How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint During the Blackout

Op-Ed: Here’s how companies can strong-arm their suppliers into cutting carbon emissions

For most of us, a day begins with a shower, a meal of healthy food and a chance to spend time in the sunshine. But for the millions of people, businesses and governments around the world that rely on electricity to power their day-to-day operations, the days start with the threat of blackouts.

The blackout is a looming threat that is all too frequent in some parts of the world, creating a challenge for businesses to find cost-effective ways to reduce their carbon emissions. In this article, we’ll look at how firms can use the ‘electricity gap’ to help cut their carbon footprint.

Blackouts make for good business

By now, most of us will have heard of the blackout of 2003, as well as its aftermath. The blackout brought the power grid to the brink of breakdown, when many western countries faced an unplanned loss of power.

Many, including us, were left without electricity, and it left people stranded for days on end. One of the more harrowing effects of the blackout was the death of a father and son who were camping together.

The blackout of 2003 was not only an inconvenience, but also a human tragedy. In fact, the 2003 blackout was the worst in the history of the United States, with more than 250,000 people losing their lives and more than US$36 billion (CAD$47 billion) in direct damages to the electric grid.

Today, you’re still not guaranteed a supply of electricity unless you’re within a few feet of the power grid. But we’re not talking about a few feet here, as we’re talking about an entire town. The power grid is, therefore, an invaluable resource that can be harnessed to reduce carbon emissions.

The electric network serves as the basis for the generation and distribution of our electricity. The electricity itself is the energy source from which we run, heat and cool our homes, businesses and other buildings and vehicles. Through the use of this energy, the electric grid enables us to operate our transportation and industrial processes in the most efficient way possible. As such,

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