Goodbye Carbon Neutral, Hello Net Zero!

End of the phrase ‘Carbon Natural’

For many years Carbon Neutral was the phrase being used by politicians and businesses, claiming that once businesses reached the prestigious position of carbon neutral, climate change would no longer be the big challenge that everyone made out.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

Carbon neutrality allowed businesses to offset their carbon emissions by buying carbon credits which cancelled out the effect of their emissions. This means that businesses made more effort offsetting rather than reducing their emissions in the first place. The science is clear; to reduce global warming, first and foremost we must reduce emissions. Therefore, rendering carbon neutral goals to be somewhat ineffective.

Net Zero

Net Zero emissions refer to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted into the atmosphere and the amount removed from the atmosphere. It is a state where the net emissions of GHGs, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), are effectively reduced to zero.

Businesses with Net Zero goals and action plans are demonstrating a combination of emission reduction strategies and the use of carbon removal techniques. Emission reduction strategies involve minimising or eliminating emissions through energy efficiency improvements, transitioning to renewable energy sources, sustainable transportation, and implementing low-carbon technologies across various sectors.

For many carbon-dependent sectors Net Zero isn’t a quick win, it requires long term commitment and investment however the benefits expand beyond protecting the planet.

In the past few weeks big businesses such as East Jet, Google and Nestle have all dropped Carbon Neutral goals and replaced them with Net Zero ones.

If you’d like some support adjusting your carbon neutral goals to net-zero goals, our consultants can help!