Sustainability and being “Net Zero” are hot topics around the world right now, with more businesses finding ways of going greener.
One of the government’s targets is to reach net zero by 2050, reducing carbon emissions down across the UK. Making your business net zero could help the planet and ensure the future success of your company.
- Reaching net zero means reducing your carbon emissions so that you’re not polluting the atmosphere anymore. A net zero company is one that doesn’t add any more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
- It’s important that we find renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels and use these effectively to reduce the need for traditional energy supplies such as oil and coal.
- You can make your own plan to be a net zero company and train your team to prepare for minimal carbon emissions.
What is net zero?
Reaching net zero means reducing your carbon emissions so that you’re not polluting the atmosphere anymore.
Carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere naturally by trees and the ocean, helping to bring levels down. By implementing sustainable processes, we can also do our part to reduce the amount of carbon we produce.
Committing to net zero as a business means you’re acknowledging the responsibility you have to help the planet and meet governmental targets.
Why is there a focus on being net zero?
If we don’t make efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the world could suffer the devastating effects of climate change. That could look like extreme weather conditions such as flooding and fires, as well as sea levels rising.
Due to these changes, millions could be forced to leave their homes as certain areas will be uninhabitable. Businesses are also at risk, and face many environmental challenges.
We need to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, and reach net zero by 2050 to avoid catastrophic damage occurring.
Listen to our training experts discuss how your business can become more sustainable, in our green skills podcast
What is a net zero strategy?
A net zero strategy is a plan that a business, government, or other organisation implements to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible.
The UK government has outlined their own net zero strategy for the country. In it, they set out their plan for helping businesses to reach net zero with digital advice and funding available. You may want to think about aligning your business’ net zero strategy with the government’s to ensure you’re meeting their targets and getting all the support you need.
How can net zero be achieved?
We can only achieve net zero globally by transforming the way we live and work. We need to review how we travel, heat our homes, and create new products.
According to the United Nations (UN), three quarters of our greenhouse gas emissions currently come from the energy sector.
It’s important that we find renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels and use these effectively to reduce the need for traditional energy supplies such as oil and coal.
What does it mean to be a net zero company?
A net zero company is one that doesn’t add any more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Committing to sustainable processes and making your business greener means that you can create new jobs and do your bit for the planet too.
Making your business a net zero company is also a great way of showing that you care about your local environment, and the global community. It can give you a competitive advantage as your customers and partners will be aware of your ethical standards.
Stricter legislation to ensure greener processes also means that businesses won’t be able to avoid becoming more sustainable.
You can make your own plan to be a net zero company and train your team to prepare for minimal carbon emissions.
How can your company strive for net zero?
Your company can reach net zero in a number of ways, starting with reducing your carbon footprint.
Here are a few tips to help you get there:
- Measure your emissions output. Once you know how much you’re putting into the atmosphere, you can start setting science-based targets to reduce your carbon emissions.
- Switch to a green energy supplier. If you’re not already using renewable energy in your business, switching to a green energy supplier can help you reach net zero. There are a few green suppliers in the market such as Octopus Energy and Green Energy UK, and it’s easy to switch from one supplier to another.
- Try to reduce waste as much as possible. Think about ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and how it can help you to reduce waste in your processes. For instance, is there any way you can reuse materials in your manufacturing process?
- Have more virtual meetings. Using cars or planes to meet partners or customers all adds to your carbon output. If it’s possible to hold virtual meetings instead, this can significantly reduce your emissions and bring you closer to net zero.
- Make your supply chains more sustainable. It’s not just about what your business is doing to reach net zero – you’ll need to look at the wider picture too. Using green suppliers and making your supply chains more sustainable can get you one step closer to net zero.
Train your team to reach net zero
Building your team’s sustainability skills can help them to see the value of reaching net zero.
Take a look at our IEMA courses for all levels of talent within your business, including complete beginners.
- Pathways to Net Zero – The IEMA Pathways to Net Zero is a 2-day course, perfect for those who are taking their first step into the sustainability field.
- Environmental Sustainability Skills For The Workforce is a 1-day introductory course for beginners. It provides fundamental environmental and sustainability awareness.
- Environmental Sustainability Skills For Managers is a 2-day course that builds on your foundation knowledge. It shows managers how to apply their newfound skills in the workplace and oversee a team applying sustainability processes.
- The Certificate In Environmental Management is a 15-day course designed for those at an operational level, already in an environmental or sustainability role.
- The Foundation Certificate In Environmental Management is a 5-day course for beginners on environmental management and sustainability issues. It gives you knowledge of environmental, sustainability and governance principles.