Zero Emissions Day aims to raise awareness of the impact of our daily carbon emissions. Whether your business is big or small, aiming for net zero benefits everyone.
For most companies around the world, the race to net zero is one of the most pressing matters around the board table. This is demonstrated by the results of a recent survey, which found that more than half (54%) of FTSE 100 companies have a board-level committee dedicated to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
This is clearly a solid business as well as environmental move. As well as lowering emissions and boosting eco-investment, companies understand that clear ESG credentials can make the company eligible for ESG-focused funds and boost the stock price. And it’s a trend that’s set to continue. “If you are a FTSE100 company without an ESG committee at board level then you are now in a shrinking minority,” said Maria Hughes, Director at Mattison Public Relations, the agency that carried out the research.
Climate tipping points
Whether you’re head of an ESG committee for a huge multinational or a Sustainability Officer for a small business, one of the key goals is to achieve net zero. This goal was brought into sharp focus recently with the publishing of an alarming study that concluded that the world is on the brink of five disastrous climate tipping points.
The study, by a number of eminent climate scientists, found evidence for a total of 16 tipping points, five of which may already have been passed. Those five include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap, the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost.
“It’s really worrying,” said Dr David Armstrong McKay of the University of Exeter, a lead author of the study. “There are grounds for grief, but there are also still grounds for hope. The study really underpins why the Paris agreement goal of 1.5C is so important and must be fought for.”
Zero Emissions Day
One of the many initiatives aiming to highlight awareness of global warming and climate change is Zero Emissions Day. Taking place every year on September 21, its purpose is to offer a preview of what a planet without the release of fossil fuels into the air would look like.
A small taste of what that preview could look like was experienced during the pandemic, when many countries experienced lockdowns. The amount of traffic – both on the road and in the air – was starkly reduced and factories were closed, with the air quality sharply increasing as a result.
Of course, that air quality reduced as people returned to work and industry output pushed back to pre-pandemic levels, but people were made aware of just how much emissions affected their daily lives.
Small step to a big outcome
So what can you do if you’re in the position to change things? If you’re the owner of Patagonia, you can give the entire company away, diverting all profits into the fight against climate change. But we understand that not everyone is in the position to make such an altruistic business move.
A much more manageable step is choosing Carbon Balanced Paper which, when added to a company’s existing environmental efforts, provides an effective way to balance emissions while protecting some of the world’s most threatened land. Working with global charity World Land Trust, Carbon Balanced Paper makes a significant contribution to ensuring many species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species remain in their natural habitat.
Carbon Balanced Paper enables brands to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, while enabling partner suppliers and printers to carbon balance their paper and print services. In the eight years it’s been running, the initiative has helped to protect land and forests that’s offset over 50,000 tonnes of CO2.