What Does a Company Need to Do to Become Carbon Neutral?

Going green should have environmental, social and economic benefits for a company, but what does it average to become carbon neutral, what needs to be done to unprotected to a carbon neutral company.

For those not familiar with the terminology, we need to set out some definitions. The first is the Carbon Footprint. This is the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced by a company in carrying out its daily operations. A carbon footprint can be as specific as relating to a single product, or as general as applying to a whole company.

Carbon Neutral is simply defined as having a net zero carbon footprint. Of course that does not average that a company that is carbon neutral will produce no greenhouse gases or zero carbon in their day to day operations, so how can a company become carbon neutral?

The first task is to estimate the operations within a company that go to make up the carbon footprint and to implement a course of action to monitor these going forward.

A good step at this point is also to prepare or update the company Environmental Statement, setting out the policy of working towards a carbon neutral position. This shows to clients, customers, staff and other interested parties the intentions of the company.

Once this is achieved the task of reducing these emissions as far as possible, needs to be tackled. This can be by changes and improvements in processes, by innovation or improved technology or via techniques such as carbon capture.

The balance of the carbon footprint that can not be reduced thoroughly then needs to be offset. This can be achieved by a combined course of action of providing financial sustain to carbon reduction schemes including projects that promote reforestation and to replaceable energy schemes including solar strength, wind and wave strength, biomass energy generation and hydroelectric strength.

A good benchmark for a business in working towards carbon neutrality is that direct emissions should be removed or offset thoroughly, with indirect emissions from purchases of electricity for example should be reduced by purchasing decisions that focus on replaceable supplies.

Whilst all this sounds like a cost to a business instead of a saving, it is true that there is additional work involved in monitoring and tracking the carbon footprint. However the cost of purchasing energy has continued to rise over the past few years and the savings achieved in reducing the required energy and associated emissions should average there is a commercial argument for working towards a carbon neutral company.

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