The term Net Zero is a phrase that a lot of companies and organisations are starting to use, as well as others including sustainability and carbon neutral, but what does this mean and how does it affect us. Lots of us have heard the term Net Zero but a lot of us are not aware of what this means. Before we look at how we can achieve this, it is important to look at what is meant by this. In simple terms, it refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed by the atmosphere.
To stabilise climate change, CO2 emissions need to fall to zero, and the quicker we can do this, the better. Governments around the world agreed to keep global warming below 2 degrees as part of the Paris Agreement, and below 1.5 degrees ideally. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced back in October 2018 that global emissions need to reach net zero around mid-century to give the world a realistic chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to announce to be Net Zero by 2050. Following on from this, lots of businesses have set their own targets to tackle climate change and reduce their own carbon footprint and carbon emissions to reach their own Net Zero goals. For the UK to reach its Net Zero target, all emissions from every sector will need to be cut, including transport, agriculture, homes, and transport which is why it is so important that all businesses are aware of this and what they can do to achieve it.
There are some countries who are further on this journey than others, with Bhutan being a prime example to the rest of the world, as they are already carbon-negative and absorb more CO2 than they emit. We did a Swan TV episode recently with Alexander Verbeek who spoke about how advanced Bhutan was and how they should be an example to the rest of the world.
For many, Net Zero and reducing carbon emissions it is not something that a lot of businesses have been thinking, about with the deadline being 2050, however it is something that we need to be thinking about soon as there are lots of things that will need to be put in place to make sure that we achieve it. Although the date of 2050 has been set, there are considerable changes that will need to have taken place sooner than this, and ideally by 2030 to ensure that we are on schedule to meet the target.
Carbon neutrality is the term that refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be achieved by either balancing out the emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal (which is usually done via carbon offsetting) or by eliminating carbon emissions altogether, which would be the ideal solution.
There are many benefits for a business to become carbon neutral, not just the benefits for the world as a whole and for future generations, but there are also short-term benefits. These include increased revenue and engaging stakeholders amongst other things. By demonstrating that you are not only aware of reducing your carbon footprint but also by showing examples of how you are doing this, you will demonstrate to your customers and other organisations that you are managing and aware of the climate risks of your business.
There are lots of areas of our daily lives that will be impacted and affected by these changes that we need to make. For example, by 2030 all new petrol and diesel cars will be replaced by a gentle whirr of electric vehicles (EVs). The purpose is to accelerate the UK towards its ambitious Net Zero target to be carbon neutral by 2050 by replacing polluting vehicles with greener alternatives. Around one third of the UK’s carbon emissions come from transport, so it is a significant area for carbon reduction. One big question is, are we ready for this, and are the Government doing enough to ensure that there will be adequate resources dedicated to the technology and equipment needed to supply these electric vehicles.
Indigo Swan can help businesses who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and / or switch to a ‘Green’ energy supplier. We have access to a wide array of tools and resources and can help offer support and advice to help businesses on their low carbon journey.
We work with an array of energy suppliers so from finding the right supplier, to checking and negotiating contracts we are here to help your business be greener.
Contact one of our friendly swans today to see how we can help you on your journey to becoming Net Zero.