More and more often, a level of awareness of one's self and one's actions is being espoused in contemporary culture. Gone are the days of ignorance regarding humanity's place in Earth's environment. The Industrial Revolution, while delivering homo sapiens into a new era of convenience and efficiency, also delivered them into an era of moral and ethical responsibility.
It is now abundantly clear that the effect humans and their vast machinations have on the environment is far from negligible. In order to move forward as a species, it has been deemed prudent and necessary to monitor the amount of pollution going into the environment and atmosphere, in order to ensure the survival of future generations. The Carbon Trust, an organization founded in 2001 by the UK government, seeks to assist businesses in measuring their carbon footprint, in order to reduce it and become more environmentally conscious.
Chief among the Carbon Trust's activities is the helping of companies and groups decrease carbon emissions through scientific analysis, reporting, and advice. Another significant task that is currently being undergone is the research and development of alternative, low-carbon technologies. This involves development in fuel cell technologies, solar power, wind power, hydraulic power, and bio-fuels.
Originally funded by the energy tax known as the Climate Change Levy as a part of the UK's Climate Change Programme, the Carbon trust has, for years, assisted businesses with a thorough assessment of carbonic output. According to the July 2011 press release on the Carbon Trust's website, this program has met with incredible success across the board.
This is in no small part due to the introduction of the Carbon Trust Standard, an award and certification given to businesses which commit to and display a continual lowering of carbon emissions on a yearly basis. Some early adopters of this standard include the Morrisons brand of supermarket. Harry Morrison had this to say regarding the Standard: “. . .organizations can exploit many quick and low costs to improve efficiency. Over time the opportunities to cut carbon become more challenging, but also more rewarding. "
Other adherents to the Carbon Trust Standard, like Sky, Royal Mail, and O2 report similar success. According to the same July 2011 press release, on average each business saves over £400,000 and reduces the amount of carbon output by over 9,000 tonnes CO2e, svaing great amounts of business energy and business electricity . Up to this point, holders of the Carbon Trust Standard have cut their carbon emissions by 500 metric tons, and their energy bills by £253M. This is an indelible success, and it goes to show that being environmentally conscious can also be financially prudent.