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Net Zero: What Is It and Why Do We Need to Achieve It?

We are facing a global emergency. In order to stabilise climate change, net CO2 emissions need to fall to zero as soon as possible. But how can we reach this?

On the 27th of June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end our impact on climate change. This legislation pledged that the UK’s countries must eradicate all greenhouse gas emissions to achieve net zero by 2050.

What is net zero?

Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases we emit and those we remove – so, we must eliminate at least the same number of emissions as we produce.

Given the severity of climate change, why aren’t we aiming for zero – or gross zero – instead of net zero? Gross zero would mean preventing all emissions, but this isn’t realistic or achievable across all sectors and industries. Even with the strongest efforts, some emissions are unavoidable.

What is the difference between net zero and carbon neutral?

Net zero differs from carbon neutral which can be achieved by simply offsetting carbon emissions. The net zero target means reducing emissions to their lowest amount.

It recognises that there will be some remaining stubborn emissions, but carbon offsetting can then be used as a last resort to counteract these.

Why is net zero needed?

Climate change has left our world in crisis and natural habitats threatened like never before. We need to act now.

Evidence proves that our planet is heating up. The hottest 20 years on record have occurred within the last 22 years and global temperatures have risen by an average of 1oC.

In the Paris Agreement, governments agreed to ensure global warming remains ‘well below’ 2oC, and to ‘make efforts’ to keep it below 1.5oC.

While this doesn’t sound much, the painful reality of this incremental increase is having a significant negative impact on the environment, from widespread droughts to flooding, rising sea levels and severe storms.

To put this into perspective, here are some alarming facts taken from 5 Terrifying Climate Change Facts to Scare You into Action:

  • More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction by climate change
  • The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years
  • The frequency of high intensity hurricanes — ranked as categories 4 and 5 — has increased over the last 30 years
  • The worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030
  • By mid-century, as many as 30 to 50 percent of the total species found on Earth will have disappeared

net zero

What can you do to help the UK achieve net zero?

Businesses have the power to drive positive change on a huge scale. We must reduce our emissions to their lowest level through increasing energy efficiency, reducing non-recyclable waste and using carbon capture measures. To become part of the solution, you must:

  • Measure your CO2 emissions
  • Reduce your climate impact year on year
  • Take responsibility

Reaching net zero requires innovative solutions, new measures, aggressive government policies and ample effort at both work and at home.

If you’re a business that uses fossil fuels, you can reduce up to 90% of your net CO2 emissions by simply switching to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). HVO offers a fast and simple step towards net zero, rather than the expensive and uncertain leap needed for electrification.

Be a hero and help us achieve net zero. Not just this week, but every week.

Join us on the road to net zero to fuel our future responsibly.

net zero

What is Crown Oil doing for net zero?

  • We’ve been voluntarily offsetting our delivery miles since 2007
  • As of April 2022, we are certified carbon neutral in line with international PAS 2060:2014 standards
  • We’re offsetting the entire Group’s emissions
  • We recycle all irreparable IT equipment and barrels
  • We offer sustainable fuel station loans and HVO trials to encourage the use of greener fuels
  • We have plans in place to install solar panels on all our buildings
  • We’ve pledged to run all our buildings solely on renewable energy by December 2022
  • We’ve been shortlisted for the UKIFDA Green Award which showcases our commitment to sustainability across our product range and company ethos

Find out more about our sustainable journey.

Do your bit for net zero

Achieving net zero is the best way we can fight climate change by reducing global warming. Our actions over the next decade are critical to our future, which is why every single one of us has a responsibility to do our bit.

Do your part. Join the drive to net zero today.

tonnes of net CO2 reduced across our transport fleet from using HVO

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