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The Importance of Reducing Emissions and Protecting Our Forests

Posted 23rd August 2021

Here at E-Sign, we understand that businesses can no longer turn a blind eye to the issues of climate change and sustainability. Big or small, it’s our duty to think about the impact of our business on the environment and optimise our operations to minimise waste and emissions.

Hear from Tom Taylor, our Managing Director on the recent Sixth Assessment Report.

 

That’s why we not only do our bit for the planet but also inspire other businesses to rethink and transform the way they work. If you’ve yet to consider the environmental impact of your company, here’s why you should do your bit to reduce carbon emissions and protect our forests.

 

Do Your Bit for Net-Zero

As part of the UK’s climate strategy, the Government have pledged to meet a net-zero target by 2050. At the moment, we’re releasing way more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than are absorbed, resulting in a net gain year-on-year. Net-zero aims to put a stop to this and restore the balance to the planet, ensuring the emissions we release are taken back in by our carbon sinks (e.g. forests and peat bogs). This means that no extra greenhouse gases are added to the earth’s atmosphere and that the dangerous impacts of climate change can be kept under control.

Protecting our forests plays a vital role in going net-zero. Trees and plants are amazing carbon sinks; they take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. Deforestation, therefore, poses a huge threat to this net-zero goal, resulting in less plant life absorbing fewer emissions. Whilst planting new trees can help to offset some carbon emissions, it takes time for those saplings to reach their full carbon sink potential- around 10-20 years. Conserving the fully grown trees we already have is, therefore, a vital part of reaching our net-zero goal.

 

Reducing Air Pollution

Whilst high emissions are seeing us head increasingly towards a climate crisis, they’re also having a much more immediate effect closer to home in the form of air pollution.  Air pollution occurs when toxic chemicals and compounds are released into the air around us, at levels that can cause health problems, as well as environmental damage. Whilst air pollution isn’t always caused by human activity (such as volcano eruptions), the emissions we release through transportation, manufacturing and agriculture contribute massively to the problem.

Emissions such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide are released from burning fossil fuels, which then linger in the air and cause a whole host of problems for both the planet and people. Long term exposure to pollutants can have serious impacts on health, causing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer (Gov.UK). Poor air quality is especially common in bigger cities, with exhaust fumes from transportation releasing dangerous pollutants. Solutions like electric cars can help here, as well as congestion charges that aim to reduce the number of cars in city centres.

 

Limit Temperature Increase

Our emissions are contributing massively to global warming and climate change. Both greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide act as insulation, trapping the sun’s rays and helping to keep the earth warm. Yet excessive greenhouse gases are now causing temperatures to increase beyond normal levels, posing a serious threat to life on our planet, as well as the environment that surrounds us. Every time we burn fossil fuels, we’re releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

If we don’t curb our current emissions, we could soon reach the point of no return for our ecosystems and planet. Indeed, ensuring that global temperatures do not rise above an average of 1.5 degrees Celcius is absolutely essential. Any more than that and temperatures in parts of the world will simply become too hot, leading to heatwaves, droughts and wildfires; effects that we’re already beginning to see today. Reducing emissions is therefore vital to keeping global temperatures below that all-important 1.5 threshold.

 

Sea Levels are Rising

The climate crisis is causing problems left right and centre; many of the problems we now face as a planet are interconnected. Increasing temperatures aren’t only increasing extreme weather phenomena across the world, it’s also causing sea levels to rise. Since 1880, average sea levels have risen by over 23 cm; and continue to rise by about 3.2mm per year. Higher global temperatures are causing glaciers to melt at a greater than average rate, with ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica also melting.

The impact of rising sea levels can be devastating, causing everything from erosion, flooding and loss of habitat for animal and plant life. There’s also a correlation between higher sea levels and increasingly dangerous hurricanes, typhoons and storm surges, which not only cause vast destruction but also threaten human life. Limiting the impact of global warming is therefore essential going forward, with reduced emissions playing a vital part in this.

 

Protect Biodiversity

Preserving our forests and other habitats from destruction is essential to protecting biodiversity. Biodiversity is simply the name given to the different types of life on earth, encompassing every living thing from us humans to moss growing on a rock. It also refers to the complex ecosystems these living things form, as well as their interdependency on one another for survival.

With over 3 million species living there, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse places on the earth and contains some of our most precious natural resources, including unique medicinal plants. Due to human activity, however, the biodiversity of the rainforest is seriously under threat. With everything from the timber industry to farming causing deforestation, we’re now losing biodiversity at an alarming rate, with an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 species lost to rainforest destruction every 12 months. Doing everything in our power to protect forests everywhere, from the Amazon to Aberdare, ensures there’s always somewhere for our wildlife to live and thrive.

 

 

A Small Switch That Makes a Big Difference

 

When confronted with the scale of environmental destruction, it’s easy to feel hopeless. How can your business make a noticeable difference? At E-sign, we aim to empower businesses to change their operations for the better.

With our document management platform and electronic signature, we’ve made it simple to ditch inefficient paper-based processes and embrace digital documents, helping to reduce paper waste and carbon emissions in the process.

If your business is still reliant on paper-based processes, your business could be wasting more time, money and resources than you realise. The paper your business uses all adds up, costing your money and contributing to some of the biggest environmental issues of the day; think deforestation, climate change and animal extinction.

Keeping your documents digital allows you to eliminate paper usage completely, saving you money on paper, printing, stationery and postage. Not only is going digital better for your wallet, but it’s also better for the planet.

Indeed, paper consumption is bad for the environment from start to finish. The production process uses 40% of the world’s commercial timber, as well as excessive water, with around 10 litres of water used to make just 1 sheet of A4 paper.  At the end of its life cycle, paper then releases greenhouse gases as it rots, or CO2 if it’s burnt.  Whilst recycling paper ensures fewer trees are cut down, it still takes energy to turn old paper into new… so why not eliminate it entirely with an electronic signature?

 

E-Sign’s Electronic Signature

If you’re looking to waste less and reduce your carbon footprint, why not give our electronic signature a go?  Try our 14-day free trial and experience the power of E-Sign for yourself. Challenge yourself to go paper-free for two weeks and see how much waste your business could save.

 

 

E-Sign is a leading provider of digital transaction management solutions, supplying professional services including Electronic Signatures, Web Forms, ID Checker, Verification Tools, Personalised Emails, API and Payment Processing to businesses of all sizes across the UK.

To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, get in touch with us today.