The rate at which our global carbon emissions continue growing is the main contributor to climate change and global warming. In 2015, nearly every country in the world was required to comply with the Paris agreement and commit to a specified target for the reduction of carbon emissions. Consumers, employees, and other stakeholders have been playing a huge role in applying the much-needed pressure to businesses, especially in the private sector to play their part as well. It has been effective as now strategies are being put in place to become a carbon neutral business and make way towards net zero emissions.
In this article, we will look at how to make your business carbon neutral, the process of carbon verification, and the strategies that will help to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
You might be wondering what it means to be carbon neutral. The planet has a natural way of cleaning up the atmosphere through a process known as carbon sequestration. This process involves the storing of harmful gases in carbon sinks. Through homeostasis, the planet absorbs carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases and balances the atmosphere naturally. However human activities have thrown off that balance and led to an excessive amount of carbon and greenhouse gases. There have been reports that scientists are trying to achieve carbon neutrality through technological carbon sequestration. These efforts, however, are not enough to make a significant amount of change. This is why more companies and businesses are required to become carbon neutral.
Now we are going to discuss the different levels that are there when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint as a business.
There are many ways for a company to become carbon neutral. One of the many ways involves carbon offsetting projects or schemes. Using these projects or schemes helps companies to remove as much carbon in the atmosphere as it is producing by financially contributing to the removal of carbon in the environment indirectly (for example creating renewable energy sources). There are organisations that are dedicated to reducing carbon in the atmosphere and these financial contributions are made to these organisations.
Carbon negativity or Net Zero
Most carbon-neutral companies work to balance their carbon footprint and remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as they emit. This is popularly known as net zero status. However, with carbon-negative companies, the goal is to remove more carbon and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it emits.
There are several approaches that businesses can take to become carbon neutral or carbon negative. These include investing in renewable energy sources, reducing energy consumption through more efficient operations and processes, switching to low-carbon transportation options like electric vehicles, and promoting sustainable practices among their employees and customers.
While becoming carbon neutral or carbon negative will require some initial investments and changes in the way you do business, there are many financial incentives for making these changes. Many governments offer tax credits for companies that invest in renewable energy sources and reduce their carbon footprint, while organizations like the Carbon Disclosure Project offer rewards to businesses that have made significant efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.
Steps to becoming a verified Carbon Neutral company
These are the steps to take in order to be considered a verified carbon-neutral company with Auditel.
Break down the various departments in your company and the activities that contribute to carbon and greenhouse emissions such as vehicular usage, flights, and other forms of energy use. You can then measure the total amount of emissions from these activities.
After calculating the amount of carbon emitted and identifying where it is coming from, it is time to come up with a strategy to cut back on emissions and overall pollution. This can be achieved by hiring a company that specializes in this kind of work.
Carbon offsets counter or offset the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by university activities. These are usually measured in Metric Tons of carbon dioxide. The way it works is for every metric ton emitted, purchased carbon credits are used to fund activities that can prevent a ton from being emitted elsewhere. Carbon credits can be bought to compensate for emissions and contribute to achieving a company’s emission reduction goals.
When the first three steps are completed, it is now time to seek professional confirmation of the claim you wish to make. This is done in the form of verification by a suitably qualified third party. In simple terms, they will seek to provide an independent review of your Carbon Measurement, reduction, and offsetting to ensure it is genuine.
One of the most important considerations with verification is to ensure the verification firm is truly independent of work done reaching this point. It will result in your claims having much more credibility in the market and avoiding the risk of “Greenwash”. A label is attributed to organisations that make false or misleading claims about their own GHG emissions.
By spreading awareness to the public, your clients, and to your stakeholders, you show proof that the well-being of the environment is in your best interests. This can help you to build a rapport with your current and future clients.
Becoming verified carbon neutral is important for various reasons. Regardless of your political standpoint, it is in everyone’s common interest to protect our planet from further degradation. Climate change is a growing issue and it is becoming more real and more imminent. By aiming to attain verified carbon neutrality, companies can save money spent on fuel and other non-renewable sources of energy used in traveling and other things like heating.
If you are interested in your business becoming verified carbon neutral, visit our carbon solutions page and contact us.