How to take your company carbon-neutral

The company of the future is carbon-neutral. Why, and how can you get there?

Climate science clearly tells us that we are headed towards a crisis that will affect all lines of business that are important to us, and to the people whose lives we work to improve.

Public policy and international diplomacy will only take us a fraction of the way. Even if all our governments perfectly executed the transformations they’ve promised, strong climate action would still be needed to avert irreversible consequences.

This is where the private sector comes in. A poll conducted by Toroto found that 84.95% of millennial women in Mexico City highly agree with the statement: “I would love my favorite brands to take actions to neutralize their carbon footprint”, and they are right, business involvment is a critical success factor of the Paris Agreement and United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

This is relevant for employees too. A group of climate activists within Amazon’s ranks played a role in convincing Jeff Bezos to give a 10 billion USD grant to climate initiatives. Amazon also pledged to go carbon-neutral soon.

It is increasingly clear that employees expect the companies they work for to do as much as possible to reduce their environmental impact, and board rooms across the world are listening.

Taking your company carbon-neutral is also now easier, more cost-effective and entirely science-based. We will outline some steps you need to take:

          1. Declare your intentions to all relevant stakeholders, such as employees, investors and customers. Tell them why it’s important to address climate issues.

          2. Designate 1-3 colleagues to personally oversee the implementation of the project.

          3. Save 3-5 minutes on weekly meetings to discuss relevant progress.

          4. Measure your company’s carbon footprint. We do this for free for some companies, make sure to ask if yours is eligible.

          5. Decide on a mitigation plan to reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact. It must be measurable.

          6. Neutralize your carbon footprint through forestry management. This means working with forests to help them capture more CO2 through photosynthesis.

          7. Communicate your strategy to key stakeholders, and make them a part of the solution.

          8. Create a culture of sustainability within your organisation, and build a more resilient environment for your operation.

But how does taking your company carbon-neutral actually work? The first major step is measuring your carbon footprint. This is possible to do because we understand how CO2 is produced. The carbon footprint will be proportional to the amount of fuel you burn, the food you buy, the electricity you use, and the acquisition of services that you need to operate.

Once we understand how your carbon footprint behaves and where it comes from, we can produce strategies to reduce it. Most of these are good news for your CFO, because spending money = polluting the environment. Reducing pollution = saving (financial) resources.

That said, an important fact to understand is that no matter how much we work together to reduce your emissions, it is impossible to get to zero. Eco-light bulbs have a carbon footprint. Computer use has a carbon footprint. Transportation, even electric, has a carbon footprint.

This is why it is also important to capture CO2 from the atmosphere, and put it back on Earth’s surface where it belongs. Being carbon-neutral means capturing an amount of CO2 equal or superior to your carbon footprint, thus achieving net zero emissions.

Carbon-capture has developed enormously during the last decade, but the most broadly-used solution is almost as old as Earth itself: photosynthesis. Trees naturally breathe carbon dioxide in and oxygen out. They clean the air we breathe, and they’ve been doing this for ages.

Unfortunately, the increase in carbon emissions combined with massive deforestation is limiting forests’ ability to naturally capture as much CO2 as they could. We can help.

Through professional forest management, it is possible to do two extremely important things:

          1. Elevate a forest’s capacity to capture CO2

          2. Increase forest surface across thousands of hectares

And amazingly, it is also possible to precisely measure the amount of carbon dioxide that is captured by a forest each year. To do that, one needs to measure the increase in the forest’s wood volume from one year to another. Up to 50% of that new wood is carbon that was causing climate change and now provides matter for a tree.

We then match the amount of captured carbon with our clients’ carbon footprints, making sure we help develop forestry projects that take from the atmosphere as much CO2 as your company produces. Supported by world-class science and verification systems, this is a tool that can provide much needed relief in the fight against the climate crisis.

It is also important to recognize that no two companies are the same. Taylored solutions must exist for every organisation, and our best ally to do that is technology. We can develop strategies that suit your needs and fit seamlessly into your operation using bespoke software and processes.

A friend of mine put it more clearly the other day while I was discussing this post with him. He said: “so not being carbon-neutral is like living in a condo without paying for maintenance”, and he’s right. We live in a condo where the trash hasn’t been picked up for decades, and it’s about time we did something about it.

This is an exciting project for any company. A culture of sustainability in the heart of your day to day operation will elevate your business and improve communication with your audience. We can help every step of the way in a wise, efficient, science-based manner. Make sure to contact us using the bottom-right button. We’ll write back very soon.


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