From 17th to 23rd July UK Net Zero Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and take steps towards a net zero future. It’s a chance to see what changes your business can make to a more sustainable and environment-first future and in the UK, support the government’s commitment to reduce all emissions to net zero by 2050.
Understanding Net Zero
The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass laws in relation to climate change and Net Zero. The UK legislation commits all nations in the United Kingdom to the reduction of all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by the year 2050.
Net Zero means remaining emissions will be offset by schemes to remove an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases. Other nations have followed suit and the idea of achieving Net Zero is something many nations have the capacity to achieve.
Net Zero is a different concept for carbon neutral because it means getting emissions to their lowest possible level through energy efficiency measures and controls, rather than simply offsetting the carbon emissions alone. Offsetting is a last resort when aiming for Net Zero operation, when hard to remove emissions need to be balanced.
Why does Net Zero-week matter?
Net Zero Week is helping push the momentum towards our commitment to be Net Zero by 2050. Across the UK it is a chance for businesses to benefit from expert advice and utilise the resources provided by the events organisers. It is a chance to learn and understand the importance of minimising our greenhouse gas emissions and the work that still needs to be done. Government policies and individual responsibility need to come together to help achieve the Net Zero goal and Net Zero Week pushes this agenda and makes it a more public and widespread campaign.
Early adoption leads to long term success
A recent survey by Deloitte shows that businesses are committed to change and sustainability can actually make your business more attractive to consumers. Their most recent research found 61% of consumers have cut their use of single-use plastics and 45% have bought more locally produced goods, which is indicative of a society committed to being greener and more environmentally friendly. It stands to reason consumers expect businesses to endorse and advocate their commitment to achieving Net Zero as quickly as possible. Sustainability is definitely a plus point for most consumers.
What can your business do to reach Net Zero?
Making changes to achieve Net Zero within your business involves a range of different actions and can include:
- Switching to electricity: transitioning to electric heating and electric vehicles has been a key defining action in achieving Net Zero and decarbonising your business.
- Improved energy performance ratings: existing buildings can be improved to achieve efficient energy performance ratings and all new buildings should be built Net Zero where possible.
- Carbon capture and storage: CCS technology stops 90% of carbon dioxide emissions from the fossil fuels from heading into the atmosphere. It also has the potential to be carbon negative.
- Develop a greener way of working: putting policies in place and encouraging your employees to work in a more energy efficient way is a straightforward way of making a change. Encourage car sharing, cycling or walking to work and minimising wastewater and single-use plastic bottles and cups.
#NetZeroWeek2021 is a chance to further push the importance of achieving Net Zero as quickly as possible, minimising the consistent negative impact our lifestyles and businesses are having on the wider environment.