The term ‘zero carbon’ has been popping up all over this month. First Theresa May made the UK the first major economy to commit to reach carbon emissions of net zero in 2050.
The UK is now legally bound to deliver a 100% reduction in net carbon emissions using those of 1990 as its baseline. This is an increase from the previous 80% emission target.
The Net-Zero Carbon Taskforce
In response, a group of key British businesses set up a Net-Zero Carbon Taskforce with the aim of collaborating to help reach the goal. The likes of Aston Martin, Drax and Lloyds Banking Group have all committed to developing a net-zero toolkit to help businesses make themselves net-zero before the deadline. The business sector has a huge contribution to make to achieve the net zero goal, but is zero carbon on your radar?
The actions each company will need to take will vary significantly, something that the Net-Zero Carbon Taskforce hopes to address by providing a ‘roadmap’ that allows business owners to identify how they can take action and encourage others they work with to do the same.
Speaking about their plans, the chair of the new group, Jonathan Kini of Drax Group, said: “The barriers to sustainability vary from business to business – I know from conversations with our customers that making improvements often appears unnecessarily complicated,” Kini explained.
“We want to break down those barriers and make the solutions simpler to implement, so UK businesses can quickly and easily take effective steps to address the climate crisis.”
Net-Zero Target Action
Back in April, The Responsible Business Tracker found that 63% of responding companies had set objectives in relation to reducing carbon but only 22% of those had set science-based targets linked to global targets. The Sky sponsored tracker combines responses from 64 UK companies working across 24 sectors; these firms collectively employ more than one million people.
Some UK businesses have already recognised the importance of acting fast to counter climate change, with firms such as John Lewis and Tesco already setting their own goals of reaching net-zero for 2050, BT has set a goal of reaching net zero by 2045 and the Water Industry has committed as a sector to reach net zero by 2030.
How can smaller businesses get started?
But where should smaller businesses start? From transport through to new building commissions, carbon needs to be a consideration. Could you swap your company cars for electric vehicles? Will you reduce the amount of meat served in your staff canteen? Can you address food waste in the kitchen or in your production? Do your plans for new premises have net zero carbon factored in? How much do you re-use and recycle? Have you explored renewable energy sourcing for your business?
Whatever business decisions you are making, from here on in you’ll want to ensure zero carbon is on your radar.