Reducing the amount of carbon emissions is a challenge the world has to face to decrease the environmental problems causes the planet. Here we show you some of the impacts and steps we can take as citizens of the world.
At the beginning of the century, global emissions were approximately 23,000 million metric tons, but in 2019, they had reached a record 36,700 million. *
Colombia has a 0.6% of the world’s emissions. This is why there is a proposal to help reduce CO2 emissions to be a carbon-neutral country by 2050, producing zero carbon emissions. This is a goal of the national objectives under which it is expected that in 2030 173.8 million tons will no longer be emitted. *
To get more details about this issue, we invite you to find out more, together with Catalina Areiza, a Sustainability Professional at GAIA Servicios Ambientales, key aspects of the role of organizations to make a positive impact on the world and how they can manage their carbon footprint.
What does it mean to be carbon-neutral?
Carbon-neutral is the balance of the emissions that we can achieve. The first thing we have to do is quantify the greenhouse gas emissions we are producing through our activities. This applies to an organization, an event, or a product.
Then we define some strategies to mitigate the greenhouse gas effects and, lastly, those emissions that are more difficult to reduce, we offset by buying carbon bonds from a certifiable project.
Thus, we have balanced emissions, and we can define the status of carbon-neutral through the seal of some recognized institution.
Why is it important for companies to measure and manage their carbon footprint?
During the past 50 years or so scientists have been warning us about global warming, i.e., the accumulation of greenhouse gases on earth, but only after 2015, when the Paris Accord was signed, were the Sustainable Development Goals created which enable us to define strategies, and work on climate protection.
It is important for companies to measure their carbon footprint or greenhouse gas emissions to set up their baseline and find out how much they are emitting and, on that basis, set up strategies to mitigate or reduce those emissions.
In Colombia, starting in 2022, the climate change law was passed which refers to the organizations’ mandatory report for Tiers 1 and 2.
What should companies work on to become carbon neutral ?
It is important to remember that to become carbon neutral we should not only talk about offsetting emissions but also work on identifying projects that enable us to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are emitting into the atmosphere.
Projects can range from changing good practices in lighting to technological changes in our organization.
How can you become carbon neutral?
For an organization to become carbon neutral the 1st thing you have to do is determine the greenhouse gas inventory. On that basis, the organization shall identify where the greatest amount of emissions occur and design a reduction plan that enables a year-by-year quantification of the emissions .
Any emissions that the company’s plan is not able to reduce, are compensated through certified carbon bonds that are part of a plan.
Finally, after this quantification, there comes the process through ICONTEC that can issue the carbon neutral seal which is valid for 3 years.
Why is the world migrating to these practices?
Not only the organizations, but we as individuals are responsible for the emissions produced in the planet. It is time to be clear that the emissions generated in an area are not only contaminating that area, but they are emissions that accumulate over the planet.
Every activity we carry out on fuel, energy use, avoiding raw material extraction, will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions .
*1 Data reported by the European analytics portal Statista.
*2 Data reported by the newspaper La Republica,