Carbon neutrality: what is it, how to achieve it and why you should care
When sustainability is on the agenda, you’re likely to hear many terms mentioned that you may or may not be familiar with. One that you should be aware of and understand is carbon neutrality, since this is something that could play a central role in helping to protect the long-term future of our planet. In this post, we’ll define what carbon neutrality is, outline the steps you can take to achieve it, and describe the reasons why it’s an important goal for both individuals and businesses to aim for.
What is carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality, also known as net-zero carbon, is the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they are no longer contributing to climate change. To achieve this, we must strike a balance between the amount of CO2 we emit and the amount we remove from the atmosphere.
How to achieve it
Carbon neutrality doesn’t just mean reducing emissions in the first place, but you should also consider the different ways we can remove carbon that has already been produced. This can be done through a variety of means, such as planting trees, sequestering carbon in sinks, and using renewable energy sources. If you don’t have the means yourself, there are many carbon offsetting schemes in place across the world, whereby you can either invest directly in a project, or carbon credits can be bought to be invested in emission-reduction schemes.
While the ultimate goal is to achieve complete carbon neutrality, even a partial reduction in emissions can help to slow down the effects of climate change.
Why should you care?
There are so many benefits to both the environment and your business to taking an eco-conscious approach. Here are three reasons why you should care about carbon neutrality:
- Help protect the future of the planet. Experts have highlighted the importance of achieving carbon neutrality by the mid-21st century, in order to realise the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C. If more people and businesses made collective strides towards carbon neutrality, there would be widespread benefits felt across the globe.
- Sustainability policies make your business more attractive. Research has found a clear correlation between consumer spending habits and the eco-credentials of the companies they use. As reported in this guide to carbon offsetting for businesses, 84% of consumers revealed they would or might stop using a brand that has a poor sustainability record. No matter the industry, it’s clear that customers are more likely to use the goods and services of a company that demonstrates a clear commitment to sustainability.
- Future-proofing. As governments across the globe ramp up their responses to the climate emergency, we are all likely to face more stringent measures around carbon emissions in the not too distant future. Implementing a carbon neutral policy now will mean you and your business will have a head start on competitors for when stricter legislation comes into force.
As more and more people commit to taking action on climate change, we inch closer and closer to a future of carbon neutrality.
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