Greener Businesses: Going Carbon Neutral
Businesses have been aiming to reduce their carbon footprint for a while. It’s something that has been embedded in corporate social responsibility strategies for years and has been implemented in offices and across organisations in a variety of ways.
However, in the past few years, the need for organisations to go green has become more prominent. This is the result of several factors, including increased awareness thanks to high-profile environmental campaigners like Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg.
However, one of the most pressing reasons for businesses to make their practices more sustainable is that the UK government wants the country to be carbon net zero by 2050. This target has already seen a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, along with the phasing out of traditional gas boilers.
Now, businesses are actively seeking to reach net zero. In fact, back in March 2021, 30 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies had signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign. This is a global alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. By November, that number had doubled, revealing how much companies are prioritising going green.
What is carbon neutrality?
Being carbon neutral means striking a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Net zero takes this a step further. This is reducing greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. Net zero is achieved when the amount of greenhouse gas produced is no more than the amount that’s taken away.
How can businesses become carbon neutral?
Here are some steps to take if you’re a business owner looking to make your company carbon neutral:
- Measure your business’ carbon footprint
It’s important that you know your carbon footprint so that you can work out the success of any changes you introduce. You’ll need to begin by gathering data about your energy emissions from the previous 12 months. Once all the data is compiled, it’s possible to use the government’s greenhouse gas conversion document to help work out how much energy is being consumed.
- Look at reducing energy consumption
Once you have a figure, you can come up with some ideas to help bring down your emissions. You can then form a wider strategy to help steer the business’ green goals.
- Transition to renewable energy
Look at the source of energy currently being used to power your office or main workplace. If possible, invest in renewable equivalents. These can be both good for the environment and potentially save your company money in the long run.
As this is an investment that will benefit businesses now and in the future, it could be worth partnering with renewable energy projects that specialise in providing green alternatives. These renewable energy projects are covered by specific insurance, protecting this alternative energy source.
- Set targets and monitor regularly
Once you have a system in place, be sure to regularly monitor your set-up and make changes where appropriate. For instance, you might decide to introduce carbon offsetting or rethink your transportation systems. Frequently checking in will help you see where things can be adapted and improved upon.