Definition: Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutrality

Definition: Carbon Neutral

Carbon dioxide is the single most devastating greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. As levels of carbon dioxide rise, so does the amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere, leading to higher and higher temperatures around the world and increasing the speed at which the polar ice caps are melting. Carbon neutrality is defined by Webopedia as, “a term used to describe the action of organizations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each puts into it. The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero carbon footprint.”

How Do You Achieve Carbon Neutrality?

Achieving carbon neutrality is more difficult than it sounds. In order to do so, you must first know your carbon footprint – the amount of carbon your business puts into the atmosphere each year. This goes beyond knowing how much electricity your store uses, and touches on all aspects of business operation, from shipping to marketing and advertising. Virtually every activity a business engages in releases carbon dioxide. Shipping products to your store creates vehicle exhaust. Printing a brochure involves felling trees and the use of printing machinery, as well as vehicles to get the brochures to your location. This is just the smallest example.

Carbon neutrality is achieved by eliminating as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as your organization puts into it, and there are several ways that you can do that. For instance, installing solar panels on your store reduces the amount of electricity you draw from the grid. Smart shipping methods reduce carbon emissions from vehicles and equipment. Planting trees helps absorb carbon now and over the long term.

While it’s a complex process, achieving carbon neutrality is essential for both protecting the planet and being an environmentally responsible business.

 

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger

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