Have you considered going ‘carbon neutral’? (And what does that mean anyway?)

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September 13, 2019

Climate change is here.

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No longer a message from a small minority of environmentalists, globally scientists recognise that we need to change the way we live if we are going to avoid the consequences of global warming, and are urging changes in ‘all aspects of society’. And businesses (and consumers) are catching on, fast. 

Today, Australia is very much in the early stages of adoption for carbon neutral businesses, but this is changing rapidly, as global demands for businesses to take the lead on minimising carbon footprint increase, along with consumer demands for businesses to ‘go green’.   

What does it mean to be carbon neutral? 

The United Nations explains that carbon neutrality is having a net zero carbon footprint - to achieve a net zero carbon emissions, businesses can balance a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset. 

Check out this short video to explain further: 

“Reducing our emissions is both a corporate responsibility and a way to mitigate long-term risk," says UN Environment climate change expert Niklas Hagelberg. And under the Paris Agreement, all country-signatories should strive to formulate and communicate their long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies by 2020. 

So, what’s your business strategy for going carbon neutral? It’s not too late to get started on leading the way for environmental change, with simple operational improvements across your business. 

Good for the environment, good for your customers. 

The number of eco-conscious customers is growing every year, especially within the millennial generation. A global online study from AC Neilson provides some important data to support that companies who go green will demand consumer attention now, and in the future. The study suggests that: 

  • 67% of consumers are seeking to work with companies that are striving to lower their impact on the environment. 
  • 72% of people are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services (up from 55% on previous year)
  • 66% are prepared to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact (up from 55% on previous year) 

On speaking to the green generation, the AC Neilson report suggests that: “Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to not only grow market share but build loyalty among the power-spending millennials of tomorrow, too”.

But younger generations aren’t the only ones who say they care, so don’t abandon Baby Boomers in the quest for Millennials. Fifty-one percent of Boomers (50-64) surveyed are willing to pay extra, an increase of seven percentage points since last year. This segment will remain a substantial and viable market in the coming decade for select products and services from sustainable brands.

Lead the way (... and don’t be left behind) 

Carbon neutral programs are here and available for your business, now. And while this is a growing sector in the Australian marketplace, in the years to come, ‘carbon neutral’ will be a norm for business, as well as households.

Leading the way now with strategies to reduce CO2 emissions will not only future-proof your business operations, but will demonstrate to your customers that you care about what they care about, and are leading the way for your own industry. 

Making the change to carbon neutral is not about compromising on quality, it’s about making simple but lasting changes in your business to minimise your carbon footprint, and can ultimately not only improve your impact on the environment, but deliver savings to your business, in the form of energy reduction and cost savings; customer, supplier and stakeholder satisfaction; competitive differentiation, and leadership in your industry. 

Small changes now, big impact over time. 

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a few ways your organisation can reduce its carbon footprint: 

  • Choose green suppliers and reduce supply chain emissions - an audit of all of your suppliers (from energy, to office supplies, through to manufacturing including print and promotional) is a great place to start.  
  • Implement a sustainable procurement strategy to directly and indirectly reduce your footprint (DMC Group can help with your print and promotional needs)
  • Work with your internal teams to understand how each business unit can affect the carbon bottom line - from day to day, through to long term strategies
  • Carbon offset - paying for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions to be made elsewhere, such as via tree plantings, wind farms and hydroelectricity. This can be done through organisations like The Carbon Institute. 

How DMC Group can ‘carbon neutralise’ your business’s print and promotional procurement. 

DMC Group Aust is a  certified LoCO2 company with the Carbon Institute, Australia’s most widely recognised and subscribed climate action certification. Since DMC’s certification in 2014, we have offset the equivalent of more than 50 cars off the roads, and 700,000 litres in fuel saved. 

Through DMC’s carbon offset procurement and fulfilment services, we can help you serve your climate conscious consumers and carbon neutral goals to reduce your supply chain emissions, offset your carbon emissions on any print job, and invest your carbon credits in local and offshore certified CO2 projects. We can also provide Annual Reporting on your CO2 usages, along with carbon footprint savings and issuing of CO2 neutral certifications on procurement. 

Let us help you make a difference to the environment, and work towards your own carbon neutral goal. Contact us today. 


Further reading and resources: 

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/business-unusual-shift-carbon-neutral

https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty-and-research/anderson-review/green-bundle

http://customerthink.com/how-to-appeal-to-the-green-generation-of-customers/

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