The British naturalist Sir David Attenborough urged world leaders attending the COP26 climate summit to act now. He warned of dangerously high levels of concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, also known as part per million or ppm levels. Much is nowadays being said about climate change and sustainability goals but, how to reduce CO2 levels within a business? And, more importantly, what does CO2 ppm mean? What are safe levels of CO2 in the environment?
Carbon Dioxide Levels: Parts Per Million Concentration (ppm)
Concentration in parts per million (ppm) is a way of measuring the concentration of a solution. The ppm level of a solution refers to the mass of that solute present in the volume or mass of a solution.
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is measured in parts per million. This number tells how many parts of CO2 there are in one million parts of air. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere determines global temperature. The higher the number, the worst climate change gets.
What are safe carbon dioxide levels?
As part of the UN Climate Change Conference, Sir David Attenborough explained the world’s history with CO2 ppm levels. During the speech, Attenborough mentioned how this number “defines our relationship with our world”.
Safe CO2 levels in the atmosphere are around and below 350 parts per million. In Earth’s history, this number has bounced between 180 to 300 ppm, and 10.000 years ago it stabilized. During this period, the earth’s climate was stable: seasons were predictable, weather was reliable, and civilization was possible.
Currently, humans are releasing carbon into the atmosphere at an unprecedented scale, reaching a concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of nearly 412 parts per million (ppm), and rising. Putting it simply, the world is about 1.2C warmer today than it was in the 19th Century.
High and dangerous CO2 levels in the atmosphere make weather unstable and unreliable, normalizes extreme temperatures, floods and fires, and puts the future of the planet in danger. The good news, however, is that reducing carbon dioxide levels is possible. There is still time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, although time is running out.
Business Sustainability: Reducing CO2 Levels
Seeing how CO2 levels are high and rising, controlling and reducing them is essential. How do you reduce CO2 levels? How can a business become more sustainable?
Becoming a green business is as ethical as profitable, as sustainable development has real benefits. To become greener, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint in many different ways. A green business should reduce, reuse and recycle waste (the three R’s), choose renewable energy, pay for carbon offsetting, reduce traveling or travel greener and, most importantly, educate employees.
Sustainability training is key to changing mindsets within an organization and connecting everyday decision-making with sustainability. Employers and employees are more likely to make more mindful decisions when they know the environmental consequences these decisions have.
Sustainability Training: Learning Games
To connect decision-making with sustainability and be able to reach sustainability business goals, experiential learning and learning games are the best sustainability training option.
Business simulations and learning games are powerful training tools as they use experiential learning methods. For instance, our ESG business simulation game GoGreen.Inc recreates a virtual business and real-world business scenarios. Participants learn the impact their actions have on the environment after each business decision, teaching them to become more sustainable. These methods create deep and lasting connections through immersion and engagement.