What exactly is Net Zero?Comments Off on What exactly is Net Zero?
There is much talk about the need for businesses to become more sustainable and socially responsible in their day to day activity both in the office and out on clients’ sites. The need for businesses to become ‘net zero’ and aware of their responsibilities to reduce their day to day emissions is commonplace, but what exactly is net zero?
Net zero refers to the point at which all carbon emissions are eliminated or offset, in efforts to quit contributing to the inertia of climate change. Leading scientists believe this could well affect the well-being of humanity globally. The UK Government has set a net zero carbon target for 2050 and are committed to this goal with the announcement that from 2030, new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold. While 45 per cent of FTSE 100 companies have committed to achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner, only 16 per cent have a plan on how they will achieve it. The other 55% of FTSE companies join the majority of businesses in requiring support to address the various knowledge gaps, to ensure that widespread net zero carbon commitments are rolled out alongside credible plans for organisations to achieve these objectives.
A main point for discussion on the journey is the difference between striving for carbon neutral goals versus net zero goals. From a public Corporate Social Responsibility perspective, carbon neutrality is often used as the main point for sustainable business. The issue, however, with this approach alone is that it relies on carbon offset rather than truly sustainable practice and development, meaning that companies can buy into programs that counteract their impact. The investment in carbon capture and renewable infrastructure elsewhere is important, but so is gradually improving the way we operate here and now. Put simple, there has to be a plan in place in order to achieve the objective.
Globally, the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions is still electricity and heat, accounting for almost a third of all emissions. There are other scopes of carbon emissions, however, with suppliers, associates, and necessary services usually the largest category and can include so much of a wider network, but is also the scope with the largest potential for positive growth by encouraging connections to make progress, and in working together in the race to carbon neutrality. Unlike other races, this is one that everyone needs to finish, and no one can afford to lose.