How Can Companies Achieve Net Zero While Staying Profitable?

For many companies, achieving net zero emissions is a long-term goal. And it’s one that’s easier said than done. One of the biggest challenges is achieving net zero while remaining profitable as a business. The truth is that the business model itself will need to be adjusted in order to achieve net zero. Here are three tips on doing just that:

Reduce emissions across the business chain.

Reducing emissions directly within the company and its assets is a great first step, and it’s an important one. But to achieve net zero, it’s not enough. For example, outsourcing your energy needs to a company that isn’t committed to reducing their carbon footprint isn’t really achieving net zero. Emissions must be reduced across a company’s entire value chain. This means choosing renewable energy sources at every step of the process.

Invest in high-carbon emission activities and change them.

It’s tempting to divest or defund high-carbon businesses in an effort to reduce emissions. Research demonstrates that this might not be the best course of action, however. Simply reallocating the capital of high-carbon businesses isn’t as effective as incentivizing reduction in those businesses and setting out a clear pathway toward change. When thinking about achieving net zero at your company, don’t make the mistake of cutting all ties with any part of your operation that produces emissions. Instead, change those parts from the inside out.

Deal with the root causes of emissions.

Ironically, the places where big emissions happen in many companies aren’t really the most effective areas to act on emission reduction. It’s a better idea to track emissions to find their root causes, and then dealing with the problem at the source. Analysis of a parcel delivery company showed that fleet electrification and route optimization reduced emissions, but it also provided better information to the people receiving packages, resulting in fewer mistakes and increased delivery attempts. In this way, streamlining the business model was just as important for reduced emissions as the electrified fleet of vehicles.

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