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How should business approach carbon neutrality? - Making the decision - EY - Global

How should business approach carbon neutrality?

Making the decision

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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 EY 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:

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