The government is working to decarbonise the entire UK economy to meet its net-zero 2050 target. An increasing number of companies seek to get ahead of the game and achieve carbon neutrality today.
Some household names are already certified carbon neutral, including Sky, Google, M&S and Quorn.
Assessing business carbon emissions
The first step to achieving business carbon neutrality is to assess the carbon emissions from current business operations and reduce them wherever possible.
Outside agriculture and heavy industry, the most prominent commercial process that emits greenhouse gases come from utility consumption. Let’s look at each in turn:
Business gas – Commercial properties typically use local boilers for central heating systems. The gas supplied to properties is a fossil fuel that directly emits carbon dioxide when burned in a boiler.
Business electricity – Despite recent increases in renewable capacity, the national grid remains reliant on gas-fired power plants to produce electricity.
Business water – Wastewater treatment is a highly carbon-intensive process, and pumping clean water around the country uses energy.
Businesses seeking carbon neutrality should first look to eliminate carbon emissions from these supplies.
How to eliminate the footprint of business energy?
Businesses eliminate carbon emissions from energy consumption in a two-step approach. The first is to eliminate the use of gas since burning natural gas will always produce carbon emissions. Modern heat pumps do the same job as traditional boilers but are much more efficient and rely on electricity instead of gas.
Secondly, businesses seek to generate their own green electricity. Local solar panels, wind turbines or even hydroelectric generators produce completely green renewable electricity. A key advantage to this approach is that any excess electricity can be sold back to the grid under the Smart Export Guarantee scheme.
How to eliminate the footprint of business water?
Businesses can successfully reduce their water-related carbon footprint through the following initiatives:
Rainwater harvesting – Collecting, treating and using rainwater falling on your business property.
Boreholes – Extracting drinkable water directly from underground your business property.
Greywater systems – Recycling wastewater generated at your business property.
The alternative to these local solutions is to invest in a carbon offsetting scheme to reduce the environmental impact of your business’s water usage.
How to offset the footprint of business energy?
If the local solutions are not practical for your business, then your business can adopt a green energy tariff. Your business energy supplier will guarantee that the energy supplied is carbon neutral in a green tariff. Business energy suppliers achieve neutrality by:
Green business gas tariff – Green gas tariffs offset the carbon emissions that your local gas boiler will produce. Find a green business gas tariff for your business using the AquaSwitch business gas comparison service.
Green electricity tariff – In a green electricity tariff, your business energy supplier will commit to purchasing your electricity from renewable generators, including wind farms and solar farms.
The price of commercial green energy is getting ever cheaper as technology improves. Compare business energy prices today to find out if your business can save on energy bills and go carbon neutral.