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Setting Climate Targets

The climate is changing around us. And the conversation around it is getting louder. The need for sustainable solutions and cooperation from all walks of life is certain. But for businesses, playing our part isn’t always straightforward. Our objective is clear but the pathway often isn’t. It’s not as simple as turning off a light or two. But with the right help, reducing your emissions can be easier than you think.

Setting climate targets is an important step in your journey to decarbonisation. After you calculate your emissions and before you actually reduce them, climate targets give you something to work towards and can help you decide where to focus your efforts.

Businesses can choose to set their own targets or align with existing industry frameworks designed to reach specific goals. To help you get started, there are three well-known frameworks you might want to consider.

First up is RE100. A simple first step into the world of climate targets, RE100 asks organisations to commit to 100% renewable electricity. By using only renewable electricity, your emissions total can drop dramatically. Collectively businesses could prevent millions of tonnes of emissions from entering our atmosphere, just by switching over.

If you want to set your sights higher, aim to become a certified carbon neutral organisation, regulated in Australia by Climate Active. To become certified, start by reducing your existing emissions as much as possible. Then for those that are harder to reduce, you can look into purchasing carbon offsets.

Whilst there are many kinds of carbon offsets, all represent either reduction, removal or prevention of additional greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

These offsets can then be sold, allowing the purchaser to claim the reduced emissions as their own. So, whilst you may still be emitting you’re also supporting reduction projects, which makes the net result for your business zero emissions, or the state of being carbon neutral.

The final step is to target net zero. To reach ‘net zero’ businesses can align with the Science Based Targets Initiative, a research-led framework built to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. This often requires organisations to reduce a lot of emissions very quickly, as most will need to cut 90-95% by 2050, then cover any remaining with carbon removal offsets. It might sound intimidating but it’s targets like this that’ll see global warming capped at the recommended 1.5 degrees.

So the steps required to reach your climate targets may be big, but the impacts are bigger. Every action takes us a step closer to preventing further changes to our climate.

Check out our ‘Reducing your emissions’ video for ideas on what to do next. Or, for help setting climate targets for your business, get in touch with our team at Ecovantage.

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