In this business energy comparison guide, we’ll take a close look at some of the most common myths about net zero emissions. We’ll show you why they’re incorrect and also give you some tips on how your business can reach net zero.
Common Myths About Net Zero Carbon Emissions
Some Common Myths About Net Zero Emissions And Businesses
There’s a huge amount of information out there about net zero and climate change in general. Naturally, this has led to the circulation of many myths about greenhouse gases and global warming and how they relate to businesses.
This can make it difficult for businesses to formulate strategies for how to achieve net zero targets. As a business owner, you still want to compare business gas and business electricity prices that are available. However, you also want to make your business as green as possible.
To help you, we’re going to go through the most common myths about net zero emissions and show you why they’re wrong.
If your business is using a renewable energy tariff, then that’s great. Yet, this doesn’t mean that your business has achieved net zero emissions. These tariffs have several environmental benefits, but they don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, there are many renewable energy tariffs that aren’t what they appear to be. Some energy companies purchase cheap certificates that make their fuel mix disclosures seem greener than they are. So, if you have a renewable energy tariff with one of these companies, it won’t be helping your cause.
If you want to find the best business renewable energy tariffs on the market, use Business Energy Comparison. Our online tool allows you to compare business energy deals and could help you save up to 45% on your rates.
This is a common myth that seems to get repeated a lot. However, it is totally incorrect. If the UK is to achieve its net zero targets, all businesses, including existing ones, need to contribute. It’s perfectly achievable for existing businesses to reach net zero.
It’s expensive to reach net zero
There is a common assumption that reaching net zero is very expensive for businesses. Whilst there are some costs involved initially, reducing your emissions will actually save your business money in the long term.
By reducing the amount of energy, your business uses, you will save money on energy costs. Or, you may implement innovative processes that allow you to use the same amount of energy but from renewable sources.
These processes can help your business to become more resource efficient, more resilient, and more cost-effective.
Net zero targets can be reached simply by working from home
Many businesses assume that if their employees work from home, the business is closer to net zero. Whilst this may reduce your business’s emissions, there are still indirect emissions associated with working from home.
Digital tasks like video conferences, sending emails and storing data all increase the emissions of your business. One way of reducing these emissions is to ask your employees to turn off their computers when not in use. This is much greener than leaving them on standby.
Your business is too small to contribute to global emissions
All businesses, no matter what size, contribute to the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the environment. This means that small businesses can play an important part in helping the UK Government to achieve its 2050 net zero target.
Some small businesses have even set themselves the ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030. So, your small business has a vital role in preventing global warming.
Net zero targets are just for CSR
Many businesses still believe that net zero initiatives are an act of corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, as public awareness increases, consumer behaviour is also changing.
More and more, the pressure to operate ethically is building. This pressure is coming from governments, investors and consumers. This means it’s vital to consumer confidence that businesses show their commitment to net zero initiatives.
Demonstrating that your business takes net zero seriously isn’t just for show. It supports growth, earns the support of stakeholders, and builds supply chain resilience.
Reducing your carbon footprint is enough
Every business has a carbon footprint. Although reducing it is good, it’s not enough on its own. The crucial part of a business’s net zero responsibilities is reducing emissions. This requires a multifaceted strategy that cuts emissions.
It also needs to ensure that unavoidable emissions are offset or absorbed. One of the ways to achieve this is to commit your business to a Gold Standard carbon offset project. You can also sell excess green energy and use carbon energy from net zero sources.
Remember, your approach needs to be flexible. The strategy you implement should be open-ended and adaptable. This will help you to achieve your targets and will save your business money over time.
It’s too difficult for existing buildings to reach net zero
In order to reach net zero targets, many existing buildings need to be retrofitted. This can be fairly complicated due to factors like construction type, building age, occupants, and building condition. Yet, it is certainly still possible to achieve.
To lessen the complications, it’s often best to phase in the improvements. For instance, you can gradually reduce the energy demands of your business by improving glazing, thermal insulation, and airtightness. HVAC systems can also be used to reduce your business’s energy requirements.
Your business can also adopt certain technologies to help reduce energy usage. Smart energy technology, such as automated lighting controls, lower energy bulbs, and occupancy monitoring technology, is a great way of doing this.
You can also use smart metering to monitor your equipment and identity where energy is being wasted. This will show you which equipment is the most inefficient and in need of improvement.
These are all gradual steps that you can take to reduce the emissions of an existing building. By implementing these steps, you’ll reduce the costs of reaching net zero and simplify the process.
Burning biomass is carbon neutral
Burning biomass has a low CO2 emission rate and is a more environmentally-friendly option than using other fuels. However, it is not considered to be carbon neutral in the short term. This is because it rapidly releases CO2, NOx, and particulate emissions when it’s burned.
All of these emissions contribute to local air pollution and global warming. Burning biomass can be considered to be carbon neutral over a very long period of time, such as a 100-year period. Until great advancements are made in carbon storage and carbon capture technology, burning biomass will not be carbon neutral.
Most likely, the best way of using biomass to mitigate climate change will be to plant more forests and use them for long-lived timber products.
District heating is net zero
Whilst district heating is often considered to be low carbon, this all depends on where the energy comes from. If the heat that’s used is being generated from burning gas, then it’s certainly not low carbon. If the heat is being generated by a heat pump, then it has more chance of being low carbon.
In district heating, there are inevitable losses of heat from the distribution pipe network. This affects the carbon rating of the network as a whole.
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As you can see, many of the negative things you’ve heard about net zero emissions are untrue. Some of the myths we’ve examined contain a kernel of truth but are greatly exaggerated.
Of course, reaching net zero is not without its challenges. There are costs and complications involved in the process. However, if your business has a robust strategy, then net zero will be absolutely achievable. Once achieved, the benefits of net zero to your business and the planet will be huge.
Frequently Asked Questions
On a nationwide scale, it’s considered more feasible that net zero emissions can be achieved rather than zero emissions. This is because it would be incredibly disruptive and expensive to entirely eliminate some sources of emissions.
To be classed as a net zero business, you need to reduce your admissions by 90-95%. You then need to ensure that the remaining 5-10% of emissions are offset. This is done via projects involved in the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.
Yes, there are currently eight countries in the world that have achieved net zero. They are Bhutan, Gabon, Comoros, Madagascar, Guyana, Panama, Niue, and Suriname. The majority of these countries are small, which has made the net zero transition easier than it is for larger countries.
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