Monday, 3 June 2013

What does it mean to be ‘Carbon Neutral’?

Climate change and global warming have already had observable negative effects on the environment and people. Because the primary cause of global warming is the build up of greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere and that these gases are produced by everyone, an increasing number of organisations and individuals are taking steps to reduce the amount they create in order to slow global warming. Some organisations, such as UK health and beauty products retailer Neal’s Yard Remedies, have taken a step further by becoming carbon neutral.

Carbon neutral, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset. In the case of Neal’s Yard Remedies, for example, it is used in the context of carbon dioxide releasing processes associated with direct and indirect operations at the company’s head office, production facility and company owned shops including travel, energy and waste disposal.
The common practice for organizations seeking carbon neutral status entails reducing carbon emissions (e.g. by improving energy efficiency, using a renewable energy supplier or recycling) and/or avoiding them first so that only unavoidable emissions are offset. Carbon offsetting means paying others to
remove or sequester 100% of the carbon dioxide emitted from the atmosphere – for example by planting trees, by funding 'carbon projects' that should lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions, or by buying carbon credits to remove them through carbon trading. 

About Neal’s Yard Remedies
Neal's Yard Remedies are a leading independent British retailer of organic natural health and beauty products. They are the first High street retailer to become Carbon Neutral. To find out more please visit

EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. We are now working in partnership with Cooler to deliver ‘Carbon Literacy’ trainings for businesses across Greater Manchester. 
This is a relevant, informative and practical training – you will return to your desk/vehicle/role knowing what your personal carbon footprint is and with ideas you can do to reduce it. For more info see or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places.