Circle Opinion

How do you become a net-zero business?

Matthew Bosson

At the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) towards the end of last year, attendees were reminded of this harsh reality during the opening speech made by Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary. According to Simon, countries must deliver new Nationally Determined Contributions by 2025 which include achieving a 1.5C world by 2030. This comes following the publication of the Provisional State of the Global Climate 2023 report, calling 2023 “the warmest year on observational record”, concluding a near-decade of the highest temperatures on record.

net zero carbon

What is net zero?

The United Nations (UN) has stated that to avoid significant climate change, global warming must be limited to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. Most countries believe that they can meet this target by achieving net zero global emissions by 2050, however, to achieve net zero, greenhouse gas emissions must be balanced with those that are removed from the atmosphere. So, what practices can businesses adopt to balance their greenhouse gas emissions? How can businesses overcome the obstacles these practices may present?

Business benefits of moving to net zero

In addition to the environmental benefits, focusing on net zero has a strong business case. Many businesses are now increasingly being asked by investors, funding bodies, clients and staff about their net zero goals and actions. There’s a real risk of losing business because of market changes driven by global net zero efforts, it’s no longer simply a facilities issue.

What are the main obstacles?

It’s important to recognise the need for serious financial investment in more large-scale opportunities like:

  • Renewable energy
  • Heat decarbonisation
  • Product eco design
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Climate finance

Deciding where to start, however, and finding the right solutions is an obstacle in itself. At COP28, countries also struggled to agree on four major areas regarding emissions, including:

  • Authorising emissions reductions when transferring to other countries, and the revising or revoking of authorisation
  • Reviewing confidential information and correcting any reporting inconsistencies
  • Defining the scope of “cooperative approaches” on carbon trading to help countries meet their NDCs
  • Eligible activities within carbon markets.

Despite these challenges, to make a real difference to carbon reduction– whether you’re a SME or large enterprise– you must look at your entire asset base, from IT infrastructure to end user devices to physical assets. Businesses must also consider how to track the environmental impact of these assets and understand their interdependencies to decide which are the most damaging or which are repair or replacement priorities to achieve a positive carbon impact. Ambitious targets will also need to be set out and met by businesses to support their country’s NDCs by 2025.

How can CACI help you overcome these obstacles?

Our MooD Environmental Hub helps track all of your assets across multiple geographic locations and assess the environmental impact of your business. It distills assets from multi-site, business-level functions to departments or even individual teams to provide suggestions for swapping your power-hungry devices to less polluting alternatives and its resulting impact. This enables you to cut costs and fully understand your environmental footprint on demand, empowering your decision making.

The MooD Environmental Hub also takes your existing data and visualises it through user-friendly dashboards that show carbon impact, consumption and cost at an enterprise level. With a single click, you can drill down to asset type, location, department or business function, enabling a quick assessment of priority focus areas for improvement. The advanced modelling feature helps you explore potential improvements, indicating ROI and carbon reduction impact.

You can also easily benchmark performance against carbon commitments such as Social Value through the initiatives tracker. Producing carbon reduction target tracking reports or modelling for a business case is now a click away – to see how it works, you can book a demo here.

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Matthew Bosson