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Offshore sustainability: navigating challenges and seizing opportunities

Sustainability is an essential consideration for all organisations, but the challenges and opportunities that come with it can be unique to different areas. In this article we will explore what different sustainability issues come with being a business in an offshore jurisdiction.

Impacts of isolation

Offshore locations are often isolated from the mainland, which can make it difficult to access renewable energy sources. This means that businesses in these areas may need to rely more heavily on fossil fuels to generate electricity, which have a higher carbon footprint than renewable sources. Moreover, due to their smaller size and population, offshore locations may not have the same economies of scale to make renewable energy investments cost-effective. This can make it challenging for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their sustainability.

Many offshore locations also rely heavily on imports to meet their needs, including goods such as food, materials, and supplies. These goods must be transported from the mainland to the offshore location, which can result in higher carbon emissions due to the increased travel distance. Businesses in these areas may also need to transport their products and services to the mainland or other offshore locations, which can further increase their carbon footprint.

bus illustration

Troubles with transport

Unlike businesses in larger cities, organisation in offshore locations may have fewer eco-friendly transport options available to them. Public transportation infrastructure may be limited, and there may not be as many options for sustainable modes of transport such as cycling or walking. This can make it more challenging for businesses to reduce their commuting carbon footprint.

To make matters worse, many offshore locations are situated far from the mainland, which can make it necessary to rely on air travel for business purposes. Air travel is one of the most carbon-intensive modes of transport, and businesses in offshore locations may need to travel more frequently and over longer distances than those on the mainland. This can result in a higher carbon footprint and makes it more challenging for businesses to reduce their overall emissions.

image of island

Results of not reacting

In light of these challenges, offshore locations often have inherently higher carbon footprints than their mainland counterparts. Because of this, it is critical for offshore companies to prioritise their environmental efforts and identify areas for carbon footprint reduction that are effective and feasible for their unique circumstances.

The coastal locations of many offshore jurisdictions leave them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as flooding and extreme weather events. Such impacts can not only disrupt business operations and damage infrastructure, but also threaten the very livelihoods and homes of local residents. This vulnerability underscores the urgency of improving sustainability in offshore locations and highlights the importance of taking action to mitigate the risks of climate change.

graph showing growth

Offshore opportunities

It’s not all doom and gloom. Offshore locations are also able to harness some great opportunities when it comes to sustainability. One of the most significant opportunities is the potential to make a substantial impact to the environment locally - unlike mainland companies, which have a relatively minor impact on the wider carbon footprint of their location. By promoting sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint, businesses can lead the way in reducing the island's overall carbon footprint, protecting local ecosystems, and enhancing the quality of life for local residents. This, in turn, can have ripple effects, inspiring other organisations and individuals to adopt more sustainable practices.

There’s also the potential for offshore jurisdictions to position their island as a green hub, attracting environmentally conscious tourists and promoting more sustainable businesses. This can have a range of benefits, such as boosting the local economy, improving the island's reputation, and creating a culture that can inspire other organisations and individuals to follow suit.

Given the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in offshore locations, finding a sustainability solution that fits their needs is crucial. FutureTracker is a company located in an offshore jurisdiction and serves clients in all major offshore centres. We offer a uniquely tailored solution to help businesses address their unique challenges and leverage opportunities to improve their overall sustainability. We invite you to book a demo and learn more about how FutureTracker can help your business make a real difference in creating a sustainable future.

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