NET-ZERO: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The terms ‘Net-Zero’ and ‘Carbon Neutrality’ have been used a lot in recent years, in particular in conversations surrounding sustainability. But what exactly does it mean?
‘Net-zero’ refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, and will be reached when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away. This state is often also referred to as ‘carbon neutrality’. Carbon neutrality can also be achieved by eliminating carbon emissions completely.
In September 2019, the UN Climate Action Summit in New York saw the launch of the Climate Ambition Alliance. This brought together 65 countries and the EU, ten regions, 102 cities and 93 businesses, all working towards achieving net zero by 2050. Other large scale initiatives with this same ambition include the European Green Deal, as well as crucial links with the Paris Agreement.
Formula E and Carbon Neutrality
A year on from this event, in September 2020, Formula E became the first sport to have a net zero carbon footprint. This means that since the series began in 2014, it has been continuously measuring its carbon output, taking steps to minimise its carbon footprint and, most importantly, has been offsetting any unavoidable emissions. Offsetting means making up for any emissions added to the atmosphere by contributing back to sustainability and carbon reduction schemes such as wind power energy generation.
Announced only days later, our recent three-star accreditation in sustainability from the FIA was another significant step from Mahindra Racing in its commitment towards sustainability as it demonstrates excellence and best practice in this area. As a team our next goal is to achieve full carbon neutrality.
How can you help?
There are many ways that you can reduce your own carbon footprint and help to achieve net-zero by 2050. Firstly, you can drive less. Where you can, try to use public transport for your journeys or, even better, take your bike! For journeys where you do need to take your car, try to be more efficient by being gentle on the brakes and gas, using cruise control and cutting down on air-con use.
Some of the best decisions you can make for the environment occur in your kitchen. Cutting down on eating meat, in particular red meat, can have a significant and positive impact on your carbon footprint. Also try to waste less food. Currently, around one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted - that’s about 1.3 billion tonnes per year! This has a huge environmental effect.
In your home, you can also lower your own carbon footprint through recycling your rubbish and living efficiently. Make sure that you turn off any lights when they are not in use, and don’t heat your home any more than you need to. Don’t forget that replacing your current light bulbs with LED ones can use up to 85% less energy - and they’re cheaper!
Making just a few small changes can make a big difference!