What Is The Difference Between Carbon Neutrality, Negative, And Positive?

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Dive Into The Full Spectrum Of An Active Regenerative Mindset By Understanding These Key Terms

In a world of sustainable strategies, differentiating between carbon offsets, carbon credits, and carbon neutral is challenging and confusing. Everyone is feeling the pressure to do more for the planet. Researching how to lower company emissions or how to participate globally (or within the local community) is tiresome and still doesn’t guarantee the results stakeholders seek. 

Especially for roles in leadership where folks look to you as an example, language needs to be clear. This is why the best way for companies to express a sustainability strategy is to use transparent language. 

We cannot be part of the solution if we do not understand the goal.

Over the last three years, several organizations have stepped forward with new goals for reaching carbon neutrality, – but what does this mean, and more importantly, which one is the right fit for a sustainable future? 

Learn the definitions of these three sustainability buzzwords, and discover how Handprint is shifting how our clients think and speak regarding a regenerative future. 

What Is Carbon Negative

Carbon negative means you are removing more carbon from the atmosphere than you produce. It is a term used by companies who claim they are removing more carbon from the atmosphere than their operations are emitting.

Carbon negative is interchangeable with the term climate positive, but both phrases focus on what you are doing wrong instead of what you can change and implement for the future. These expressions still encourage organizations to use technology that emits greenhouse gases, it’s just instantly “countered” to reflect below zero emissions. 

While many companies have the right intention, more actions are needed to see results tomorrow versus years ahead.

What Is The Difference Between Carbon Neutral and Climate Positive?

Carbon neutrality is a state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions meaning your company is neutral when it comes to climate change because it does not make climate change worse. Climate positive is similar to carbon negative but takes a wider perspective. Companies that are climate positive claim their net impact on the climate is positive (i.e. they remove more carbon than they emit.) 

These three terms are used constantly in business objectives and corporate communications. Sustainability goals are on the rise for many companies seeking to achieve carbon neutrality.

“He who is neutral in the face of oppression, sides with the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

 As Desmond Tutu said, why remain neutral when we can focus on climate positive instead?

In 2023, Local Initiatives Aren’t Enough

We have been aware of the climate crisis for the past fifty years, and yet still find ourselves with an upcoming deadline of 2030. We have heard the phrase, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,’ on repeat but it’s time to change our actions from tree planting or separating office food waste. 

Unfortunately, what the 3Rs failed to do was be inclusive. They were easily integrated with companies that were moving, making, or mining products but then failed all other industries. Sustainability needs to be inclusive to succeed and here’s what that looks like:

  • Investing in places where impact is maximized instead of prioritizing local impacts
  • Making sustainability an integral part of every employee’s role, through KPIs
  • Setting goals for technology and awareness that align with sustainable strategies
  • Shifting priorities and outcomes

How To Shift Your Company Mindset With Planet Positive  

Instead of using terms like carbon neutral or carbon negative, we are focusing on a planet-positive mindset, meaning Handprint is helping teams to identify a balance of output versus input for carbon emissions, and also how to move forward with impact projects that directly contribute in real-time to the eco-crisis. 

Instead of spending the budget to do quarterly specialized events or purchase expensive carbon offsets, why not shift your company’s aspiration? Handprint introduces impact partners to a diverse range of organizations, facilitating their contribution towards regenerating the planet for the future. 

Planet positive means companies have an action plan that aligns with KPIs and is inclusive of everyone contributing to the big picture of regenerating the planet while carrying on everyday business tasks. Handprint technology provides access to quantified and verified impact projects, and more importantly, leads to the reversal of nature loss while combining innovative tools and initiatives for regeneration. With Handprint, companies become planet positive, while still achieving growth and profit. Through verified climate, nature, and social projects, Handprint clients simultaneously contribute to replanting mangrove trees or supporting impact projects that remove plastic from the ocean.

What Is Regeneration First?

Handprint’s co-founder Dr. Simon Schillebeeckx speaks about the Regeneration First mindset as an action principle. He assigns all organizations (and individuals) the responsibility to integrate the conservation, preservation, and restoration of natural ecosystems into their daily activities and processes. 

See Also: How businesses can make their growth good for the planet: welcome to the regenerative economy

The time to grow your business in a regenerative economy is now. The future is bright, and the available opportunities are in abundance. Understanding the shifts happening in society and the physical landscape only benefits your company’s success. 

We encourage you to ignite innovation and turn profit into promises for a future we have actively contributed. With Handprint, abundance, and regeneration are within your reach. 

Handprint makes regeneration easy. Get in touch today with Handprint to learn how to reserve, restore and rewild natural ecosystems.










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