The understanding of net-zero and carbon neutral can often be misinterpreted or misunderstood. With many companies pledging to become ‘carbon neutral’ or net-zero, many people still do not fully understand the difference between the two terms. Terms like carbon neutral and net zero have been around for a number of years however many corporations have integrated them mainly for marketing purpose and the differentiation between the two terms has been lost or misunderstood.
The below information will hopefully provide you with some clarity between both terms.
Carbon Neutral refers to a plan of decreasing carbon emissions and achieving a reduction in carbon offsets. The Co2 being released by a company into the atmosphere is being balanced off by an equivalent amount being removed, i.e a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, achieved by the installation of a renewable energy technology on site.
Offsetting your carbon is a viable approach to achieve carbon neutrality and implies a positive message in your community that your company is committed to a sustainable future.
Net- Zero refers to making changes to reduce the carbon emissions of the company to the lowest amount possible and offsetting as a last resort. For example, a company’s building running entirely on solar pv installation whilst also using a renewable heat source can label themselves as ‘zero carbon’. The official definition of Net Zero from the IPCC is ‘the point at which global greenhouse gas emissions added to the atmosphere by anthropogenic activities are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specific time’.
At face value both terms sound very similar however, it is the overall outcome on the environment and leadership in climate action that are different. Net zero is more robust in both definition and guidance on how to decarbonise. Net zero is a road map to avoiding any emissions associated with temperature increases.
Here at Enerpower we are proud to help customers who are working towards a cleaner future.