  4. Consumers must understand that they do not have the right to consume carbon heavy products and services. The real environmental impact comes from inappropriate and unethical products and services, such as short-haul flights, garden Jacuzzis and outdoor heaters. They should also understand the full upstream and downstream environmental impact of their consumption - while China is often blamed for high levels of pollution, it is often pollution that has resulted from the production of goods destined for the UK.
     
  5. The Government must implement regulation that reduces carbon heavy behaviour and remove barriers which prevent action being taken at the community level. Enthusiasm at the community level is underestimated and regulations often get in the way for those wanting to take action – for example, current regulation discourages home consultancy services.
     
  6. The Government should provide a greater level of financial support and grants for organisations that are taking action and developing environmentally friendly products and services. The Government currently places too much emphasis on carbon offsetting rather than investing in raising energy efficiencies.
     
  7. The Government should set up or fund an independent body that consumers and businesses can turn to for trusted and informative advice.
     
  8. The Government needs to establish and encourage uptake of an independent accreditation scheme so that businesses can be green-rated and compared with their competitors
     
  9. Labeling of products to indicate their level of upstream and downstream environmental impact must be encouraged – while supermarkets have a responsibility to indicate levels of carbon impact on the packaging of their products, the Government has a responsibility to set common standards which shops can adhere to. There are ways of changing consumer behaviour without having to make them green idealists – if they can buy a low carbon alternative without impacting the quality or price of the product then they probably will.
     
  10. Driving awareness is a key part of changing consumer behaviour, and everyone has a responsibility as a citizen to play a role but support from the Government and the media is also crucial.

“We’re delighted that we were able to bring together so many key opinion formers and we hope that action is now taken to help address climate change – it is clear that everyone has a part to play,” comments Adam Warren, Managing Director at Greenworks Solutions. “Environmental considerations are at the core of our business strategy and we hope to make a significant impact in the niche sector of office water coolers.”

The action points are based on the views of the Carbon Capitalism event attendees, which included:

Doug Parr, Chief Scientist of Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.com)

Craig Bennett, Senior Campaigner and Head of Corporate and Trade Team, Friends of the Earth (spokesperson TBC) (www.foe.org)

Mark Armitage, Chief Operating Officer, CarbonNeutral Company (www.carbonneutral.com)

Dr Tim Forsyth, Development Studies Institute , London School of Economics and Political Science (www.lse.ac.uk)

Adam Warren, Director of Greenworks Solutions Ltd (www.greencareh2o.com)

Reed Paget, Managing Director of Belu (www.belu.org)

Penelope Chapple, Good Energy (www.good-energy.co.uk)