8 key steps to achieving net-zero carbon emissions

The COP26 climate summit taking part in Glasgow this past week is a timely reminder that leaders need to review their environmental and sustainability strategies.
There is no ‘one size fits all approach’ to this and businesses need to be looking at their own individual circumstances. A recent survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce on 1000 companies found that just 9% of small businesses are measuring their carbon footprint. The benefits to businesses of lowering their carbon emissions are not only rewarding but can be cost -effective too.

These are 8 very simple steps that your business can take right now.

Start to work towards a net-zero carbon emissions goal:

1. Measure your carbon footprint

You need to be able to calculate your emissions before you can begin to lower them and work towards net-zero.

There are lots of free tools online that can do this for you. We recommend using https://smeclimatehub.org/tools/

From recording staff journeys to your utilities. Make sure you have a complete overview of your emissions starting position.

2. Utilities

Look at your current utility providers and consider changing to one that uses renewable sources, or investigate what other renewable energy might be available to you.

3. Packaging and Stationery

Consider where you could go paperless and use recycled and recyclable materials.

Cost optimisation
Leading Sustainability

4. Transport

Could you create a car sharing scheme, walk or cycle to work incentives and promote public transport for company journeys?

5. Buy in from everyone in the business

Make sure that employees are informed, educated and brought on board with your net-zero emissions strategy and plan. Consider having a representative from each department to make sure that the messaging is not only consistent but that everyone is able to contribute their thoughts. Remember climate change affects us all and is something that many of us are passionate about.

6. Offsetting

Sometimes there are carbon emissions that are just impossible or too hard to reduce. In these cases look at a way of offsetting those elsewhere by planting trees, or contributing towards carbon offsetting projects. We like Ecologi, where you can create a business account and share your growing ‘forest’ with staff and customers.

7. Set Targets

We know what smart goals are but do we always use them? Make sure that you set achievable goals that you can measure. Set targets and deadlines so that you can consistently review and see clearly the carbon emission savings you are making. Keep up the positive momentum by sharing the good news with everyone.


8. Make it part of your business culture

Working towards net-zero carbon emissions isn’t a passing fad. This is the future for all businesses and we need to take it seriously. Make it clear in your communications, on your website and in your marketing materials.

“Your commitment to working towards zero emissions is one to be proud of, and one that is important to many of your customers.

In our recent blog on ‘What is sustainability in business’ we shared that 28% of consumers have stopped buying certain products due to ethical or environmental concerns. That’s nearly a third.

At The CIO Circle we are passionate about sustainability – it’s one of our core themes. We understand that keeping up with that can be challenging. That’s why we created the CIO membership, to educate, inspire and collaborate with like-minded individuals in the tech industry on matters like sustainability and leadership.

The doors are always open – just click here for more info or click here for courses.


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