From conducting a carbon footprint assessment to setting goals and investing in energy-efficient technologies, how to transform your company into a greenhouse gas emissions-neutral enterprise.
Around the globe, companies and their green entrepreneurs are rapidly shifting focus to mitigating the effects of climate change, through both regulation and a variety of innovative solutions. The International Energy Agency estimates that global energy investment will need to more than triple to approximately $4 trillion for the world to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050. And although large organizations will likely lead the way, small businesses have a significant role to play in building a cleaner and more sustainable future. So, it's important for all owners, as well as other leaders, to understand what steps they need to take to address this existential challenge.
What is "net zero?"Greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are widely considered to be the primary driver of climate change. They thicken the atmosphere, prevent heat from escaping and so ultimately warm the planet. While these gases occur naturally, increased human activity since the industrial revolution has significantly elevated their levels. And, according to the EPA, nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions consist of carbon dioxide.
The term net zero refers to the ability to balance the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by removing an equal (or greater) amount from the atmosphere. A company that removes more such gases through environmentally friendly practices than it produces is said to be net zero.
For entrepreneurs looking to transition their companies in this way, it's essential to understand the sources of harmful emissions.
Generally speaking, there are three main categories:
While the road to net zero may seem daunting, small businesses can take incremental, innovative and practical steps to address all three of these tiers.
Net zero benefitsBeyond the positive environmental impacts, net-zero status can enhance a brand's reputation, attract environmentally-conscious customers, yield cost savings, ensure regulatory compliance and future-proof a business. It is, then, not only an environmental imperative but also a strategic opportunity.
A deeper dive into those benefits:
Getting started on your journey
Achieving net zero can be complex and confusing, and guidance from sustainability experts or coaches can help make it more attainable, including helping you set the right goals in the first place, then offering tailored solutions and holding entrepreneurs accountable.
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