Companies can achieve significant economic, social and environmental benefits by going green, but what does it mean to become carbon neutral, and what needs to be done to become carbon neutral?
In order to clarify terminology for those who are unfamiliar, we must first define some terms. We start with Carbon Footprint. When a company conducts its daily operations, it produces greenhouse gases. There is no limit to how specific a carbon footprint can be, and it can apply to a single product or an entire company.
The term “Carbon Neutral” refers simply to having a carbon footprint that is zero. In other words, a carbon neutral company does not necessarily produce zero greenhouse gas emissions or zero carbon during its day-to-day operations. So, how does a company convert to being carbon neutral?
An assessment of the activities within an organization that cause a carbon footprint is the first step, after which a process for monitoring them is implemented.
As part of this process, it would be helpful to also prepare or update an Environmental Statement that outlines the company’s policy for working towards carbon neutrality. The aim of this is to show clients, customers, staff, and other interested parties what the company is about.
After this has been accomplished, the task of reducing these emissions as much as possible needs to be undertaken. Change and improvements in processes can be made through innovation and improved technology, as well as through carbon capture techniques.
If a carbon footprint cannot be entirely reduced, then it needs to be offset. We can achieve this by combining financial support for carbon reduction schemes including reforestation projects and renewable energy schemes, such as solar power, wind power, and wave power.
If a company wishes to achieve carbon neutrality, its direct emissions should be removed or offset entirely, with indirect emissions from electricity purchases for example, reduced by buying renewable energy.
Even though this sounds like an expense to a business as opposed to a saving, there is an added burden associated with monitoring and tracking the carbon footprint. In any case, the cost of buying energy has continued to rise over the past few years, and the savings achieved in reducing the needed energy and associated emissions should make a carbon neutral company a commercially viable option.
Assuras has been working on sustainability projects, working towards true carbon neutral or negative states while actually attempting to save in costs long term.
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