There is no doubt that businesses must take climate change seriously. With 2030 fast approaching, businesses that do not tackle their carbon footprint now will soon be penalised for non-compliance. As businesses look to implement net zero carbon emissions strategies, it is important that common misconceptions are addressed.

Here are 4 common misconceptions about net zero carbon emissions:

#1 Existing buildings are too difficult to make net zero

While constraints such as building age, construction type, condition, occupants and budget do complicate the process of retrofitting existing buildings to reach net zero goals, it is still possible.

Improvements can be phased over time, and minimising energy demands through improvements to thermal insulation, glazing, airtightness and HVAC systems all play a big role in reducing your energy requirements.

Other significant savings can be made through adopting technology in your approach to energy usage.

Smart energy technology includes installing lower energy bulbs, automated lighting controls and occupancy monitoring technology that helps determine where energy is being wasted.

Equipment is another area where smart metering can help identify problematic areas for improvement – such as equipment that does not meet energy efficiency standards.

All these steps should form part of a robust strategy designed to bring your premises in line with net zero goals.

#2 We just need to reduce our carbon footprint, not cut emissions

No matter how much we try, we all have a carbon footprint, and we are all responsible for some of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are going into the atmosphere.

Cutting emissions is an important part of our responsibility when it comes to going carbon neutral. Businesses must employ a multipronged strategy that reduces emissions where possible and ensures that unavoidable emissions are either absorbed, or avoided elsewhere through carbon offsetting.

A net zero emissions business should look to source net zero carbon energy, commit to Gold Standard carbon offset projects, and sell excess green energy where possible.

A flexible approach to carbon neutrality will help your business reach carbon neutral targets and can lead to long term savings.

#3 I’m on a renewable energy tariff, so I’m net zero carbon

While signing up for a renewable energy tariff is a good first step for your business to take in search of carbon neutrality, it is not a ticket to net zero carbon status.

It is important to note that it is possible for energy suppliers to market renewable energy tariffs that do not fully contribute to the funding of increased renewable energy generation.

With uncertainty over the origin of energy supply, the UK Green Building Council’s definition of a net zero carbon building does not consider the effect of a green energy tariff.

That does not mean that renewable energy tariffs should not be explored for your business. They are a great first step to conscious consumption, but you must undertake to understand how your supplier contributes to green energy generation.

Finding a trusted partner that can audit potential energy suppliers is a great way to invest in green energy initiatives with a clean conscience.

#4 Going climate neutral is just for CSR

For many years, organisations have considered net zero carbon initiatives as an act of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but the reality is that increasing public awareness has changed consumer behaviour.

There is pressure from investors, governments and consumers for businesses to operate ethically, and it is mission critical that businesses can demonstrate their commitment to net zero emissions to build customer confidence.

Taking climate neutrality seriously can build supply chain resilience, support growth and earn the support of key stakeholders.

It’s not just for show, it’s for the future of your business.

Finding a partner that understands your needs

With an increasing shift to carbon-neutral energy practices, finding a partner that can support your green vision is important.

At Smarter Business, our team of experts will audit your current energy practices, provide clear direction for green energy solutions, and deliver a phased approach that helps you meet targets, save money and improve your bottom line.

Get in touch with us today to find out how Smarter Business could help you go green.