You will no doubt know the importance of fighting climate change, but what impacts could this have on your business?
Our modern lifestyles have accelerated climate change, so much that simply reducing carbon emissions is no longer enough to stabilise our climate – they have to stop.
‘Net Zero’ has been developed by leaders in response to the issue.
In a series of articles in support of World Environment Day 2020, we want to give you the facts about Net Zero and provide advice on how you can make positive changes to your business and lifestyle to support our planet. Our first article explores the question, ‘What is Netzero?’.
Net Zero – What does it Mean?
To be Net Zero is to have a balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere. This is different to zero carbon, where emitting no carbon at all is the key criteria. This makes becoming Net Zero an achievable goal, as you can offset any unavoidable emissions by taking steps to remove them.
Why Net Zero?
There are several global and business-level benefits to your building becoming Net Zero:
- Reduced energy consumption and costs
- Improved reliability
- Reduced impact on the environment
- Higher resale value of your building
The Goal of Net Zero
Of course in an ideal world, all buildings would generate all of their energy on-site; but this is recognised as unrealistic. The more achievable goal projected by WorldGBC, is to make sure that buildings are energy efficient, utilising renewable sources for their energy needs – whether they’re on, or off-site.
Key Elements of Net Zero
By 2050 the UK government wants all buildings to be Net Zero by following these guidelines:
- Measure and track carbon
- This is the key metric contributing to a business becoming Net Zero
- Reduce total energy demand
- Encourage businesses to perform an energy efficiency audit so as to identify areas of wasted energy
- New buildings should be built with this mentality
- Use renewable energy sources
- This provides balance against general unavoidable emissions such as aviation
- Again, new buildings should incorporate this into the design
- Increase scope
- Long-term, focus on other areas of impact such as achieving zero waste
Where Are We Now?
With less people travelling for work and leisure, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a positive impact on carbon emissions. However, we need to do more towards becoming Net Zero if the UK governments 2050 aim is to be met and as normality resumes.
Now you have the hard facts, in our next article we will look at how your business can work towards becoming Net Zero.