Carbon-neutral is the new gold. Nowadays, more and more companies pledge to become carbon neutral, net-zero or even climate positive. With global giants like Google, who claims that they are the first company to eliminate its carbon legacy, we may ask: how is it possible?
Terms like “carbon-neutrality”, “net-zero” or “climate positive” have been around for a while, but for the last couple of years, small startups to global corporations have integrated them, mainly for mainstream marketing purposes. The diversity of phrases and the lack of clarity around them can mislead well-intentioned consumers. However, communicating transparently about them may encourage businesses to be more proactive
According to the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, there are only 29 years remaining to reach global net-zero emissions.
So let’s understand better what the lingo around carbon neutrality is. To verify if a company is willing to reduce or even erase their carbon footprint when they are claiming carbon-neutrality, it is vital to comprehend these terms.
By 2030, Apple’s entire business will be carbon neutral — from supply chain to the power you use in every device we make. The planet we share can’t wait, and we want to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.
To start, let’s deep dive into the core of carbon-neutrality:
- Carbon neutral means that any CO2 released into the atmosphere from a company’s activities is balanced by an equivalent amount being removed.
- Climate positive means that activity goes beyond achieving net-zero carbon emissions to create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Carbon negative means the same thing as “climate positive.”
- Carbon positive is how organisations describe climate positive and carbon negative. It’s mainly a marketing term, and understandably confusing–we generally avoid it.
- Climate Neutral refers to reducing all GHG to the point of zero while eliminating all other negative environmental impacts that an organisation may cause.
- Net-Zero carbon emissions mean that an activity releases net-zero carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
- Net-Zero emissions balance the whole amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) released and the amount removed from the atmosphere.