Net-Zero – The Long and Short Term Considerations
The financial and environmental benefits are two common reasons corporations are setting net-zero pledges. Reducing carbon emissions is cost-effective but there are some less obvious reasons.
Brand image and stakeholder engagement are both short and long-term benefits. Even employees often prefer working for a company that recognizes and addresses its impact on the environment.
Short-term benefits like switching to renewable and sustainable energy sources grow into long-term ones. The energy savings start immediately and increase over time. Since you are less dependent on the volatile energy market, you see consistent savings.
Find Your Net-Zero Baseline to Establish Your Next Steps
Every corporation is unique. The pathway working for a competitor probably won’t help you meet your corporate net-zero goals.
- Define your priorities. Saving on energy usage is always a desirable goal but you also need resiliency. For some corporations like hospitals, a minor, short-term power failure can be disastrous. Creating a plan that ensures the power is always on is crucial for your success.
- Gather data on your current emissions. An increased focus on ESG has led to the creation of multiple platforms capable of measuring your scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. The solution makes it easier to track your carbon emissions and see your progress as you work to meet your net-zero goals.
- Set realistic goals. Set realistic net-zero goals with milestones along the way. Your goal may be net-zero by 2050, but you also want to set short and mid-term goals. For example, start transitioning to renewable power but keep your diesel generator on hand to prevent blackouts. Your goal is to eventually phase out the generator when you are ready.
Once you have a plan for reducing energy usage, you can move on to working toward sourcing clean energy.
Corporations seeking financing to support their net-zero pledges have a few options. Stakeholders can approve funding and enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) can also help offset costs.
Holistic options like partnering with another corporation are something else to consider. Working together, you can dramatically decrease costs and your carbon output.
Be Ready to Adapt Your Net-Zero Pledge
Technology is constantly advancing, and it can affect your plans for meeting your net-zero pledge. Be ready to adapt to the changing environment, like adding EV chargers.
RECs are a common example of change. Once a REC was a viable way to reduce carbon emissions, but it’s coming under intense scrutiny. Instead of planning on transporting electricity from distant power plants, look at ways you can create sustainable energy closer to home.
Take Advantage of Microgrids
While there is a push for corporations to meet their net-zero pledges, it’s best to take a holistic approach. It includes taking advantage of a microgrid. The microgrid connects all of the structures in a small area, think of a hospital complex or university campus. It allows you to use several types of renewable energy while still keeping you connected to the location’s main power grid.
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