One in five of the world’s largest companies have pledged to reduce their net emissions to zero by the year 2050. In other words, they plan to reduce their emissions to close to zero, and offset the effects of the remainder. But practically, what does such a commitment look like? We’ve found some tips from Harvard Business Review on ways corporations can reduce their carbon footprint.
Trees, and other such plants, are great carbon sinks. They take greenhouse gases from our atmosphere and convert them into organic compounds. Companies could look at land restoration as a means to offset emissions; simply planting more trees, or supplementing existing areas with vegetation, could have a big impact. Partnering with existing NGOs and environmental organizations would help companies maximize their use of resources.
Agriculture is an often overlooked, but significant, producer of greenhouse gasses. Companies can support sustainable agriculture practices, like regenerative agriculture, that use less fossil fuel-dependent fertilizers and reduce emissions from livestock. This can also include promoting fruits and vegetables instead of red meat, and changing irrigation practices for farmed crops to reduce water usage. Looking for a place to start? Zero Foodprint is a great organization working towards a green food system for all.
Businesses can support government policies that offer incentives and regulation to reduce emissions on both the local and national scale. Most larger corporations already have lobbyists representing their interests on all levels of government. Those that do not can partner with environmentally-focused organizations such as Business for Nature. Expressing a willingness to comply with and support nature-friendly policies encourages political actors to introduce them more, and pressures other businesses to meet the same standard of expectation.
While emissions-reducing strategies likely differ from industry to industry, supporting the three sustainability causes listed above will help any company reduce and offset its carbon footprint.