‘Net zero’ emissions means the level of GHG in the atmosphere is stable. This is achieved first and foremost by reducing emissions from human activity and at the same time scaling methods to remove GHG from the atmosphere, both through natural carbon sinks (trees, oceans, soil) and through technological solutions.
And given we have already of a trillion of tonnes CO2 into the atmosphere, we do need to get to net zero and go beyond, removing CO2 already in the atmosphere. It’s undeniable that we need to do this quickly and on a global scale.
For businesses, therefore, it may seem like the best way to help with this mission would be to strive for net zero as a business too, focusing on your own carbon footprint. But, though this may be true for some businesses, net zero is not always the right goal.
Perhaps in heavy emitting industries, such as aviation, mining, cement and steel production, aiming for net zero by drastically minimising emissions from the business itself and putting carbon removal methods in place will be the best way to contribute — and if it sounds like this is the best approach for your business, brilliant initiatives like Science Based Targets exist to ensure you implement net zero targets in the right way.
For businesses with a fairly small carbon footprint to begin with, a net zero target can be a good first step (eg., TechZero is a phenomenal initiative) but will actually do little to move the needle towards a global net zero. Compare the 1,000-2,000 tCO2 carbon footprint of a software scaleup with 10-20 million tCO2 of an airline, for instance.
But there are other ways for these companies to have an outsized positive impact on the planet, leveraging their platforms or networks to do so — it’s just a matter of figuring out what those ways are. Because to address the climate crisis it's not enough that businesses are blindly pursuing a goal of individual ‘net zero’ in a silo. We need businesses that are committed to finding and focusing on areas in which that business can have the biggest possible positive impact, so we can reach, and go beyond, a global net zero.
And if that’s the case, how might you do this at your company?
Answer: 📣 ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS! 📣
For many companies the best thing to do is to make climate impact part of the customer experience, snowballing your climate impact whilst also making yourself stand out from the crowd and engaging your customers.
This is what we do at Lune.
We turn payment companies into climate platforms. They leverage their network to give every merchant they work with a frictionless way to contribute to carbon removal with every transaction. As a result, rather than just one payments company getting to ‘net zero’, thousands (or millions) of merchants will remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and the impact of the company has been multiplied many, many times.
We turn digital logistics platforms into climate platforms. Every digital logistics platforms should allow customers to optimise modality and route according to the lowest carbon emissions and neutralise the shipping emissions at time of booking, directly through their platform.
Every bank should show users the carbon footprint of their purchases and neutralise it directly through their banking app. A social platform could allow creators to automatically remove CO2 from the atmosphere for each “like”.
I could go on.
And the added benefit? While these companies use their platforms to have an exponential positive impact, they also find a way to truly stand out from their competition, increase customer engagement and loyalty, and ultimately drive sustainable business growth.
At Lune, we help create climate positive customer experience to make every product and service climate positive. Businesses can easily integrate climate impact into their customer experience in ways just like this, starting with carbon emissions calculations and carbon removal. Curious about what this could look like for your company? Get in touch and start your own climate positive journey today.