Carbon Footprinting & Neutrality
Carbon Neutrality means having a balance between emitting GHGs and avoiding/absorbing GHGs from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then storing it is known as carbon sequestration. In order to achieve net zero emissions, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will have to be counterbalanced by carbon sequestration.
Carbon sink is any system that absorbs more carbon than it emits. The main natural carbon sinks are soil, forests and oceans. According to estimates, natural sinks remove between 9.5 and 11 Gt of CO2 per year. Annual global CO2 emissions reached 37.1 Gt in 2017. Till date, no artificial carbon sinks are able to remove carbon from the atmosphere on the necessary scale to fight global warming.
The carbon stored in natural sinks such as forests is released into the atmosphere through forest fires, changes in land use or logging. This is why it is essential to reduce carbon emissions in order to become carbon neutral.
Steps to go carbon neutral
1. Define: Set your carbon neutrality and carbon management strategies
2. Measure: Calculate & track your carbon footprint
3. Reduce: Implementing cost effective carbon reduction programmes to offset emissions through a wide choice of high quality projects around the world
4. Communicate: Demonstrate your climate action and engage your employees, customers and shareholders.
The same principle does applies to managing your Carbon Footprint. First step towards managing your carbon footprint is measuring your Carbon Footprint.
Steps to GHG Inventory analysis
- Understanding Business Goals and Inventory Design
- Setting Organizational Boundary
- Setting Operational Boundary
- Tracking Emissions over time
- Identifying and calculating GHG emissions
- Managing Inventory Quality
- Accounting for GHG Reductions
- Reporting GHG Emissions
- Verification of GHG Emissions
- Setting a GHG reduction target