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Are net-zero striving businesses falling at the first hurdle?

Are businesses doing enough now, to meet self-imposed targets as well as the UK’s 2050 net zero target?

After last year’s COP26 event where many new announcements were made around how the world will tackle climate change and decarbonise to meet net-zero targets set, many businesses are now setting out their own net-zero strategies.

However, are they doing enough now, to meet self-imposed targets as well as the UK’s 2050 net-zero target?

New research suggests that businesses will only cut their carbon emissions by only 40%, rather than the 100% cuts claimed. The report assessed the climate strategies of 25 major global companies including household names such as Amazon, Ikea, Nestle and Unilever. This means that currently businesses aren’t doing enough to reach our net-zero goal and there is much room for improvement to avoid falling short.

Is carbon offsetting enough?

A lot of businesses around the world are relying on carbon offsetting to tackle their carbon emissions — but is it enough?

Carbon offsetting involves the purchase of carbon credits from environmental projects to offset a business’ greenhouse gas emissions. The practice of carbon offsetting does not eliminate the carbon emissions created by a business, but the number of credits purchased equates to a set amount of CO2e avoided or removed from the atmosphere.

According to the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, which scores companies on criteria including their targets — none were judged to achieve a high standard for their offsets according to their benchmarks. Some were met with criticism around the value of some offsetting projects and if those companies were making genuine progress on cutting their emissions.

Carbon offsetting can give your business an opportunity to become carbon neutral, by purchasing carbon offsets equal to your Scope 1 & 2 emissions inventory. Although, if you wish to identify as net-zero, then you will need to directly reduce your emissions through low-carbon investments and initiatives made throughout your business. The key difference between the two is that a carbon neutral status doesn’t portray your business as having directly eliminated your greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more on what carbon offsetting is and the pros, cons, and considerations to purchasing carbon offsets here.

It’s time for businesses to step up

With research suggesting that even some of the biggest companies may fall short on their net-zero commitments, now more than ever is the time to step up and tackle your net-zero strategy.

There are many low-carbon technologies your business can invest in today, that will make a significant impact on your carbon reduction efforts and bring you closer to reaching your net-zero goals. From on-site generation to carbon insetting, renewables and taking advantage of available grants and levy exemptions, we can support you.

Working with a trusted energy partner, like Inspired Energy, can help you kickstart your net-zero journey. We can offer solutions to support your business’ specific decarbonisation needs and work to meet your budget and requirements. Understanding your footprint, outlining your goals, and setting out a roadmap to achieve them is the first and most crucial step towards making a significant and positive impact.

Speak to our experts to find out how we can help your business with net-zero today on 01772 689250 or email [email protected].