What is Carbon Neutrality?

What is Carbon Neutrality?

As we all become more aware of how human activities impact the environment (otherwise known as anthropogenic impact), we must also become aware of the steps we can take to work towards a decarbonized future. 

Carbon neutrality is an incredibly important step in the matter. Our actions have a direct impact on the planet, and it’s our collective responsibility to make an effort to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions. 

So what does carbon neutrality mean, and how can we achieve it?

What does carbon neutral mean?

So, what does “carbon neutral” mean as it relates to the environment? Carbon neutrality is met when a business achieves net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as they produce.

For example, if you run a company that produces 10 tons of carbon dioxide every year, but you also remove 10 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, this means that your company is carbon-neutral. The ultimate goal of carbon neutrality is to create a by limiting the amount of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere.

Benefits of carbon neutrality

Achieving carbon neutrality offers many benefits to our planet and all living beings on it. From increasing economic growth through job creation to slowing the momentum of climate change, working towards a carbon-neutral future plays a major role in mitigating climate change.

  • Even though the climate is already changing, by removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and mitigating further emissions, it is possible for us to prevent some of the potentially detrimental consequences of climate change from taking place. 

  • It helps to reduce environmental pollution. For example, becoming carbon neutral means that we can improve our air quality, which could lead to significant positive impacts on our health. This can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from chronic respiratory conditions.

  • A reduction in food insecurity. There are currently countless people all over the world who do not have access to adequate nutrition. Carbon neutrality would increase our ability to produce food, ensuring access to a safe and stable food supply. 

  • Increased levels of carbon dioxide are absorbed by the ocean, which ultimately reduces the pH of the ocean and threatens ocean life. By reducing the pollution of the oceans, we can restore ecosystems and protect the species that live there.

Beyond the environmental impacts of becoming carbon-neutral, companies can benefit by adopting carbon-neutral practices. When a company becomes carbon neutral, it shows its customers know that they are committed to environmental practices. This can make it easier to attract new customers, contributing to business growth. With a growing focus on climate smart initiatives, investors are interested in businesses that act responsibly when it comes to the environment, so becoming carbon neutral could increase the overall return on investment.

It is important for countries to strive to become carbon neutral, but it is also important for businesses to take the same approach. Carbon neutrality is a pathway towards salvaging our planet. 

How companies can achieve carbon neutrality

Companies should take a standardized approach if they want to reduce the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere. Some of the steps that companies need to follow include:

  • Measure: First, businesses need to measure exactly how much carbon dioxide they are producing every year. They then need to figure out exactly what parts of their business are contributing the most to carbon dioxide emissions. For example, some companies might use private planes that release a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Other companies might use a significant amount of electricity to function, which may be running on fossil fuels. If companies can figure out how much carbon dioxide they are producing and where across their supply chain it’s coming from, they can take the right steps to reduce it.

  • Reduce: Once companies have an understanding of how much carbon dioxide they are producing every year, they can create a strategy to reduce it. For example, companies might want to use renewable energy, like solar power, to account for their electricity consumption. If you need help identifying where to cut down there are professional organizations out there such as Greenly that can develop strategies to help companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

  • Offset: Companies can offset some of the carbon dioxide they produce in a few different ways. For example, companies can fund carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies and projects in order to offset their carbon production. CCUS projects such as injecting CO2 into cement to make strong low-carbon concrete and using olivine weathering materials that naturally absorb CO2 found in rainwater can help offset the CO2 produced by companies. In any case, it’s critical for companies to do their research to make sure that these offsets are actually going to make a difference in the long haul, and to not rely solely on offsetting as a viable alternative. 

  • Communicate: Companies should communicate with their shareholders and customers about the steps they are taking to become carbon neutral. By advertising their commitment to the environment, they can put themselves in a position to expand their internal initiatives. Consumers want to support and work for companies that prioritize environmental impact, so working towards becoming a carbon neutral business will not only expand your company and attract new customers, but also encourage other companies to make similar strides.

How can you reduce your own carbon footprint?

Even though companies are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, individuals can take small steps to protect our planet as well.  

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room: It might not seem like turning off your lights when you leave a room would make that much of a difference, but powering an empty room is actually a huge energy drain. You should also unplug electronic devices that are not in use.

  • Use less water: If possible, you should make an effort to use less water. You can do this by taking shorter showers and turning off the water when you apply your shampoo or brush your teeth. 

  • Install solar panels: Solar panels are a great way to reduce the environmental impact of your home. Renewable energy generated from the sun, allows you to decrease the amount of electricity that comes from the grid. This can help you reduce your carbon footprint overall. 

  • Change your diet: Meat and dairy products require a significant amount of greenhouse gasses to produce, which contribute to climate change. So changing your diet, even if that means not eating meat one day a week, is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You can also make an effort to support local farmers, as local produce requires less energy to transport. 

It is critical to strive for carbon neutrality

There’s no denying that the climate is changing, but there are steps that we can take to protect our planet. The future of the planet relies on consumer and corporate change. Most of these fundamental changes are business and supply-chain oriented and that’s where we can help.

AIR COMPANY is a carbon utilization technology company transforming carbon dioxide into carbon-negative alcohols and fuels using our AIRMADE™ Technology. We create a variety of climate smart products, including fragrance and vodka from carbon dioxide, allowing us to turn a negative pollutant into a solution.

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