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What Does Carbon Neutral Mean?

Carbon Neutral is having a bit of a moment these days. You’ve probably heard the term thrown around a lot but what does it actually mean? We’re here to break it down for you. From how companies become Carbon Neutral and why it’s a big deal to untangling the difference between Net Zero and Carbon Neutral.


Defining Carbon Neutral

So what does Carbon Neutral mean? Simply put, being Carbon Neutral means balancing out the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s released into the atmosphere with an equivalent amount removed or offset. Think of it as a cosmic scale where companies, like us, aim to achieve balance between what we take from the environment and what we give back.


Understanding what goes into a Carbon Footprint

Every action we take, whether it’s driving a car, using electricity, or making products, generates carbon emissions. This collective impact is often referred to as our “carbon footprint”. It’s like our own eco-shadow, growing or shrinking as a result of our daily activities. 

For Carbon Neutral companies, their aim is to shrink their 'shadow' as much as possible and then offset any remaining impact by investing in carbon offset projects.


What is Carbon Neutral?

To be Carbon Neutral, a company or even an everyday person, takes active steps to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. To do this you would:

  • Implement energy-efficient practices wherever possible
  • Invest in renewable energy
  • Minimise waste and emissions

However, sometimes achieving complete carbon neutrality on your own is just plain unfeasible. That’s where carbon offsets come into play.


Carbon Offsets explained

It’s time to move over Bitcoin, Carbon Offsets are where it’s at. Think of them like environmental currency.

They represent projects or initiatives that reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. They can look like:

  • Reforestation efforts
  • Renewable energy projects
  • Methane capture initiatives

By purchasing carbon offsets through reputable channels, like the Carbon Reduction Institute, companies can compensate for unavoidable emissions and effectively balance their carbon ledger.

It’s a way to acknowledge that you’re not perfect, but you’re trying to do better by the planet.



How can a company be Carbon Neutral

Now it’s time to dive deep into how companies can become Carbon Neutral. It’s not just about making grand gestures, it’s about making meaningful, sustainable changes across all aspects of operations.

For us, we’ve been on our Carbon Neutral journey since way back in 2008, and 100% Carbon Neutral since 2009. Each year we continue to reduce our Carbon Footprint, offsetting less and less until we reach our long term 2040 goal of Net Zero emissions. 

Throughout the years, we continue to follow an annual 3-step process helped along by our Carbon Neutral champions, the Carbon Reduction Institute.


Step 1: Conduct a carbon audit

The first step to understanding where carbon emissions are coming from and how much. This involves conducting a comprehensive carbon audit to identify areas of high emissions or inefficiencies.




Step 2: Set reduction targets

Once you have your carbon footprint, it’s time to set ambitious reduction targets. This might be switching to renewable energy, changing up how you transport products or adopting a green technology solution.


Step 3: Carbon offsetting

For emissions you can’t eliminate just yet, companies can then invest in carbon offset projects. This means they are supporting green initiatives elsewhere to balance out their remaining carbon outputs.


Net Zero vs Carbon Neutral

Net Zero is often thrown into the mix when talking about Carbon Neutral. We've even talked about our 2040 goal of Net Zero emissions which played a key role in our B Corp certification.

While the two share similar goals, there are some key differences between Net Zero and Carbon Neutral. 

Essentially Carbon Neutral focuses on achieving balance between carbon emussions produced and removed or offset. It’s all about minimising that impact. 

Whereas Net Zero goes that one step further. Being Net Zero means you have eliminate all carbon emissions produced. This involves not only reducing emissions but also removing carbon from the atmosphere through carbon capture and storage tech.

Pretty cool goal to have right?


Carbon Neutrality and what it means for you

Now you’ve made it through our crash course on everything Carbon Neutral it should be easier to sort the facts from fiction to make more informed and eco-friendly shopping choices.

Together, we can make a difference one carbon-neutral step at a time.