Why You Should Join the Ranks of Carbon Neutral Companies
Many climate change issues are connected to our global continued growth in carbon emissions. In 2015, the Paris agreement required nearly every country in the world to commit to a specified emission reduction target. The private sector has been under pressure from consumers, employees and other stakeholders to play their part too. As a result, many companies are pursuing strategies to become one of many carbon neutral companies.
Carbon neutrality has become a catch-all term for enterprises seeking to offset the carbon dioxide their operations are emitting into the atmosphere.
Surprisingly, companies reducing their carbon footprint benefit from more than contributing to a cleaner planet. Climate neutral certified businesses also find financial success.
So, how do companies become carbon neutral?
Today, we’re going to explore how to become carbon neutral, business strategies that will reduce your carbon footprint, and what’s involved in the carbon certification process.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
Carbon neutrality refers specifically to the planet’s need to maintain homeostasis through the emission of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and the absorption of CO2 into carbon sinks. Human activities have thrown this balance off-kilter, and excess CO2 is added to the atmosphere faster than the planet can absorb and store it.
The process of storing carbon into carbon sinks is called carbon sequestration and is naturally done by the planet, either ecologically or geologically. However, scientists are continually working towards technological carbon sequestration to achieve carbon neutrality.
Unfortunately, technological advancements have yet to achieve the scale needed to become carbon neutral. Critical natural carbon sinks, such as the Amazon rainforest, permafrost, other forests, soil, and the ocean, are incapable of absorbing the gigatonnes of carbon humans are releasing into the air. This is why more businesses need to become carbon neutral companies.
It’s More than Carbon Neutrality
While carbon neutrality has been in the lexicon of climate scientists for years, it’s slowly being adopted by the average consumer. However, there are different tiers when it comes to reducing your business carbon footprint.
Companies can be:
To be carbon neutral, a business’s operation must remove as much CO2 from the atmosphere as it is producing. When a company achieves this, it is emitting net-zero emissions. To become a carbon zero company, the usual path is to purchase carbon offset credits. Essentially, you’re not producing less carbon dioxide. However, you are contributing financially to the removal of carbon in some form. An example of one of the carbon neutral companies is Lyft. It buys carbon offsets to cover all of its rides.
Carbon neutral companies aim to maintain a balance of how much carbon they emit, while a carbon negative company’s goal is to emit less carbon from the atmosphere than it removes. Tech-giant Microsoft announced its plan to be carbon negative by 2030.
How to Become a Certified Carbon Neutral Company
When it comes to how to be carbon neutral, there are four steps you need to take.
The first step to achieve your carbon neutral certification is to measure the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions your company produces and break it down into each department. This includes all activities, such as flights, production, and energy usage.
After you’ve calculated the total amount of carbon you’re emitting as well as where it originates, the next step is to create a strategy on where you can cut back. If you need help formulating a strategy, non-profit organizations such as Cool Effect can help you find key areas that can reduce CO2 emissions.
As organizations decarbonize there will be certain emissions that can only be reduced at great expense and that other emissions cannot be reduced at all. A carbon offset is a mechanism by which buyers who purchase them can claim a measurable, verified quantity of emission reductions.
Carbon offsets or carbon credits counter/compensate/offset the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions caused by university activities. They are measured in Metric Tons (tonnes) of Carbon Dioxide Equivalents (mtCO2e). For each metric ton emitted, carbon credits are used to fund activities to prevent a tonne or reduce a tonne from being emitted somewhere else. Credits can be purchased and retired to formally compensate for emissions and contribute to achieving emission reduction goals.
Carbon offsetting, otherwise known as carbon offset credits, are purchasable units to balance out the carbon emitted with credits purchased from initiatives that actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding, reducing, sequestering or removing carbon from the atmosphere.. To find a verified project, contact Cool Effect. You’ll be matched with the right one, and can rest assured your investment is creating a lasting impact.
You need to let the world, and your stakeholders, know that you’ve committed to helping the planet. This proof of climate action helps build rapport with the public while also spreading awareness for other owners to operate carbon neutral companies.
Why Becoming Carbon Neutral is Important
Climate change is real, and it’s a growing problem. Regardless of where you stand politically on the subject, everyone can agree that polluting the planet isn’t a healthy endeavor. However, there are less altruistic reasons to become carbon neutral.
As with any financial undertaking, the investment takes time to pay off. However, certain costs contributing to carbon neutrality can save money now. For instance, if you properly insulate your facilities, reduce unnecessary travel, and create a work environment that promotes less waste, you’ll end up saving significantly more than your original investment.
The buying demographic has shifted, and the newer generation is extremely vocal about how they vote with their dollars. In an age of transparency, young buyers will be loyal to a brand that espouses beliefs similar to their own.
Marketplace talent is also changing. More and more individuals are choosing lower-paying jobs if the company holds a higher standard of ethics.
It’s a rare day when taxes are significantly reduced, and governments will likely find a way to include a tax on carbon consumption. By becoming a carbon zero company, you can likely avoid the increased hike in taxes.
Learn More with Cool Effect
If your company is looking to become carbon neutral, Cool Effect is the right place to start. We are a non-profit organization that takes pride in building relationships with companies looking to help fight climate change. If you would like to learn how to purchase carbon credits or want to invest in other sustainable practices, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.