Putting sustainability at the heart of a business, chief among them carbon neutrality, has become a goal for many organisations. Cutting carbon emissions and decreasing environmental impact across operations is now a responsible business practice. Using renewable energy, electric vehicles or purchasing carbon offsets are some steps being taken.
At Supercharge, we are constantly striving to make a difference as well. Here are our findings on all the hows and whys of being a carbon neutral company in the tech and creative industry today.
Why global companies strive for carbon-neutrality
It’s a common thing to think of a business as a profit-oriented machine, whose primary and only purpose is to strive for growth and be in favour of the shareholders’ interests. And what about inducing positive change? It’s the responsibility of the government and international organisations? Well, we don’t agree with this, but even if you do so, we believe it’s still in your best interest to think ahead, take actions of your own and become carbon neutral. Here’s why:
Customer preferences are changing
As consumers are getting more and more educated about unethical business practices, there’s a new factor coming into effect that drives their decisions. Many people prefer sustainable products and are changing their spending to support eco-friendly businesses. But this change in behaviour doesn’t only apply to the marketplace of goods and services. It also concerns the job market.
Competition can get rather intense when hiring talent, especially in the tech sector. Not having a plan on sustainability can be a deal-breaking factor when potential team members decide about which challenge to take on next.
And in the end, it’s the customers and talent who will keep your company viable going into the future.
The world is changing and progress cannot be stopped
A world with a carbon-neutral economy is inevitable. Striving to cut emissions today means being a leader tomorrow. Not waiting for government regulations but taking advantage of credits/offsets and grants to reduce your corporate footprint may be the difference between survival and dissolution.
How to become a carbon-neutral company
Becoming carbon neutral involves looking at your complete operation, including your supply chain. Identifying your footprint, reducing it, and neutralising the impact of any remaining emissions are the three steps to becoming a carbon-neutral company.
Identify your carbon footprint based on all aspects of your business, including your suppliers. Determine your annual CO2 emissions and where they occur so there is a full understanding of your footprint. The annual accounts can be a good starting point as the main data source.
With a full understanding of your footprint, it is possible to see where reductions can be made. In-house impact may be easier to decrease through more efficient operations, technology and streamlining processes. The supply chain may be more difficult to reduce and may require switching to greener suppliers of materials and energy, as Apple has done – an encouragement for others to change too.
Most of the time decreasing emissions to zero may not be possible at once. However, by any means, this should not be a reason for stopping. In such situations, businesses can still find other ways to negate CO2 through other projects at their own expense.
Some choose to support renewable energy generation, to plant or to protect forests or to replace wood or fossil fuel stoves and heaters in economically depressed areas with cleaner options. It may not bring the corporate footprint down completely but it reduces emissions elsewhere and offsets the operational overage.
Supercharge is officially certified as a carbon net-zero company
At Supercharge, we decided to work to become a carbon net-zero company. Our advisor, Carbon Analytics, helped us review our operations and our supply chain to establish our footprint. Our annual CO2 output was 441 tons.
Once we had this number we looked at ways we could reduce our emissions. One of our first steps was to switch to renewable energy. We then looked at our supply chain, phased out some and altered our procurement guidelines to ensure we could meet our goals.
Our final step to reduce our remaining footprint was to purchase certified, high-quality offsets. We opted to use Climate Care, but you can choose any provider that has the right badges.
Once our efforts were validated, we were officially certified as a carbon net-zero company.
We also wanted to educate our team and have a local impact, so we planted 14,000 trees to create the Supercharge forest, which will help remove over 10,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere over its lifetime.
At Supercharge, we believe companies have a moral obligation to have a positive impact on society. Other than this, ensuring your company stays sustainable is an essential part of your company’s future and competitive edge. Start to think ahead now and join the crowd of CO2 neutral companies.
Andras Tessenyi is chief executive officer at Supercharge.