Common Myths About Net Zero Carbon Emissions

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    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated July 19, 2023

    Climate change is an issue that many of us can’t escape and isn’t going away any time soon. The problems of greenhouse gases and the damage it causes to the environment have been revealed over the past decade, and now people and businesses want to help. It can be a daunting prospect to make changes to your business that will help reduce its carbon footprint, without impacting on workflows or profits.

    A scheme introduced in June 2019 by the UK Government is based around the concept of net zero carbon emissions. But what exactly is it and how can businesses achieve zero carbon emissions? There are many common myths surrounding net zero businesses, such as carbon offsetting being expensive and working from home reduces emissions. Our guide is here to answer your questions surrounding net zero carbon emissions and clear up common misconceptions.

    Pledge to cut net zero emissions by 2050

    The UK Government introduced net zero emissions by 2050 back in 2019, promoted by the discussions held during COP21 in Paris, 2015. The Paris Agreement is an international treaty on climate change, adopted by 192 Parties to lower carbon emissions.

    With its net zero emissions by 2050 pledge, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming. In 2021, reducing carbon emissions by 78% was enshrined into law and the legislation acts to encourage industries, organisations, sectors and individuals to work together to reduce global warming.

    Net zero emissions by 2050
    How can businesses become zero carbon

    Common myths about zero carbon and businesses

    With so much information out there about net zero carbon emissions, it can be difficult for businesses and individuals to navigate and figure out how to put a strategy in place. At Utility Bidder, we understand that your business wants to get the best deals on its business energy prices, but also wants to improve its green credentials. That’s why we’ve addressed the top five most common myths about carbon zero businesses.

    Existing businesses aren’t able to become net zero
    There’s a common misconception that existing businesses can’t become net zero, however this is completely false! For the Government to achieve its targets, all businesses, no matter their size or age, will have to contribute their part of achieving net zero carbon emissions.

    A survey carried out by BT found that 99% of small businesses in the UK recognise the importance of sustainability, but around three quarters of them are unsure of how to measure their carbon emissions. Below we’ve outlined some steps on how to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
    Monitor consumption: this includes fuel consumption, through company vehicles, and energy consumption, including business electricity and gas.
    Calculate indirect emissions: business activities, such as employees commuting, purchasing of goods or disposal of waste, will contribute to the overall emissions produced by a company. Keeping an eye on these and thinking of ways to reduce this will certainly help improve your business’ green credentials.
    Setting targets: once you’ve established the volume of carbon emissions, then you can start setting targets. This could be a percentage on how much you want them to reduce emissions by, or even a target of how many employees commute using public transport one day a week.

    Renewable energy tariffs mean you’re net zero carbon
    Using a renewable or green energy tariff is brilliant, however it doesn’t mean that you have net zero carbon emissions. While they do have important environmental benefits, none will lead to reducing greenhouse gases. Some renewable energy tariffs aren’t always what they appear to be, with some companies buying cheap certificates to match their customers’ energy use and making their fuel mix disclosure appear greener than it is. If you want to source your energy from green providers, but you’re unsure of how to navigate the market, then why not use a business energy broker, like us, to help you find the best green energy tariff deals?

    Working from home lowers a company’s carbon footprint
    It’s a common misconception that going digital means going greener. The digital footprint left behind from sending emails, running video calls and storing data can all have a big impact on the environment. If your employees are working from home, then this is something to factor into your indirect emissions, mentioned earlier. To reduce your employees’ carbon footprint, you could set targets, such as asking everyone to switch off computers, rather than leaving them on stand-by.

    Offsetting is expensive
    To become a net zero business, there is the common thought that this will cost a substantial amount of money. However, if anything, reducing carbon emissions will actually save companies money. This is because you’re proactively decreasing the amount of energy used or finding innovative ways to use the same amount of electricity but from sustainable sources. Becoming a net zero business can be done in a smart way to be more resilient in the long term, more resource efficient and more cost effective.

    My business is too small to offset
    Any business, whether they have thousands of employees or only three, can play their part in fighting climate change. The UK Government has pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but some companies have even more ambitious targets with a 2030 deadline. To ensure that the climate crisis doesn’t reach a point of no return, everyone needs to strive to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.

    How can businesses become net zero?

    There are some basic steps to becoming a net zero business including:

    • Recycling more
    • Reducing waste
    • Using electricity from renewable sources
    • Encouraging employees to use public transport
    • Cutting down on packaging
    • Making your supply chain greener

    If you make it company policy to become a net zero business, then you’re holding yourself and everyone involved in the business accountable for reducing your carbon footprint.

    Looking to reduce your business utility bills and use green providers? Talk to one of our friendly experts today and see how much you could save with us.

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