What is net zero?

3 Minute Read
What is net zero?

What is Net Zero?

Environmental impact has become a crucial part of business strategy with the acceleration in environmental, social and governance (ESG) drivers in recent years.

As part of that evolution, organisations and governments have set ambitious targets to achieve net zero by 2050, meaning significant reduction in worldwide GHG emissions in a rapidly shortening timescale.

The buzzword of the moment, net zero has become a frequent term that individuals and businesses are referring to on a near daily basis.

What is net zero, however? And how can a business achieve zero emissions all while operating as normal?

Trees with a smoke cloud overlaying.

What are GHG Emissions?

Greenhouse gas emissions, also known as GHG emissions, are gases in the earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. GHG Gases are an essential part of maintaining the earth’s temperature at a habitable level.

During the day as the earth warms, the atmosphere’s temperature increases, and the GHG gases in the atmosphere retain that heat over night as the temperature depletes.

The issue lies in the contribution GHG emissions have on global warming, in that as gas levels rise, the temperature of the earth does not decrease as quickly and in turn we experience incremental increases in the earth’s average temperature, leading to irreparable damage on environments via climate change.

As a result of global warming rapidly increasing which is leading to significant climate impacts, bodies, regulators, and governments world-wide have implemented net zero requirements.

Emissions are categorised in to scopes in the GHG Protocol, namely Scope 1, associated with direct emissions, those tied to operations, and Scopes 2 and 3, which are associated with indirect emissions, those tied to the value chain.

What does it mean to be Net Zero?

In simplest terms, net zero means achieving a balance between the amount GHG Emissions that are produced and the amount that’s removed.

Net Zero will ultimately be achieved by firstly reducing the level of GHG emissions produced to near-zero, and then utilising new technologies to sequester or eliminate the remaining excess from the atmosphere.

Notably, net zero is seen as an economic movement and will have massive implications for organisations both in the public and private sectors. It requires thorough consideration and rethinking of every process and transaction in our society to mitigate and rapidly reduce GHG emissions at scale.

Achieving that in a realistic way that maintains business success and profitability is paramount.

Photo of London high street with two red buses

How can businesses achieve net zero realistically?

The difficulty of achieving net zero varies massively per sector. Industries such as the retail sector face implications through their store estates. On average, buildings account for 37% of global emissions. For retailers, finding ways to run stores on green energy but also responsibly lowering energy consumption is crucial.

For the construction and real estate sectors, challenges lie within the presence of both embodied and operational carbon from design stage through to facilities management and building maintenance. Procuring lower items with lesser global warming potential (GWP) and leveraging green fuels such as biofuel.

In terms of realistic steps, the best way to work toward net zero starts with:

  • Conducting an in-depth materiality assessment of your entire business to determine key sustainability goals.
  • Understanding your baseline performance in each of your material topic areas – where are your emissions at today?
  • Identify throughout your operation’s high emission output processes or high embedded carbon products that need priority to be addressed and mitigated.
  • Implement a strategy to mitigate emissions over time inclusive of the introduction of a tech stack that can enable mitigation at scale.
  • Continuously measure performance over time to understand the impact of your investments.

How can technology help?

Technology is helping organisations navigate the road to net zero effectively. Whether it’s ESG Reporting software that helps businesses interpret their data easily, or Social Value tools that help businesses scale sustainability in a socially ethical way.

At LoweConex, our software platform is helping organisations to mitigate and the operational emissions of their buildings through automated control at scale. We plug in to existing infrastructure across your physical estates, and helping to rapidly reduce energy consumption and mitigate the impact your business is having on the environment.

With over 27m kWh of electricity consumption eliminated, we’re helping some of the world’s largest retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and public sector organisations work toward net zero goals.

Whatever your focus, technology can help expedite processes and streamline your journey to net zero, and for many businesses, achieving net zero ambitions will be impossible without the help of new innovative solutions.

Book a demo

LoweConex is your trusted estate automation partner. Using our award-winning software platform, we empower businesses’ estates through connected automation at scale.

Using our system, users can connect to any hardware, software, or asset, ingest data from those systems, then connect, monitor and control their estate and assets from remote locations through LoweConex.

With centralised control for refrigeration, temperature control, HVAC, building management systems (BMS), lighting, wet systems and more, your business can actualise change rapidly with automated rulesets that ensure your technology responds instantly to physical changes in surrounding climates.

Trusted by some of the biggest names in retail, hospitality and BMS, LoweConex is helping businesses to reduce spend via energy management, automating reporting capabilities, creating maintenance efficiencies, reducing risk through accurate compliance and giving back control with centralised capabilities and dashboards.

See how it could work for you! Book a call with our team today.