LIMITING the emission of carbon, and other greenhouse gases, is something that customers, governments and businesses have become increasingly concerned with in recent years. In light of dire warnings from a procession of expert panels, it’s become imperative that the world cleans up its act when it comes to CO2.
If you’re running a business, however, it might not be immediately clear how this might be done – or if it’s even possible. Any change in the right direction, however, is going to be worthwhile change, even if it doesn’t quickly result in the ideal outcome.
With that said, let’s take a look at what a green business might look like, and how we might get there.
What does it mean to be a carbon neutral business?
A carbon neutral business is one that extracts as much carbon from the atmosphere as it releases via its activities.
This is mostly done by limiting the latter. Reducing your energy consumption, providing incentives for employees to walk to work rather than driving, and downsizing your office might all qualify. Of course, you won’t be able to reduce your emissions to zero. This is where offsetting comes in.
Offsetting involves investing in projects which reduce carbon emissions elsewhere, or in doing things like planting trees. There are also technologies which extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they’re in their infancy.
Reasons to Go Carbon Neutral
There are ethical reasons that businesses might wish to go carbon neutral. In principle, you might consider it a good thing to leave the natural world in a better place than you left it.
This attitude is widely shared by many consumers, which is why businesses might wish to decarbonise for purely financial reasons. Many of the measures used to decarbonise, like insulating a premises, might also help a business to save money directly. The gas you burn not only produces waste: it also costs money.
There may also be increasingly stringent tax and regulation coming in as a result of changing attitudes among voters. Forward-thinking businesses might pre-emptively adapt to the changing conditions.
Steps to going carbon-neutral
So, how might a business make the shift toward carbon neutrality? The first step is an energy audit. This will determine exactly how much carbon you’re emitting, and where the easiest and most effective cuts might be made.
When you’re formulating your plan, you should consider not only the emissions you’re directly responsible for, but those of your suppliers and partners. If you’ve outsourcing your shipping operations to a company with a carbon neutral status, you are making a step in the right direction.
Having devised a strategy and implemented its recommendations, your business will be greener. But this is an ongoing process. Regular emissions audits, and progress reports, will help to reassure your customers and stakeholders that your business really is getting greener.