15 Sep World Ozone Day: how can we preserve the ozone layer?
Rising global temperatures and environmental degradation are fuelling the climate crisis panic. As net zero targets grow nearer, businesses across the world are focusing on becoming sustainable. It is vital that this sector changes its harmful habits and consider areas of the environment that are under threat, such as the ozone layer.
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly designated 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Its aim is to alert people to the urgency of the depleting ozone layer and the ensuing climate crisis.
So, what is the ozone layer and how can we prevent further damage to it?
What is the ozone layer?
The ozone layer is a thin shield of concentrated ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere, located 15-35 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. This layer absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Due to harmful emissions entering the atmosphere, the ozone layer has developed a hole. This hole allows large amounts of ultraviolet light into the Antarctic continent and, more recently, the Arctic Ocean. This has resulted in longer summer seasons and warmer temperatures.
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was established. This is a global agreement to protect the ozone layer. The protocol led to the phase out of 99% of harmful chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioning and many other units.
Without the Montreal Protocol, the Antarctic ozone hole would have been 40% larger by 2013. Further depletion would have also occurred in the Arctic, harming eco-systems and wildlife. But more action is needed to prevent further damage to the ozone layer.
Take care of your appliances
Older appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioning units can have a huge impact. This is largely due to the use of harmful chemicals.
The Montreal Protocol has led to a significant reduction in the manufacture of appliances that release harmful chemicals. But older appliances, produced before the controls were put in place, may still be contributing to the ozone-depleting emissions. So, it is vital that we use these devices responsibly to ensure that no harmful chemicals are being released into the atmosphere.
Monitor your consumption
Becoming more efficient is beneficial in every sense. Focusing on efficiency cuts costs, reduces energy waste and saves time. But before you can become efficient, you must first look at your current consumption. This includes monitoring peaks and troughs to see which areas can be improved.
Ongoing monitoring allows businesses to identify areas of inefficiency, improve on these areas and keep a check on them. This ensures that efficiency is consistent. By reducing emissions and wasted energy, businesses lower their impact on the environment and ozone layer.
Many households and businesses opt for convenience over sustainability when it comes to supplies. While most products are on the doorstep, others can be more difficult to source locally. But, finding suppliers that are nearby means that you can reduce emissions on delivery, save money and reduce unnecessary packaging.
Shopping locally also brings economic benefits for the community. When you choose to spend your money in local independent shops, that money is then pumped back into the economy. Meaning you will indirectly contribute to improvements such as public infrastructure and the generation of new jobs.
Transportation is the largest contributor to UK emissions levels. The equivalent of 122 million tonnes of carbon dioxide was produced in 2019 from transport alone.
Aside from polluting the air, the harmful emissions emitted by vehicles can affect soil and water quality, disturbing eco-systems and adding to the climate crisis. This in turn leads to severe ozone depletion.
On average, a car emits around 4.6 tonnes of CO₂ every year. But there are simple ways that we can tackle this problem. Walking, running or cycling could reduce your environmental impact massively. You could also consider joining a carpool or taking public transport. Investing in electrifying your business’s fleet of vehicles will also encourage employees to maintain green habits.
How can ESS help?
Knowing where to start with energy efficiency can often be confusing. But it is essential to understand your current energy use, any areas of high consumption and the reasons for this.
At ESS, your sustainable future is our priority. We have over 12 years experience and a comprehensive range of energy, water and waste management services, so we can determine the best solutions for your business.
Our metering and monitoring services help our clients to become efficient, as simply and quickly as possible.
Get in touch today to hear more about how we can help you take the first step on your sustainability journey.