As increasing carbon emissions have become increasingly linked with global warming, businesses are feeling the pressure to reduce their footprint and become carbon neutral.
Large companies such as Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft and Sky all claim to be neutral, but going carbon neutral is not just for big corporations.
Here is how you can, and why you should, take your business carbon neutral.
What is carbon neutral?
You may hear this phrase thrown around, but are not entirely clear on its meaning. It is the practice of offsetting your company’s carbon emissions so that there is no net release of carbon dioxide.
Every company produces carbon emission through a range of activities, whether this is through transport, waste disposal or energy consumption. The aim is to balance the amount of carbon emitted with the amount offset, to create zero greenhouse emissions.
Why carbon neutral?
There are many benefits to a business being carbon neutral. For one, being known as a conscientious green company may help you to attract investors and clients, meaning is also a valuable and desirable market tool. Your business will also be one of many helping to reduce carbon emissions across the globe, limiting the effect on climate change and helping to preserve the planet for future generations. Being carbon neutral could also help your business to save costs on expenses such as travel and energy bills.
What steps can my business take?
Before you can begin to make changes, you need to calculate the size of your business’s current carbon footprint. The National Energy Foundation offers a free carbon calculating for small and SME companies, who use the latest figures from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. When you have an estimated figure, you can then find ways to reduce your footprint.
There are many ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint, including: recycling paper, utilising video conferences to reduce air travel, creating less waste by communicating online, employing freelance staff, introducing a carpool system, and switching off all equipment at night or when not in use. There is also the government Green Deal grant to help businesses make their offices and premises more efficient.
No matter how energy efficient your company aims to become, you will find this impossible to achieve as there will always be unavoidable emissions. The only way to combat and balance this is to purchase carbon offsetting credits. This is a scheme that then re-invests in environmentally friendly projects across the globe, including renewable energy sources and reforestation.
In conclusion, a carbon neutral status is beneficial to your business and helps to safeguard the future of the planet. Aim to be carbon neutral and see how it helps your company grow.