As part of the Paris Agreement, the international community has agreed to keep global warming below at least 2 degrees Celsius (but, ideally, 1.5 degrees Celsius) by the end of the century. According to scientists, global CO2 emissions need to be net zero by 2050 in order to achieve this goal. Switzerland has also committed itself to meeting this important target for the future.
What does ‘net zero’ mean?
Net zero is the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Net zero thereby guarantees that the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remains constant and does not increase further.
Negative emissions, which help to meet net-zero targets, are achieved with projects that remove CO2 from the atmosphere directly and store it over a longer period. Examples of negative-emission projects include reforestation (storage of CO2 in biomass), technologies for removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere (direct air capture), and storage of carbon in the ground (e.g. pyrolysis or soil management) or in sediment layers (carbon capture and storage). These types of project can be used in net-zero strategies to offset residual emissions.
Net zero in three steps
- Define a net-zero strategy based on scientific climate goals (e.g. science-based targets)
- Reduce and avoid sources of emissions within the value chain and system boundaries (see CO2 management)
- Develop a carbon offsetting strategy for dealing with unavoidable residual emissions (planning and making certificate purchases from CO2 storage and sink projects)
- Calculation of the CO2 footprint and analyses of the main hotspots
- Netzero strategy according to scientific SBT principles and in harmony with national goals
- Action plan for achieving netzero emissions and developing and implementing effective reduction measures
- Tailored offsetting strategy and advice on selecting climate protection projects with negative emissions
- Support with communicating your netzero commitment internally and externally
- Proactive alignment with future climate policy based on the latest scientific findings
- Lead by example and increase credibility with your target groups, employees and competitors
- Competitive advantages and development of new business areas through innovations and positioning as a netzero company
- Prevent salvage operations in the future by taking early action