The ultimate target is a low- or no-carbon world, although such a destination remains a distant goal today.
A growing proportion of firms have started to pay greater attention to understanding and managing their overall carbon footprint.
Such efforts are now widespread: according to Ernst & Young research, 82% of firms planned to invest in energy efficiency initiatives during 2011.
For some firms, there is already an appetite for carbon neutrality.
The basic process behind how a business might go carbon neutral is simple:
- Calculate their overall carbon footprint
- Reduce that as much as possible, largely through energy efficiency
- Offset any residual emissions that cannot be removed, so their net emissions equal zero
But these simple steps mask much complexity — and a range of key management decisions. Companies need to define their own boundaries, time frames and approach to neutrality.
Making a decision to pursue carbon neutrality is a significant one for any firm. This report highlights when and why such an objective might fit and key decision-making points.
The following seven questions act as a prompt to draw attention to the considerations involved with carbon neutrality and their implications: