An increasing number of companies are taking it upon themselves to reduce their CO2 emissions. Here we provide a simplified guide to the process of making your company CO2-neutral or perhaps even climate positive.
There are many benefits of reducing your company’s emissions. For instance, CO2 reductions can minimise your firm’s energy expenses, as well as contribute to national and global climate goals. In this article we illustrate what the road to a CO2-neutral company looks like. The purpose is to give a simple description of a process that is anything but simple. Let’s be honest – it is not a quick-fix to become CO2 -neutral. It requires prudent planning, strategic investments, responsibility and persistent effort. Still, most companies can achieve CO2 -neutrality – broadly outlined in three important steps:
- Create an overview of the company’s emissions through voluntary climate accounting.
- Devise a long-term climate strategy and implement reduction initiatives.
- Compensate for those emissions that cannot be reduced, through efficient CO2-compensation projects.
A climate account provides an overview
The first step towards CO2-neutrality is to understand your company’s carbon footprint. This gives an important overview and foundation for making decisions. Greenhouse gas emissions from companies are generally divided into three scopes:
Scope 1: Direct emissions stemming from activities within the company’s own control – e.g. from individual heating of company facilities, transportation in the company’s own cars, and direct emissions from processes in the company.
Scope 2: Indirect emissions from collectively provided energy – meaning emissions from the purchase or production of electricity and district heating, which a company buys and uses for its operation.
Scope 3: All other indirect emissions that occur as a result of your company’s activities, which it does not own or have control over. This could be the emissions from the company’s suppliers of e.g. materials or raw material, other products or services your company procures, or the CO2 emissions from the use or disposal of your products by end-users.
Creating an overview of your company’s CO2 emissions through this structure provides an insight into your firm’s weaknesses and strengths in terms of a carbon footprint. It also allows you to identify simple fixes. This ensures your ability to focus your business and initiate climate-supportive efforts in the most efficient way.
The guide includes the steps: ‘CO2 reductions on all fronts’, ‘The challenge that all companies face’, ‘CO2 compensation – what are the options?’ as well as ‘Focus areas for when your company wants to CO2-compensate’.
NIRAS is a leading consultant within CO2-accounting. Every year we help companies, municipalities, regions, and other entities with their climate accounts. We have, for instance, advised Copenhagen Airport and COOP Denmark on climate compensation and CO2-offsetting. In addition, we have developed a CO2 calculator for the Danish Business Authority.