What is Carbon Neutrality?

Referring to something as carbon neutral means the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with that entity, product or activity are net zero.

Why it's important

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide naturally exist in the atmosphere. They reflect some of the sun’s heat back into space but trap the majority in order to keep Earth inhabitable. However, human activities such as the use of fossil fuels for energy production and transportation, and the degradation of natural landscapes, is increasing the number of GHGs in the atmosphere. We are already seeing the result through sea ice depletion, coral bleaching, desertification and intense weather patterns, while atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide still continue to grow.

Scientific consensus states that global GHG emissions must be reduced by 80% by 2050 to avoid a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius and the most severe impacts of climate change. Meeting this goal requires unprecedented global commitment from governments, communities and businesses. In response to this call for action, businesses large and small are setting more challenging climate targets, including commitments to carbon neutrality.

Source: WRI, Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard
Source: WRI, Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard

How can my business become carbon neutral?

Supporting the move to a low carbon economy by offsetting emissions and using renewable energy certificates, offers an effective, immediate way for businesses to meet their carbon reduction goals and provide critical carbon finance to projects around the world.

Carbon credits for offsetting are sourced from a wide range of projects that need carbon finance to be viable, ranging range from improved cookstoves, to renewable energy, to forest conservation (and more). Each project must demonstrate how it is avoiding carbon emissions by following rigorous third party standards.  Every tonne of carbon emission avoided by the project produces a carbon credit which can be purchased by a company to offset / compensate their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. You can find out more about carbon offsetting here. 

By becoming carbon neutral, using a combination of carbon offsetting and internal reduction efforts, a business is demonstrating its commitment to action on climate change.