Working hard to offset our CO2 emissions

Posted on January 13, 2020 in General Info

CO2 emissions

There’s no denying that our planet is in a bad way. Climate change as a result of CO2 emissions is a huge problem which is now being recognised more and Earth Overshoot Day is getting earlier each year.

As an ISO14001 accredited company we want our planet to survive and for future generations to be able to enjoy it as much as we do. We are committed to both decrease and offset our CO2 emissions in order to help the planet. There are several different ways in which we are working towards this, which you can read about in this post.

Why is CO2 such a problem?

CO2, also known as carbon dioxide is a gas that is produced naturally by humans and animals. However, it is also produced by most forms of transport – motor vehicles, boats and planes. Cars are responsible for almost 20% of the global carbon footprint. The production of CO2 from these has meant that we now have too much of it in our atmosphere. It is a cause of global warming and one of the main reasons why our planet is struggling so much.

Once the CO2 has been produced, it gets released into the atmosphere creating an invisible layer surrounding the earth. This invisible layer traps the heat inside, causing global warming. This is also known as the “greenhouse effect”. Other gases that contribute to this problem along with the CO2 are methane, water vapour and nitrous oxide.

Although it sounds like a great idea to have a warmer climate, in reality, global warming has a negative impact on the Earth. The polar caps are melting and sea levels are rising. In Indonesia, their capital city is sinking at a rate of 25cm per year. If this continues, people will be losing their homes, animals and plants will be dying and the effects are becoming irreversible. Around half of the CO2 that has been emitted since 1750 has happened within the last 40 years. There’s currently more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been at any time in human history. The last time that the earth’s atmosphere contained this much CO2 was three million years ago. At this time, the sea levels were several metres higher than they are now and trees grew at the South Pole.

What impact does deforestation have on the environment?

Another contributor to the excessive amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is deforestation. Tropical deforestation accounts for around 11% of the world’s CO2 emissions. When trees are living, they capture greenhouse gases, preventing them from accumulating in the atmosphere and warming our planet further. When trees are cut down, the CO2 that they have spent years storing is released back into the atmosphere. What then happens to the felled trees can then create further CO2 emissions. Leaving them to rot causes CO2 emissions to be released into the atmosphere, as does burning them. This huge amount of CO2 is a huge contributor towards the greenhouse effect and it is estimated that deforestation causes around 10% of the worldwide CO2 emissions. The best way to offset this is to plant more trees, however the current rate of deforestation is devastating.

How are we are doing our bit for the environment

In our head office, we recycle as much as possible and turn all electrical appliances off when not in use. We also monitor all printer toners, paper reams etc. we use and annually set a target to reduce this amount. This should be standard in all offices.

Our vans

At Protech Property Solutions, we have a fleet of vans located across the South East of England. This means that the vans have less of a distance to travel between jobs. Therefore, there is less CO2 being emitted during each job.

Euro 6 is the sixth and latest directive set by the EU to help reduce the level of harmful pollutants produced by new vehicles. It aims for a 50% reduction in nitrogen oxides produced by new vehicles. These engines are capable of delivering 30 percent better fuel economy compared to a similar petrol engine. They also emit 50 percent less CO2 than similar petrol engines.

Another great plus point is that the engines have greatly reduced particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions compared to previous standards. We have committed to offset 150 percent of the CO2 emissions created by its expanding fleet through accredited schemes.

We are currently replacing our smaller vehicles with Eco-friendly – electric vans which produce no CO2 or NOx emissions.

Our forests

With us having so many vans in our fleet, it is important for us to make sure that we work hard to offset our CO2 emissions. In 2019, we funded the planting of trees in Scotland. As well as offsetting our CO2 emissions, this will also help to provide homes for animals as well as help aid flood mitigation.

Once grown, the trees can help to reduce the impact of sudden heavy rainfall, slowing it down. This new forest contains eight different species of trees, making it ecologically diverse. There’s alder, aspen, birch, cherry, hazel, holly, oak and rowan. 

For more information on how we work to protect the environment please call one of our friendly team on 0845 604 1288 or visit Ethical Eco Friendly.