The pathway to net-zero
The pathway to net-zero
Ecologi’s carbon accountants have mapped out Ecologi Zero to follow each step in the net-zero cycle. From set-up through to certify, features allow users to achieve each step removing the need for experience and expertise and making net-zero viable for businesses.
There must be acknowledgement of the need for change and that you can be part of the solution. Net-Zero does not happen overnight and is a transition, therefore it requires a long-term commitment to action. This is a great opportunity to ensure that the relevant internal stakeholders understand the reasons for change and buy in to the process.
What isn’t measured can’t be managed. This is key to understanding where your starting point is, as well as identifying emission hotspots and the opportunities for greatest reductions, often coinciding with efficiency gains. This stage is repeated on an annual basis during your journey to net-zero to measure performance and the impact of reduction strategies that you have implemented.
3. Strategy and Target
Once you have measured your emissions, you can begin to analyse your footprint and identify a suitable transition to decarbonise your operations. Strategy and target setting should be done in collaboration, there is no point in setting targets if you are not clear as to how you can achieve them. Likewise, targets complement strategy as they guide your level of ambition, hold you accountable and provide a measurable indicator of success.
4. Reduce and Engage
Once a strategy has been established, it is then essential to begin implementing the plan in a viable order. This is not an overnight process and needs to also align with your business environment in order to be economically sustainable. Working with your supply chain is essential for many businesses as it’s not uncommon for businesses to have up to 90% of their emissions occur within their value chain stream. Whilst this makes things more challenging, there are steps that you can take to support sustainable procurement and reduce your upstream emissions.
The penultimate stage of net-zero occurs after significant reduction has been achieved and is the removal of unavoidable emissions. Under the SBTi standard, this can be up to 10% of your base year’s emissions. You can only become certified as net-zero using carbon removal credits, instead of avoidance credits. Removals directly sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon avoidance credits can be used in the meantime to balance your emissions whilst implementing emissions reductions to achieve carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is a stepping stone to net-zero and is a supplementary action to mitigate the effects of your current emissions. Net-zero should remain your long-term goal.
Once you have implemented emissions reduction actions and potentially become carbon neutral, you will return to the measurement stage to re-evaluate your decarbonisation strategy. You will likely have to go through this cycle a number of times before transitioning to a state of net-zero, at which point you can become certified as net-zero under the SBTi.