How to Become Carbon Neutral: Your Complete Guide

March 1, 2022

Many climate change challenges we are faced with today are related to the growing levels of carbon emissions. Oceans are getting warmer, droughts are diminishing freshwater supplies, and now, people’s livelihoods are faced with serious threats. Initially, people used to question whether pollution was really the reason behind global warming, but it has now been proven scientifically that carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions are to blame. 

In 2020, the average global temperatures were 1.8 degrees Celsius higher than the average 20th-century levels. This implies that the earth's temperature rose by 0.08° C per decade since 1880 (NOAA). The net effect of this is that we are approaching critical levels and the impacts could be more severe. From the polar ice to fragile ecosystems in lowlands, climate change is likely to damage them severely. 

The numbers about global warming are really scary and we need to adopt the road to neutrality to averty the looming disaster. If you are an entrepreneur or manager, you have a bigger responsibility in curbing global warming. You should target becoming carbon neutral by cutting down emissions in different areas. So, how do you reduce greenhouse emissions?

A lot of pressure has been coming from stakeholders, who are demanding that companies operate responsibly by reducing their carbon footprint every year. The lovely thing is that cutting down your companies’ carbon footprint offers so many benefits other than helping to keep the planet clean. Going green by shifting to new forms of sustainable energy to cut down emissions, among other sustainability efforts, might  be the missing link that you need to thrust your company to success.  All about the climate reporting here.

In this post, we will demonstrate how to be carbon neutral. 

Carbon Neutrality: A Closer Look 

Before looking at the benefits that come with running a carbon-neutral company or cutting down net emissions, let's understand what it is. Being carbon neutral refers to the earth's need to maintain clear homeostasis via the release of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas, and the off-take into carbon sinks. It is the perfect balance where only enough carbon dioxide that the planet requires is produced. Exces of this carbon dioxide gas release into the atmosphere is very harmful, but this is the reality. 

The critical natural balance has been compromised as excess carbon dioxide is added into the atmosphere faster than the planet can absorb.  If the rate of emissions from different sources, from transportation to food production sources continues, the earth will get into a more severe danger. This is the time to go green for all the companies and countries. All about SBTI on this article.

Carbon off-take from the atmosphere and storage into sinks (sequestration) takes place naturally and can be geological or ecological. Scientists have been working on new technologies to try and clear more net carbon from the atmosphere, but these advances are yet to achieve significant success. Do you know how to calculate carbon emissions?

Today, crucial carbon sinks, such as permafrost, rainforest, and amazon and oceans, are at work, but they cannot clear the gigatonnes of carbons getting injected into the atmosphere. This is why countries and companies must not lose focus on reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Your enterprise needs to target being carbon neutral.  All about climate risk reporting here.

You can even go beyond carbon neutrality and target being carbon negative. This means that your company targets to remove from the atmosphere more carbon dioxide than it is emitting per year. Indeed, it is already happening, with companies such as Microsoft targeting to become carbon negative by 2030. If more enterprises, from food processors to heavy machinery producers, target becoming carbon negative over the years, the plant would be a better place for people and all ecosystems therein. Do you know the science based targets initiative?

Tips for Becoming a Carbon Neutral Business

Are you wondering how to be carbon neutral? Well, it is a process that requires the following good planning, especially in relation to power use and use of technology. Here are some expert tips for reducing carbon emissions fast to achieve neutrality.  

  1. Measure

This is the first and most important step when targeting to get certified as carbon neutral. The importance of measuring your efforts is that you cannot reduce what you do not know. So, carry out a comprehensive review of all activities in your company, from energy use to lighting, to determine the actual carbon footprint. 

You also need to determine where the carbon emissions are coming from. Is the carbon coming from the internal combustion engines in the production line, transport, or other activities? Remember that transportation should include both movement of products and people, especially staff.

  1. Reduce 

To be able to cut down the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gasses that your company reduces, you will need a good strategy. Indeed, there are a number of things that you can do to keep the emissions at bay. Make sure to factor the power needs for the company over the years to understand the operation dynamics. 

Then focus on the strategies that deliver higher offset levels while promoting efficiency of the company operations. 

For example, if your company uses fossil fuels, change to hydropower, solar, or other clean sources will be an excellent move to cut down net carbon footprint every year. You might also adopt new raw materials, shift to preventive maintenance, and ask companies and people in the supply chain to also cut down their emissions. 

  1. Offset

As you focus on decarbonization, there are some emissions that can be cut down, others that are impossible to reduce. Carbon offset /credit is a system where companies, organizations, and countries can get payment for reducing carbon emissions beyond what they produce. 

Carbon offsetting provides purchasable units to balance the carbon emitted using credits bought from initiatives that actively cut down emissions, especially through direct removal, reducing, or avoiding emissions altogether. Offsetting helps to motivate those who are committed to removing large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the years so that they can continue with the good work.  

  • Communicate

Once you have reduced the greenhouse emissions, do not stop there. Your stakeholders want to know about it so that they can be associated with you. Today, unlike any other time in the past, stakeholders want to be associated with companies that are committed to promoting sustainability.

Therefore, you should report to them about the average reduction of carbon emissions or offsets by your company to stand out from competitors and strengthen the brand. 

The best way to demonstrate your journey to carbon neutrality is by adopting ESG sustainability reporting. This means that instead of just reporting the emission reduction, even other social and governance efforts for sustainability are highlighted. This can make more stakeholders appreciate your company's efforts and invest, buy its products, and/ or become its raving fans. 

Benefits of Being Carbon Neutral and Sustainability Reporting 

As we demonstrated in this post, climate change and global warming are real and threatening our planet’s existence. Therefore, you should join others and lead from the front to fight the problem that has become so severe by targeting carbon neutrality and green operations. Here are the main benefits to expect from becoming carbon neutral. 

  • Keeps the Cost of Operation Low: Most efforts used to help cut down emissions, such as improving efficiency and shifting to renewable energy, also push down the cost of operations. Further, they can help improve the productivity of your company. 
  • Strengthens a Company’s Brand: Building your brand around sustainability, whether through direct emission reduction or offsetting, can help to strengthen the brand. More people both online and offline want to be associated with green companies, and being carbon neutral might be all you need for a bigger market share.  When you buy carbon offsets, make sure to notify them too.
  • Good for Compliance: Many governments have passed legislation calling for companies to adopt sustainability and sustainability reporting. Even other regulatory bodies, such as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) and London Stock Exchange (LSE), have also set out requirements for sustainability reporting. Being carbon neutral is one of the reporting topics in ESG sustainability reporting. Therefore, it can come in handy in helping you to comply with different laws and policies. 
  • Promotes long Term Planning: The first step on how to be carbon neutral is reviewing a company's operations to determine the areas with high emissions. The review, especially when combined with ESG reporting, can help to identify key opportunities and risks of a company. This is very important for long-term planning. 

This post has demonstrated the main steps that you should follow to make your company carbon neutral. However, capturing the right data and other metrics on carbon neutrality can be challenging.

Most companies find this challenging, especially when dealing with multiple metrics directed at carbon neutrality. 

You might be following metrics on carbon emission reduction by adopting predictive maintenance, shifting to energy-efficient lamps, changing raw materials, and staff training. Carbon offsets might be added into the equation for compliance.  Tracing the results from all these considerations is never easy. This is why you should identify and work with good sustainability management software. The programs can help you to follow all metrics and create reports that are accurate and easy to read. 

Diginex.com has the best programs and expertise for all your reporting needs. Do not continue wondering how to be carbon neutral anymore: our experts at Diginex can help!





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