Information about Going carbon neutral is now available on the Department of the Environment website at: www.environment.gov.au/carbon-neutral
Many businesses and individuals are concerned about climate change and want to make their own contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Measuring your carbon footprint and going carbon neutral is one way to contribute. For businesses, going carbon neutral can have additional benefits such as saving money through reducing resource use and differentiating your organisation or product from others in the market.
Once you have measured your carbon footprint you can decide the best actions to take to reduce your footprint. There may be ways to avoid creating emissions in the first place. There may also be ways to reduce emissions produced from a certain activity. To be carbon neutral, any remaining emissions would need to be ‘offset’ so that the net emissions from your activities are equivalent to zero.
Carbon offset units are usually purchased by individuals or companies and used to cancel out or ‘offset’ the emissions they generate during their normal course of business or day to day life. Carbon offsets are units which represent reductions or ‘abatement’ of greenhouse gas emissions.
Abatement is achieved by:
- Reducing or avoiding emissions—for example by using renewable energy
- Removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in soil or trees—for example by growing a forest.