PGI produces wholesale green products such as private label soaps using carbon neutral manufacturing.What does carbon-neutral mean and what are the benefits? The phrase “carbon-neutral” is a fairly common one in the current political climate. No doubt many of us have been prompted to offset our “carbon footprint”, and the concept for manufacturing is very similar. Wherever a certain, measured amount of carbon dioxide (or other greenhouse gas) is released during production processes, this must be balanced with the equivalent amount of “carbon credits”. If the two match up, a company’s manufacturing can be said to be carbon-neutral.
The benefits of the carbon credit concept are two-fold. First, the money spent to obtain the necessary amount of credits can be used to fund the recovery of greenhouse gases elsewhere. This is because one credit will usually equal one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e), so for producing 10,000 tons, 10,000 credits will need to be purchased. While the company may still emit some unavoidable gases during their processes the same amount is then recovered, hence the carbon footprint is offset.
The second benefit is that by setting a monetary value to the emissions of greenhouse gases, this amount then becomes visible on a company’s balance sheet. If a company has to spend money to offset ten thousand tons of emissions, it is in the company’s interest to lower the amount of emissions it creates, thus lowering its spending on carbon credits.
While the benefits to the environment from this concept are clear, there are also benefits to the company engaged in carbon-neutral manufacturing. Being able to state that products are made with net-zero carbon emissions is a valuable marketing tool, since studies show that many consumers are likely to favor a carbon-neutral product over a similarly priced, non-neutral competitor.
Also, in seeking to lower their carbon footprint, many companies have found that they have more efficient alternatives. A company that would usually rack up lots of air miles through regular business trips for meetings could switch to video conferencing, thus saving both time and money. Actions like this can lower the net carbon cost of their entire process. It takes some serious thinking, strategy and a bit of re-working, but the benefits are clear!