Carbon management refers to the process of tracking, reducing, and offsetting carbon emissions produced by an organisation or business. In recent years, carbon management has become a critical component of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, as businesses and organisations seek to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change.
In the UK, the government has set ambitious targets for carbon reduction, including a net-zero emissions target by 2050. This means that businesses and organisations in the UK will need to take significant steps to reduce their carbon emissions, both to meet government targets and to contribute to global efforts to address climate change.
One way for businesses and organisations to demonstrate their commitment to carbon reduction is to achieve certification under the PAS 2060 standard. PAS 2060 is a certification scheme developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) that provides a framework for organisations to achieve carbon neutrality. To achieve certification under PAS 2060, organisations must first measure their carbon footprint, including both direct emissions from their operations and indirect emissions from their supply chains. They must then take steps to reduce their emissions, such as through energy efficiency measures, investment in renewable energy, and changes to business practices.
Once an organisation has taken steps to reduce its carbon emissions, it can then offset any remaining emissions through the purchase of carbon credits. Carbon credits represent a reduction in carbon emissions elsewhere in the world, typically through investment in renewable energy or reforestation projects. By purchasing carbon credits, organisations can effectively neutralise their remaining carbon emissions, achieving carbon neutrality.
In addition to achieving certification under PAS 2060, businesses and organisations in the UK are also working towards the government’s net-zero emissions target. Net zero refers to the point at which an organisation’s carbon emissions are balanced by the removal of an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere, either through carbon capture technology or natural processes such as reforestation.
Achieving net-zero emissions is a more ambitious goal than carbon neutrality, as it requires not only the reduction and offsetting of carbon emissions but also the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. To achieve net-zero emissions, businesses and organisations may need to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology or contribute to reforestation projects to offset their emissions.
There are a variety of steps that businesses and organisations in the UK can take to achieve carbon neutrality or net zero. These may include:
Conducting a carbon footprint assessment
The first step in any carbon management program is to measure an organisation’s carbon emissions. This involves identifying all sources of emissions, including direct emissions from operations (such as energy use and transportation) and indirect emissions from supply chains.
Setting targets for emissions reduction
Once an organisation has measured its carbon footprint, it can set targets for emissions reduction. These targets should be ambitious but achievable, and should be regularly reviewed and updated.
Investing in energy efficiency
One of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions is to invest in energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting, insulation, and energy-efficient equipment.
Investing in renewable energy
Businesses and organisations can also reduce their carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. This may involve installing on-site renewable energy systems or purchasing renewable energy credits from off-site sources.
Purchasing carbon credits
To achieve carbon neutrality, organisations can purchase carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions that they are unable to reduce. Carbon credits can be purchased from a variety of sources, including renewable energy projects and reforestation initiatives.
Investing in carbon capture and storage
To achieve net-zero emissions, businesses and organisations may need to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. This involves capturing carbon emissions from industrial processes and storing them underground or in other locations where they will not contribute to climate change.