Carbon neutrality – what you need to know
What is carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality is the process of cancelling out any carbon emissions that you’ve created by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world.
To be considered carbon neutral, a business needs to reduce its carbon footprint to zero. What’s included or defined within the carbon footprint depends upon the organization and the standards they’re following.
Being carbon neutral is increasingly seen as good corporate or state social responsibility and a growing list of corporations and cities are announcing dates for when they intend to become fully neutral – presently we have Manchester aiming for a 2038 date, and Leeds and London aiming for 2050.
Why is carbon neutrality important?
Carbon neutrality is important because the world is currently at a turning point – we’ve moved from ‘climate change’ to a ‘climate crisis’ – and experts believe that we only have 12 years to save the planet.
By introducing carbon neutrality, we’ll be offsetting all carbon emissions by introducing carbon-saving measures, thereby nurturing the earth’s atmosphere back to a point in which it’s healthy and stable.
How do we become carbon neutral?
There are countless ways in which you can add to the climate crisis – buying from fast fashion industries contribute heavily, as does driving, buying single use plastic and importantly, the built environment.
Around 38% of global energy related emissions come from building and construction. Steel, concrete and cement have some of the heaviest carbon footprints of any material in the world – in fact, if the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world.
A key way to get around this is by changing the materials that we use in construction.
Timber as a building agent is growing in popularity – not only does it offer great insulation, is easy to work with and offers a quick build time – but it acts as a carbon store for as long as a building stands or the timber is used.
Wood-based materials can be used in most parts of any building to capture carbon from the atmosphere. This allows designers and builders to reach ambitious CO2 reduction goals – wooden building components store carbon in all buildings regardless of their frame, insulation and cladding materials, so for the construction industry, this really is a quick win when it comes to contributing to the carbon neutrality deadline.
We’ve seen the use of timber really skyrocket because of this in recent years as we can see from one of our earlier journal entries here!
During a UN Climate Action Summit held on September 23, Saint-Gobain – the brand in which International Timber works under – signed the pledge of the Global Compact “Business ambition for 1.5°C”, committing itself to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. This ambition is part of the strategy that the Group has been deploying for several years to limit its environmental impact and contribute to decarbonize its markets. You can read more about it here.
We’re humbled to be part of an organisation that wishes to blaze this environmental trail, and we look forward to doing our part in protecting our atmosphere and breathing new life into our future.
And that’s it
Change is coming – are you going to be on the right side of it?
If you’d like to speak to a timber consultant about our product range, or want a bit more information on what we can offer you, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you out!