Based on the carbon footprint, an entity can then address the most urgent or cost-efficient CO2-reduction opportunities. The reduction possibilities are ranked according to the return on investment (ROI) and the ease of implementation. The entity is free to choose which reduction measures it is going to implement -- the more the better of course. Typical reduction measures include the installation of energy efficient appliances (e.g. LED or CFL lighting with smart sensor systems, heat pumps, combined heat and power, etc.), and the use of low carbon renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass) instead of conventional fossil fuel derived energy. For some industries, redesigning the production cycle for optimal energy efficiency can be very rewarding.
In 2007, Mckinsey released a very useful tool to visualise the costs and opportunities of several emission-reduction measures: the greenhouse gas abatement cost curve. Contrary to conventional wisdom, many measures were actually shown to lead to net savings for the company. A very recent report by WWF and CDP revealed similar results concerning the necessary investments for the US corporate sector to stay on track of the IPCC’s 2020 emissions reduction targets: cost-savings of up to $190 billion could be made in 2020.