How to Become a Carbon Neutral Company – You’ve probably heard the term ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘carbon free’ to describe some companies, but what is a carbon neutral company? How do you become one?
A carbon neutral company is a company that is removing the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits. This is to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Often it accomplishes this by buying carbon offsets or credits to make up the difference.
Carbon neutrality is good for the planet and good for your company. Showing a commitment to the environment attracts and retains employees, can attract new customers and can cut your costs. Below is a look at how to make your company carbon neutral.
Calculate your carbon footprint
Naturally, the first step is to work out what your carbon footprint is. This means collecting data over a period of 12 months from emissions-releasing activities and then, using an ‘emission factor’, converting it. Numbers to consider measuring include electricity use, water supply, water treatment, natural gas use and fuel used by in-company vehicles.
The formula for calculating your emissions is: data x emission factor = greenhouse gas emissions. Specialist companies such as Positive Planet can work with you to help you to calculate your carbon footprint and offset these emissions. You can also use an online calculator.
Reduce your carbon footprint
The next step is to create a strategy to diminish your carbon footprint. There are several different ways you can work towards carbon neutrality;
- switch to a green energy supplier;
- introduce more remote working and lessen commuting and business travel;
- reduce waste;
- invest savings into further measures, such as solar panels, LED lights or smart heating controls;
- use electric vehicles.
Some emissions cost a lot of money to reduce. Others it’s impossible to prevent at all. Offsetting allows companies to buy credits that support carbon-emission-reducing activities or initiatives in other parts of the world. This allows them to balance out their own carbon footprints.
Gain carbon neutral accreditation
To achieve carbon neutral certification, you must comply with PAS 2060, which is published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality.
To receive certification, you must:
- measure your carbon footprint with a clearly outlined boundary;
- form an explanatory statement that includes:
- a statement of commitment;
- a timescale;
- a carbon management plan and targets for greenhouse gas reductions;
- a credible investment-backed plan for future reduction that decreases reliance on offsets;
- purchase high-quality offsets to compensate for all remaining emissions.
Publicise your commitment
It’s important to let everyone know of your commitment to the planet. This can win the favour of the public and raises awareness with other companies about carbon neutrality.
Write about it on your company website. Post about it on social media. Send out press releases and engage in other public relations activities. If you’re supporting another company, organisation or project as part of your offsetting, mention them in your press release. Encourage them to raise awareness of your carbon neutrality commitment as well.
Becoming carbon neutral is good for the environment and your company. We’re a carbon neutral certified company, and our team has undergone carbon literacy training and made individual pledges to focus on changes that can reduce the company’s carbon footprint. We’re now working on a group pledge, and as part of our offsetting we have committed to planting more than 1,000 trees to offset the company’s emissions by 150%.
If you’d like to learn more about this or any of our procurement services, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to tell you more or look at how we can support your procurement.