Why do we need climate action and how can carbon neutrality help?
There are a lot of opinions on climate change and the action that needs to be taken, but for most of us, we can certainly agree that sooner is better than later. Rising sea levels, severe weather events and other environmental shifts affect everyone, from New York traders through to small farmers in Uganda. If left unchecked, climate change threatens to undo a lot of the progress made in recent years towards more sustainable living.
But, it’s far from a desperate situation. There is still time to change! Climate change is being addressed, and it will take efforts from all of us to start turning back the clock. From energy and industry through to forestry and agriculture, we can work towards limiting global temperature and bringing things back to normal. So, who’s currently doing the heavy lifting, and what example can a whiteboard paint company like ESCREO set?
What is carbon neutrality
We’ll be mentioning carbon neutrality throughout this article, so let’s quickly set the record straight on what we mean. Carbon neutrality is the balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon emissions from carbon sinks. To put it another way, it’s about ‘canceling out’ the carbon being pushed out into our atmosphere and environment.
One thing worth mentioning is the difference between being carbon-free, and carbon neutral. If a particular product is carbon-free, it means that no carbon at all was released in its production. If a product is carbon neutral, it means that the producer has taken steps to ‘cancel out’ that carbon through other means. For instance, one way to achieve carbon neutrality is to offset emissions made in one sector by reducing them somewhere else. This can be done through investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency or other clean, low-carbon technologies.
An interesting aspect of being carbon neutral is the idea of using Carbon Credits. For example, if one party has no choice but to emit carbon dioxide, it can sponsor another party who can, therefore balancing things out. The idea, if properly implemented and adopted, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, empower communities, create jobs and even restore forests.
Who inspires climate action and why?
Climate action is a subject close to many hearts, and global governments are broadly in agreement that something needs to be done. Some of the larger initiatives include:
In December 2015, the world took a significant first step by adopting the Paris Agreement, in which all countries committed to take action to address climate change.
Then, in 2019 the Green Deal was put in place, which recognised that climate change and environmental degradation are a tangible threat to Europe and the wider world. To address these issues, the European Green Deal seeks to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring:
- No net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
- Economic growth decoupled from resource use
- No person and no place left behind
Currently, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, (also known as COP26, or as the Glasgow Conference), is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference that seeks to address the big issues. Representatives and negotiators from nearly every country on earth from both governments and private industry are meeting to discuss and agree on next steps – many of which will be a reduction on the reliance on fossil fuels and how renewable energy can be better integrated.
Who else is taking action?
Non-profits and charities – Of course, governments are not the only ones making a push. There is a huge number of private and non-profit organizations and charities that have been inspiring climate action for some time. For instance, we have the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation), 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Rainforest Alliance, and many more.
Brands and businesses – So what about the brands and companies that we see around us on a daily basis. Surely they are looking at their supply lines and production methods to do their part as well? Well, as part of their CSR many global businesses are adding the green agenda to their list of goals, but whether or not they ‘really’ care is another thing entirely. However, the good news is that for consumer products at least, you will likely be able to choose a carbon-neutral company, or one that is at least making steps to get there.
The rest of us – It’s not only up to the big boys: all of us can make a small difference. And many small differences can turn into very large ones! It is everyone’s responsibility to reduce the impact we have on the planet. For us regular folk, we can take initiative such as recycling more, using cars less, choosing ethical brands and even donating to charities who have the reach to make a difference.
What are we doing at ESCREO
So, that’s a lot of talk about lowering carbon emissions, but if we are talking the talk, we need to be walking the walk, right?
Well, for our part we have actively worked on offsetting the carbon footprint of our own products and services (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions), allowing us to proudly become a carbon-neutral whiteboard paint company by the end of ! And, we will be the first writable paint company to do so.
On top of that, we no longer use any paper at all in our invoicing and encourage staff in the office to be mindful of their paper waste in general. When you purchase our whiteboard paints or our acoustic dividers, all trails are digital.
And finally, for now, we have our forestry project, which you can read about here. In this initiative, we are planting a tree for every order we receive on our website, no matter what that order is. By sponsoring the planting of trees in places such as Haiti, Madagascar and Kenya, we can do our part to clean the air and support the wider ecosystem.
It will take all of us
It’s truly inspiring to see just how many governmental, charitable, commercial and individual efforts are being made to bring down carbon levels. Remember, even the smallest actions can have a big effect, so let’s keep doing what we’re doing, together.