Climate change is one of the most pressing concerns for environmentalists around the world, and businesses both large and small are being urged to achieve carbon neutrality, in an attempt to slow the rate of global warming. If you didn’t already know, carbon dioxide released into the Earth’s atmosphere causes the greenhouse effect. Thermal energy emitted from the sun becomes trapped by the atmosphere, leading to a rise in the planet’s temperature. This, in turn, could lead to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, intense droughts and more.
Carbon neutrality means balancing carbon emissions with the carbon you absorb. Essentially, a carbon neutral company contributes zero net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. For many businesses, especially those which produce energy, reducing carbon emissions can seem like a very difficult task, but there are definitely steps you can take to get started. Check out the following article for a few key points on achieving carbon neutrality.
Choosing Greener Alternatives
This first point is simple in principle, but can be costly, as green alternatives to many essential services are not yet mainstream. Hence, as more businesses begin to adopt green technology (like electric vehicles, for example) the prices will continue to fall. If you’re concerned that you can’t afford carbon neutral or carbon-free options, you could look for local support and resources, like tax credits and subsidy schemes. You’ll find there are many financial incentives available to encourage a reduction in emissions.
No matter what your business does, there are always options which contribute less carbon. Electricity companies, for example, can look to provide greener power generation, along with building better, more efficient grids. This allows them to serve affordable, clean energy to consumers while also improving their profitability.
Becoming More Efficient
There are a number of ways in which businesses of any size can become more energy efficient. Using less power means you lower your contribution to global carbon emissions (unless your business runs on completely clean energy, which is unlikely). Here are just a few things you can do:
- Turn off lights and appliances when they aren’t in use
- Enable energy-saving features on all equipment
- Use online resources rather than printing excessively
- Be mindful of heating – keep it to a minimum
You can also gain official certification of carbon neutrality. By reducing your own emissions, and supporting external emission-reducing projects, your business can become recognized with a certification logo. Not only does this tell customers and business partners that you’re making a conscious effort to help the environment, but it will also help you to qualify for a range of government incentives.
Becoming carbon neutral does not have to happen all at once. This would be very difficult and expensive to achieve, so most businesses set themselves a date. Amazon, for example, one of the world’s largest companies, only aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. If you’re still unsure of where to begin, try calculating the carbon footprint of your business. From here, you can take the first steps to reduce it.