What Does Carbon Neutral Mean, Really?

Carbon neutral seems to be the new buzzword for large and small businesses in every sector, but what does this elusive term mean? Every day, another company appears to declare its commitment to becoming carbon neutral or net-zero, but critics consider these terms outlandish. 

Terms such as “net-zero,” “carbon-neutrality,” or “climate positive” are nothing new, but recently it appears that organizations of all sizes are leveraging the power of these phrases for marketing purposes. In actuality, these claims have more value than skeptics may initially think. Let’s look at the facts so that you can see the feasibility of a carbon net-zero world.

What Does It Mean to Be “Carbon Neutral?”

Carbon neutrality occurs when an individual or organization reduces carbon emissions to zero. For organizations to reach this goal, they typically need to transform most of the procedures and systems that are currently in place. Since companies must gain access to the technological advancements that make carbon neutrality possible, it typically takes several years for a company to become carbon neutral.

Companies that strive to achieve carbon neutrality quickly may invest in emission reductions outside their organization, which are referred to as “offsets.” Essentially, companies declare themselves carbon neutral after calculating their overall carbon emissions and compensating for all they have produced by investing in offsets. 

Currently, 59 countries that create more than half of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions have ratified carbon-neutrality goals. Meanwhile, individuals and government organizations are moving towards an ecologically sustainable society. Although it won’t be easy, companies of all sizes can become carbon neutral.

Why Is It Important to Become Carbon Neutral?

Regardless of opinion on climate change, everyone agrees that polluting the environment isn’t beneficial or healthy, and achieving carbon neutrality is a vital component of this process. Shifting from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources is the primary way that companies will reach these goals, but this requires a significant investment in tools that ensure these goals are technologically feasible. 

In some industries, such as shipping and aviation, becoming carbon neutral appears impossible with the currently available technology. Given the current rate at which countries are enacting changes toward carbon neutrality, it is unlikely that carbon emissions will reach zero within the timeframe allotted to meet the Paris Agreement temperature targets. In the simplest terms, there will always be carbon emissions, but technological advancements that enable greenhouse gas removal are necessary to reach net-zero emissions.

Most organizations invest in natural solutions that assist with the removal of carbon emissions, such as land management or planting trees. There are emerging technologies that are capable of removing greenhouse gases, like the Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and the Direct Air Capture (DAC), but the effectiveness of these technologies has not been proven at scale.

Despite the inherent challenges of achieving net-zero emissions, the benefits are worth the effort. As the social landscape transforms and individuals develop a keen interest in ecologically sustainable companies, companies must adapt to these changing needs. This means that top talent is searching for employers that value sustainability, and customers are willing to pay a premium for brands that protect the environment. As a direct result, incorporating sustainability into your current business practices allows your company to grow faster and achieve the longevity that isn’t possible for companies that fail to adapt to our changing world.

How Can Businesses Incorporate Carbon Neutrality Goals Into Their Sustainability Plans?

Given the ample benefits that come with becoming carbon neutral, you may be wondering how you can incorporate carbon neutrality into your current operations. Consider implementing the practices below to achieve your company’s carbon neutrality goals.

E-Waste Recycling

Every year, humans produce 20 to 25 million tons of e-waste. In most cases, this e-waste winds up in landfills, where these toxic chemicals leach into the environment. When companies dispose of their e-waste in an environmentally friendly and ethical manner, it significantly reduces their carbon footprint because it requires less energy to manufacture products from recycled materials than it does to produce entirely new products from raw materials. 

Unlike other methods of reducing your company’s carbon footprint, e-waste recycling does not require an alteration to your internal operations. All you will need to do is partner with a certified e-waste recycling company, and they will handle the entire process. Best of all, if your unwanted electronic devices hold any value, e-waste recyclers may sell the parts and share a portion of the profits with your company.

Purchase Carbon Offsets

Many companies do not have immediate access to technology investments that enable them to overhaul their entire infrastructure to align with their carbon-neutral goals. In this instance, purchasing carbon offsets is in the company’s best interest. When companies cannot bridge that gap between their sustainability goals and the number of carbon emissions their operations release, carbon offsets allow companies to mitigate their environmental impact. Consider investing in companies that work to prevent climate change to reach your carbon neutrality goals.

Invest In Sustainable Agricultural Practices

In an effort to support your company’s carbon-neutral goals, consider investing in companies with sustainable agricultural practices. Agricultural companies need to transform how they grow food, but a complete overhaul of the current system requires an investment of $300 to $350 billion annually by 2030. Agricultural companies must implement regenerative production practices that reduce carbon emissions from livestock and use less fertilizer. In order to accomplish these goals, the agricultural industry needs to change its irrigation processes in rice production and stop using fossil fuel-based fertilizers.

Reach Your Carbon Neutral Goals with FAMCe

Becoming carbon-neutral may appear daunting for any business, but it doesn’t need to be. The key to reaching your sustainability goals is taking it one step at a time, and e-waste recycling is the perfect place to start.

FAMCe has over 30 years of experience helping businesses safely and responsibly recycle their outdated devices. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as an industry leader, and we are committed to exceeding each client’s needs and expectations.

Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.

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