what is net zero?
2015’s Paris Agreement saw a major breakthrough in international agreement around climate change. 196 countries signed up to a goal to limit global warming to below 2ºC – preferably to 1.5ºC – compared to pre-industrial levels, when our planet started hotting up.
To achieve it, we all have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions – which are the main cause of climate change – to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
Net zero is just that. It means the carbon emissions* we create are balanced with a carbon deficit, generated through activities that take carbon out of the atmosphere. Then we achieve net zero.
Some of this change will be driven by new technology; some will be driven by using renewable fuels; some will be driven by consuming less energy – in our cars, workplaces and homes; some involves activity like planting trees to create carbon ‘sinks’, which take carbon out of the atmosphere. But there are improvements we can all make, while we still have a chance to halt climate change.
It’s a huge opportunity for businesses. Globally, sustainable business models could create economic opportunities worth US$12 trillion, and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs, by 2030.
It’s something that all of us will become used to – our clients and customers will demand to see our net zero policy within the next two-to-three years. It’s already a vital part of supply chain planning. And it will make the world around us – the places we live – healthier.
Join us. Make sure your business is fit for the future.
There are six main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. They trap heat in our atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to increase. Both carbon dioxide and methane contain carbon – but our ‘carbon footprint’ has become a catch-all for representing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we need to eliminate.
Greenhouse gases each have a different effect on global warming, because they stay in the atmosphere for different amounts of time. You’ll often see the phrase carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e or CO2eq) used, so that we can measure a carbon footprint consisting of a range of GHGs as a single number.
Net zero is a huge opportunity for businesses. Globally, sustainable business models could create economic opportunities worth US$12 trillion, and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs, by 2030.
A focus for business on carbon reduction and more sustainable business practices is imperative, but those businesses that lead the way are reporting a number of advantages.
These include identifying new growth opportunities and opportunities for innovation, and also lower costs and leaner business practices.
As consumers increasingly look to buy from businesses that match their values, they are looking for brands and businesses that are leading the way in sustainability, that have stories to tell and whose business practices meet the challenges of a post-pandemic world. But consumers are also employees, and in competitive employment environments employees are looking to work with and for businesses that are fit for the future.
The local picture
In 2019, Liverpool City Council declared a climate emergency. It set out a plan for net zero by 2030. The plan aims to create:
- A healthier, happier, fairer Liverpool for all
- People are educated to succeed throughout life
- Safe and thriving neighbourhoods
- A strong and inclusive economy: a productive, innovative, sustainable and fair economy, where businesses thrive through nurturing talent from all communities and provide good jobs with fair pay, conditions and progression.
- A low carbon, connected and accessible city: a city with smart, clean, accessible and integrated infrastructure, where organisations, businesses and residents are all playing their part in responding to the climate emergency and speeding the city’s transition to zero carbon.
- The most exciting city in the UK
0151 558 1724