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Understanding Businesses Use of Resources and Climate Change

Certain businesses are more resource intensive than others, but all businesses have a duty to examine what they use, what they consume, and what they discard across their operations. Across the entire supply chain of their operation, the business community in South Dublin can address climate change in the decisions they make every day.

As part of the public service, South Dublin County Council is moving towards green public procurement, meaning the services, goods and works we purchase have a reduced environmental and climate impact. For businesses, changing the way you spend can have a huge impact, as you will support lower impact methods of creation and delivery of services, goods, and works.


Actions Business Can Take

It can be daunting and time consuming for business to begin to examine their resource use, however you can achieve strong financial savings and build confidence in your business from clients or consumers.

One resource for business is the greenhouse gas protocol, which divides the business contribution to climate change into three categories - Scope 1 emissions, Scope 2 emissions, and Scope 3 emissions. 


Did You Know?

Scope 1 are all the direct emissions your business creates, for example, from burning gas on-site or from vehicles you have on the road.

Scope 2 are your indirect emissions, for example when you purchase electricity, heat, steam, or cooling; these are indirect because the emissions happen elsewhere like at an electricity generation station.

Scope 3 catches everything else in the supply chain: this can be the emissions involved in obtaining or transporting anything that you purchase; in transporting anything you make; in the waste generated in operations; in the use and disposal of anything you make; in employee commuting/overseas travel; or in any outsourced activities.

Through examining each area outlined above, you can identify positive climate actions that your business can take. By working with suppliers and service providers who are also taking climate action, you can double the positive effect. This can be a strong selling point for your business.


Circular Economy for Business

Adopting circular economy principals is key to climate action for business. Specific solutions will be appropriate on a business-by-business case. This could involve examining where your resources come from and how they are created.

Adopting working methods that eliminates unnecessary waste also means needing and using less resources, having to dispose of less, and ultimately costing less. This could be fuel, food produce, metals, minerals, timber, water or many more items like plastics for example. Can you also minimise waste when it comes to your businesses' transport needs? This could relate to the transport of resources or staff travel.


Waste Disposal for Business

Proper waste disposal for business is key to support the circular economy.

All businesses serving food on site in Ireland must have a brown bin for food waste. Up to one third of residual waste bins can be made up of food waste which will likely be incinerated.

Food waste in brown bins is composted or sent for anaerobic digestion.

Similarly, it is extremely important to separate any recyclables like plastic, cans, paper, cardboard, or cartons, which need to be clean and dry to be recyclable and kept in the circular economy loop.