With the EU pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, entrepreneurs are now key players in decarbonization in business. But how can you reduce your emissions as a company? Here we provide you the answer.
What is decarbonization?
Decarbonization (or decarbonization) involves reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by human activities. Since these externalities are mainly due to fossil fuels, decarbonization can occur by moving more towards renewable energy such as wind or solar. Other operations can also be carried out, such as, for example, carbon sequestration schemes through reforestation or investing in structures that require less energy to operate.
Why decarbonize your business?
It is no secret that GHG emissions cause global warming, which itself creates many natural disasters.
So decarbonizing your business helps limit global warming and has both an economic and ecological impact on the world around you.
Furthermore, with the laws promulgated by the institutions, companies are bound to comply with the applicable regulations and should prepare for the upcoming regulations at the earliest. By adopting a decarbonization approach now, they can easily prepare for future changes and pioneer green production processes.
Decarbonizing your business also saves money.
With rising fossil fuel prices, low carbon solutions are becoming more affordable and attractive to businesses. Furthermore, these fossil fuels are doomed to extinction and therefore their cost will be subject to potentially higher variation, unlike renewable energy. Therefore decarbonizing your business reduces your financial risks and generates serious savings for your company.
Ultimately, reducing your environmental impact will have a positive effect on your brand image, and your employer brand in particular. A company will look more interesting in the eyes of stakeholders if it acts in a sustainable manner towards the environment. According to a 2021 survey conducted by Jobs That Makes Sense, 42% of job seekers want to join a company that makes a positive impact on the environment.
You can also benefit from subsidies offered by various organizations. We will explain this part in more detail later.
3 steps to make your business carbon neutral
1. Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
The first step to decarbonizing your business is knowing your carbon footprint.
It is an indicator measuring the GHG emissions associated with an activity. Performing this type of energy audit allows you to get a sense of the main greenhouse gas emitting jobs, by measuring the amount of energy used by each. Understanding your carbon footprint also helps measure the impact of your past decisions. This can be done by you through online tools like ADEME. But this method is more effective for personal consumption.
That’s why many platforms like Greenlee or Orki offer to help you measure your company’s emissions.
2. Implement a Reduction and Decarbonization Plan
Doing your Carbon Footprint will help you better understand your emissions and implement a reduction and decarbonization plan for your business. In it, you can review various practices such as:
- travel due to your business activity;
- energy consumption required for your activity;
- your supply chain.
Thus you can develop a plan for the short, medium and long term.
3. Involve Stakeholders
Transparency is the key word for decarbonization. Your stakeholders want to know how you operate, whether they want to invest in or buy your products. The communication will provide general motivation to your stakeholders, but it needs to be done well.
Based on the ADEME guide, be careful that your vision is consistent with your values and that your reduction objectives are clearly explained.
Finally, you can exchange various services with other companies by offering to sell them your excess energy or recover your waste to contribute to the decarbonization of the entire industry.
What are the main steps your company needs to take to decarbonize?
There are a number of actions that can be implemented to decarbonize your company. Major ones are:
- Major use of renewable energy;
- built-in heat recovery;
- improving their energy efficiency (for example, by renovating buildings);
- Training to raise awareness among your teams.
Some are easier and faster to implement. Others require investment.
Grants available to encourage corporate decarbonisation
A number of subsidies exist established by the state and ADEME. For example, the Investment Support Window for energy efficiency improvement projects has established subsidies for investment projects of less than 3 million euros aimed at reducing energy consumption and decarbonisation. If your project qualifies, you can receive a grant of between 30% and 50% of your investment, depending on the equipment and the size of your business. The exact rates are:
- 50% for small business;
- 40% for a medium-sized company;
- 30% for medium-sized companies and large companies, the amount of assistance may be limited to €200,000 or €1,800,000 depending on the equipment supported and the assistance plan mobilized.
Several calls for projects are also organized and you may benefit from privileged support and subsidies.
Finally, ADEME provides financial contributions to companies so that they can conduct energy audits. This participation ranges from 50% for large companies to 70% for small companies and 60% for medium-sized companies.
questions to ask
Why is corporate decarbonization important?
Decarbonizing companies are important because it allows both ecological and economic action while enjoying benefits such as subsidies, improved corporate image and long-term savings.
How to decarbonize your business?
There are many ways to decarbonize your business. The most effective are recovery of waste heat, renovation of buildings and awareness of members of your firm.
Is there support available to decarbonize your business?
government and ADEME Subsidies of up to 70% have been established for companies willing to conduct energy audits and invest in projects aimed at reducing energy consumption and decarbonization.