How to be more carbon neutral as a business?

Decarbonising a business’s portfolio is not longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity. The planet is experiencing observable increases in temperature, more acidic and less oxygenated oceans, reduced biodiversity and food production, and more extreme weather events. Michelle Viret, Athena Blue Global's Sustainability & Wellbeing Lead, shares her insights and the steps to take to move towards a more carbon neutral business.

The 2015 Paris Agreement was instrumental in proclaiming the need to globally decarbonise business’s and become net-zero by 2050. This agreement limited global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. Moving forward to Glasgow’s CPO26, 4 main goals were established to help guide humanity on a positive path to change:

  • Accelerate the phase out of Coal,
  • Curtail deforestation,
  • Speed up the switch to electric vehicles, and
  • Encourage investment in renewables.

So, what can we do as business leaders to plan for a decarbonised future?

Considerable planning and operational changes need to take place to put a business on the trajectory towards net-zero. It is an ongoing process of goal setting and refinement.

The main steps include:

  1. Measure your business’s GHG Emissions:

This is done by understanding and measuring your corporate carbon footprint. It’s achieved by dissecting your business’s expeditive across the direct and indirect emission sources, formally known as Scope 1, 2 & 3.

2. Review and Create a Carbon Reduction Plan

By financially analysing a business’s expenses, we can see where the largest carbon emissions are being produced. Researching viable alternatives for these sources is a great way begin the process and the first step to setting a business on a positive path.  

3. Implement the Plan

It goes without saying that this process is continually evolving as new technology comes to market and the business processes change. It’s imperative that the business sets firm reduction goals and KPI’s to measure the effectiveness of the plan. This also allows the business to report back to their shareholders and consumers about their decarbonisation journey.

So, what are a few practical things a business can consider now while their decarbonisation plans are being undertaken?

  • Look at your Business Travel Strategy and consider if you can reduce your car/air travel needs or invest in electric cars straight away.
  • Consider the menu during your next business lunch. Reduce, or better yet remove, any red meat from the menu and consider providing vegan, locally sourced options. When prepared well, these meals can be very tasty!
  • Lastly, look at your largest suppliers to see who is operating in a sustainable way. Is the information they are providing verifiable, or is it just green wash?  

Considering 60% of consumers are already purchasing environmentally friendly products whenever possible, and 90% of people between 16-65 believe climate action is important, it’s time to act now. Decarbonise your business and share the positive results with the world! 

At Athena Blue Global, we help organisations shape their best places to work. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you define your future way of working or make sense of your workplace needs, please get in touch with us here.


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