What can Businesses do to Become Carbon Neutral?
Over recent months and years, a huge amount is being said about carbon neutrality, and what government and business can do to work towards it. Recently, we’ve seen the COP 26 conference take place in Glasgow. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change having warned that we’re likely to reach 1.5℃ by the early 2030s, time has never been scarcer.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
A business which is carbon-neutral is one that removes as much carbon from the atmosphere as it puts in. It might do this through tree-planting and other offsetting measures. Sustainable practices aren’t just ethically laudable; they can also confer immediate financial benefits. Reducing energy usage, for example, will save the firm money. Moreover, there might be market-based incentives for making the switch, as customers often prefer firms that make the effort to reduce their impact.
What can Business do?
Let’s take a look at a few of the steps that a business might take towards compliance.
Become more efficient
Much of a given company’s carbon emissions will step, directly or indirectly, from heating and lighting the premises. We might limit this cost by insulating roofs, and by ensuring that we get maximum solar heat gain through windows. This philosophy can be put in place as the premises are being constructed, so that the design of the building maximises these efficiencies.
Replacing light bulbs with their LED equivalents is another step that will tend to pay for itself in fairly short order. In cooking spaces, induction hobs tend to offer superior efficiency to their gas equivalents, particularly if the hob is being used throughout the day.
Considering the entire supply chain
A business’s carbon impact doesn’t just stem from what goes on on-site, but the entire supply chain. If you’re buying in raw materials that were extracted in a carbon-intensive way, then you are creating those emissions.
It’s more difficult to examine the activities of your clients and suppliers than it is to examine your own. But it’s not impossible – through auditing and extensive vetting, you can identify the partner firms who share your philosophy toward the environment.
An emerging strategy for measuring a business’s ethical credentials is through ESG (that’s Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy. Global law firms such as Squire Patton Boggs sig up to be a part of the ESG initiative that in turn provide services which support their clients on a range of green issues, and help them to not only transition to more sustainable ways of doing things, but demonstrate that transition to would-be collaborators.