Net-Zero Challenge: how to achieve Carbon Neutrality

Article by Achilles

The UK Climate Change Commission stated in their latest report that, “COVID-19 is a public health crisis; our recovery from it will reshape how we tackle the climate crisis. Choices in the coming months must steer a recovery that drives vital new economic activity, accelerates our transition to Net Zero and strengthens our resilience to the impacts of climate change”.

With the increased focus on a low carbon journey, local authorities are declaring climate emergencies, and many industries and corporates are setting Net Zero targets by 2030 or earlier as part of a leadership initiative. The ambitious targets, 20 years ahead of the UK Government’s own Net Zero targets for 2050, demonstrate they are actively managing climate change risk to secure a business advantage.

What is ‘Carbon Neutrality’ and how can a company go Carbon Neutral?

‘Carbon Neutrality’ or ‘Carbon Zero’ is achieved when an organisation, product or service has accurately measured their greenhouse gas emissions, and put in place strategies to manage, reduce, and offset their impacts.

These climate action programmes play a vital role in accelerating the global transition towards Net Zero by enabling organisations to take full responsibility for their carbon emissions today, while they plan and deliver longer term changes alongside national initiatives for decarbonisation.

Technology leaders Google, for example, claim to have ‘wiped out’ their carbon footprint through initiatives such as ‘pairing wind and solar power’, ‘increasing battery storage’ and investing in ‘high-quality carbon offsets’.

Microsoft have also followed suit and claim they will be ‘Carbon Negative’ by 2030.  “By 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.”

Carbon Credits and Offsetting

A carbon credit is a financial instrument that represents a unit of greenhouse gases (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents or CO2e). One carbon credit is equal to 1 tonne of CO2e.

Having measured, managed and reduced, most business will have residual unavoidable emission that will need to be mitigated through the procurement and cancellation of ‘Carbon Offsets’.

Not all Carbon Offsets are created equal

For organisations or products and services that wish to make a Carbon Neutral claim, it’s important to do additional checks on the Offsets being used to avoid greenwashing and underwriting your brand capital.

There are many carbon credit options out there, from all over the world, but they are not all created equal. Unfortunately, some are just ‘junk credits’, and don’t actually store, avoid or reduce greenhouse gases. Nor are they able to meet the internally accepted definition of a financial instrument that represents a unit of greenhouse gases.

To avoid the financial and reputation damage of investing in a poor quality offset, as part of our Carbon Reduce certification, we  apply a thorough set of principles to determine if a given project is real, reliable and meets the programmes quality standards.

All credits used to achieve robust certification must be:

  • Issued under a voluntary or compliance standard
  • Generated by a project that has been assessed and approved as being suitable for offsetting
  • Issued in a recognised registry
  • Retired, cancelled, or otherwise taken out of circulation in the relevant registry

The UK’s only Accredited GHG Certification Scheme

For over 12 years we have partnered with Toitū Envirocare, an ISO 14065 accredited certification body, to deliver Carbon Reduce which retains the authority and responsibility for the Carbon Reduce and Carbon Zero certification decisions.

We are the UK’s only Accredited GHG Certification Scheme. Our tried and tested five-step approach to Carbon Zero certification takes the time, effort and complexity out of achieving the kind of environmental practices your various stakeholders expect as well as identifying improvement opportunities.

Our auditors can give you the insights you need to avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences that come from being embroiled, however unknowingly, in misleading carbon claims. Sustain your reputation.

Achieve ‘carbon neutral status’ in 2021 by measuring, managing, and offsetting your unavoidable emissions to ISO 14064-1 through an internationally accredited carbon reduction scheme.

Speak to our team to get started today.



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