Prime Computer has been a completely climate-neutral company since 2021. In this blog post, we show how we achieved this and hope that many companies will use this guide on the path to their own climate neutrality.
What does climate neutrality mean?
Simply explained: All activities or products have no positive or negative effect on the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. The total amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gases, therefore, does not change in balance. Sounds simple enough.
The basis and fundamental idea of climate neutrality are laid down in the Kyoto Protocol. It defines that to achieve climate neutrality, CO2 is first measured, then reduced and finally, the unavoidable emissions are offset. The greenhouse gas emissions generated can be offset through two different mechanisms: Through the CO2 trading system at the state level and through climate protection measures elsewhere, i.e. at the point of production. Through this process, the company and their products and service can be made climate-neutral.
Why is climate neutrality important?
A company’s climate strategy must first and foremost include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is the only way to achieve the net-zero target of the Paris Agreement by 2050 and to stabilise global warming. Therefore, an important step in the climate strategy is the calculation of the greenhouse gas emissions that a company emits through its services and products.
Where do you start with the emission calculation?
To be initiated with a reduction, one must know where the biggest levers are. Only what is measured can be reduced. Measuring the company’s own CO2e footprint is a possible start. The CO2e footprint measures the total greenhouse gases produced directly or indirectly by the company and its products. All seven greenhouse gases according to the Kyoto Protocol (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)) are taken into account. Greenhouse gases are converted and reported as CO2 equivalents.
To measure the company’s own footprint, we followed the standards of the GHG Protocol. This contains requirements and guidelines for the preparation of a greenhouse gas record.
The company’s CO2e footprint includes all activities under Scope 1 and Scope 2 of the GHG Protocol. This defines exactly which emission sources are taken into account. Scope 1 – Direct air emissions from activities within the company, e.g. emissions from kilns in the company or the company vehicle fleet. Scope 2 – These are emissions based on energy purchased to run the business directly. An example is electricity consumption.
An independent third party should carry out the calculation and accreditation. In the process, the correct offsetting through certified climate protection projects can also be ensured. Now, the company can already call itself climate-neutral. But to become truly climate-neutral, you have to go one step further, like Prime Computer.
The emissions of the products
The biggest sources of emissions for an industrial manufacturer are usually the products themselves. Here, too, it is best to follow a standard to be able to follow a guideline. The first step is to determine the goal of the analysis and the scope of the investigation. It must be clear which emissions are being calculated and where the boundary lies. The footprint of a product shows the total sum of greenhouse gases (CO2e) emitted during the life cycle of the product, including production, distribution and use. It also covers the disposal, including recycling, of the product. In the second phase, the production processes of the individual products are represented. Depending on the complexity of the processes, different tools can be used to analyse the footprints.
If you buy raw materials or semi-finished products, cooperation with suppliers in process analysis and calculation is unavoidable. Together, the production processes can be represented and the CO2e emissions calculated. Where no information is available, you can use empirical values or studies.
When calculating greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases are uniformly converted into CO2e.
Verify the calculation
An independent party should verify the calculated footprint. This party can also help with empirical data in case of ambiguities.
Scope 3 calculation
The majority of Scope 3 emissions are mostly in the footprint of the products. However, other indirect emissions are also included in Scope 3, such as business travel, commuting, waste disposal etc.
Reduction before compensation
Climate neutrality is basically the last step in a series of climate protection measures. Wherever possible, greenhouse gas emissions should be avoided or reduced at the very beginning. This process is individual for each company and must be analysed in detail. With our products, we have developed a design that makes them very energy efficient. We use recycled aluminium for the housing, and the compact design and packaging result in fewer emissions during transport. The products are durable, fail-safe and easy to repair.
Climate protection projects offset the unavoidable emissions. It is important that these projects are certified according to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) or the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS). We have chosen this project in cooperation with our partner, Go.Blue.Now.
This will make our company completely (Scope 1 – 3) climate-neutral. We are happy to have achieved this important step and continue to reduce our emissions and move towards a fully circular economy.
A Step-by-step Guide On How We Reached Climate Neutrality
As you just read, we achieved 100% climate-neutrality this year and we want to share our experiences & tips with you. That’s why we put together this guide, with some more tips and 9 solution providers that can help you do the same.
Download our guide now for free and see how we achieved 100% carbon neutrality.
In this guide you will get:
✔️ 3 crucial core principles for achieving carbon neutrality.
✔️ 3 different types of emissions to address as a company.
✔️ 9 solution providers & partners that can support you in achieving the SDGs.