What is your carbon footprint? Have you thought of how to be carbon neutral in business? If not, this is the time because the planet is looking to you to address global warming. For centuries, we have been emitting excess greenhouse (GHG) emissions, pushing the world to the current precarious situation. According to the 2015 Paris Conference on Climate Change, we are at the brink of a disaster if the surface temperatures keep rising beyond the current levels.
This brings us to the big question, “how do we address the problem of global warming?” It is pretty straightforward, be carbon neutral and ingrain sustainability in your operations. Let’s dig deeper into the concept of carbon neutrality to demonstrate what it is, benefits and steps that you should follow to achieve it.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
Carbon neutrality is the planet’s need to maintain a balance between carbon dioxide, and greenhouse gasses, and their absorption into the carbon sinks. However, human beings have thrown this balance off by emitting carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses faster than the planet can absorb. The excess is what is transforming the planet into a sort of a “kiln”.
As a company, being carbon neutral means that you are able to remove all the greenhouse gasses that you create so that the earth’s natural balance is not disrupted. Today, critical carbon sinks, such as Amazon and permafrost, are no longer capable of absorbing all the carbon emissions released from human activities. So, your company cannot be left behind as others go neutral.
Benefits of Running a Carbon Neutral Company
Companies have already started the journey to achieve carbon neutrality, and they are so proud of it. Amazon targets to be carbon neutral by 2040, while Apple and Microsoft want to achieve the status much earlier in 2030. So, what is driving almost every brand to become carbon neutral? Here are some of the benefits that you should anticipate for being carbon neutral:
- It is part of compliance with local and international laws, policies, and standards.
- You are assured of better customer and stakeholder support for being carbon neutral.
- The process offers your company an excellent opportunity to review its operations, improve efficiency, and grow revenue.
- A sure way of strengthening a company’s brand.
- Helps to cut down operating costs and grow profitability.
- Offers the satisfaction that you are part of the global efforts addressing the problems of global warming and climate change.
How to Be Carbon Neutral in Your Enterprise
The benefits we have highlighted above are only a few; your business will enjoy a lot more. Here are the main steps to follow to become carbon neutral.
Measure Your Carbon Footprint
One thing we must emphasize is that your company cannot reduce what it does not know. Therefore, you need to start by calculating the company’s carbon footprint. This will help you understand how much Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions are coming from your company. Remember that the data you collect should be accurate and verifiable.
Cut Down Your GHG Emissions
Once you calculate the emissions, develop an emission reduction target and craft a strategy to achieve that. For example, you might want to target cutting down GHG by 5% every year until the company reaches carbon neutrality. Here are some actions that you can take to maintain the journey to carbon neutrality on course:
- Change your lighting system to more energy-efficient lamps.
- Service your machinery on time.
- Train staff on carbon footprint reduction.
- Change your product design to more efficient design.
- Shift to newer and more efficient machinery.
- Relook at your supply chain and reword on contracts with suppliers and include carbon footprint reduction clauses.
- Change raw materials to more eco-friendly sources.
As a business, there is a level beyond which you cannot cut down emissions without interrupting the operations. If you hit this point, a carbon offset/carbon credit mechanism will be a perfect pick. This means that the excess emissions are quantified, and you pay for it so that the funds go to firms, organizations, projects, or countries that surpassed their carbon targets. This will keep them motivated to remove more carbon emissions from the atmosphere.
However, the idea of buying carbon offset is not sustainable in the long term for most companies. Instead, you should work on adopting strategies that can help you cut down emissions to reach carbon neutral or carbon negative status.
As you can see, how to be carbon neutral is a journey and not a specific point. In addition to achieving the neutral level, make sure to report the process and results to stakeholders. For most companies, the journey to carbon neutrality is combined with ESG sustainability reporting. To make the journey even more effective, ensure to have sustainability management software, and Diginex.com can provide you with the best. They also have experts that you can consult for better results.