Why Do Carbon Emissions Matter?


Many ongoing conversations about our planet’s changing climate involve a central focus on the concept of emissions. These discussions revolve around the substances that are released into the atmosphere as a byproduct of everyday human activity, and matters related to carbon emissions, carbon footprints, and other carbon-centric topics receive a special level of attention. 

Without a doubt, there’s plenty of reason for concern over carbon.

More carbon emissions mean more global warming. 

First and foremost, the term carbon emissions refers to the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the earth’s atmosphere, typically through the process of burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is one of several substances that are known as greenhouse gases, which linger in the earth’s atmosphere for many years, trapping heat and accelerating global warming—a central factor affecting our changing climate.

Again, there’s a reason carbon is a primary focus when emissions are being discussed: Carbon dioxide makes up nearly 80 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. In the fight against climate change, it’s an absolute necessity to reduce levels of carbon emissions around the world. Otherwise, more and more heat will continue being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, further exacerbating extreme weather events and inhospitable climates.

To recap: Carbon emissions are responsible for the vast majority of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Those greenhouse gases lead directly to global warming. Global warming is the key cause of increasingly disastrous climate events around the world.

Your business plays a part in how much carbon the world produces.

But we have the power to chart a new path! We can all play a role in minimizing global carbon emissions. Every individual, business, and country on earth release a specific amount of carbon into the atmosphere. The level of emissions that are associated with a certain person or entity is known as a carbon footprint, and there are many ways to be strategic about making it smaller. Here in America, the world’s second-largest producer of carbon emissions, mid-sized businesses can (and should) play an essential role in the process. So how can we make that happen?

With your new understanding of carbon emissions, you’ll be able to identify (and take advantage of) the best opportunities to minimize your business's impact. 

It’s an important step to take because not all actions to combat climate change are created equal.

Some of the most well-meaning decisions can come with unexpected consequences. It’s encouraging to see the construction of a new building designed with environmental efficiency in mind, right? Well, it’s complicated. Construction processes are responsible for a huge amount of emissions, and the actual process of making cement is a particular concern. Recent studies say cement manufacturing is responsible for 8% of all carbon emissions around the world. Then there’s the fuel burned by vehicles and equipment in use throughout the construction process, plus the production of any other materials required to build a new structure.

Cement, additional materials, and the fuel burned daily all end up producing way more carbon emissions than you might have expected. Meanwhile, we have the necessary tools to make our existing buildings function more efficiently without the carbon-heavy impact of new construction. Very simply, finding ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your current structure is the more responsible way to go.

You have more options than you think to reduce your carbon footprint. 

The decision to make new use of our existing buildings comes with another big, beautiful benefit that can’t be ignored—it preserves our trees, grasses, and natural spaces. The popularity of renewable energy is skyrocketing, and we need more solar installations to meet growing demand, but that doesn’t mean we have to fill undisrupted nature with sprawling solar farms.

There are countless rooftop spaces available across the country, ready and waiting to house new solar installations. By choosing to make use of them instead of developing green spaces that would otherwise go untouched, we’re making a direct impact on the planet’s CO2 levels: Trees (and other plants) remove carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere. There’s no need to cut down trees and remove an important resource in reducing our global carbon levels when we have plenty of urban spaces that can quickly be put to use.

Of course, there’s no one silver bullet solution for reducing our carbon emissions to truly sustainable levels, but we can make faster progress by being strategic about the choices we make. Currently, our day-to-day use of electricity requires a huge amount of coal, oil, and natural gas to be burned, pumping an endless stream of carbon into the atmosphere. By relying on electricity from clean, renewable sources instead, you’ll be taking a significant step in reducing your carbon footprint—an impact that just continues to grow when you source that renewable energy through a climate-conscious rooftop solar solution.

Where do you see your business in the big picture?

We all share one earth and a single atmosphere. By being aware of our own carbon emissions, we can each have a direct impact on the future health of the planet. Catalyst Power is here to connect you with solar resources that enable a seamless transition to clean energy use, avoid harmful materials and construction processes, and preserve the natural spaces that help us keep our carbon levels in check. Plus, you’ll encounter some excellent new business benefits along the way, from lower monthly energy spending to a more reliable flow of power!

You can start taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint right now. Get in touch with our team to explore the possibilities for your business.