What Can Companies Do?
What companies can do seems to be simple – measure your carbon emissions, then reduce where you can and offset where you can’t. This takes a commitment to carbon reporting and strategic planning. A really cool development and a good example of strategic planning in the news recently is the partnership between Genesis and Westpac, whereby hitting emissions targets results in lower interest rates. This is the kind of huge, creative angle that I expect will help large organisations pivot their perspective.
I am mindful from conversations with people in leadership positions in NZ that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is seen as a way to ‘keep on emitting’. However, the International Energy Agency (and others) see it as essential to achieving net-zero emissions by the targeted 2050, and in 2021 the Australian Government backed six CCUS projects to accelerate development of the technology at a large scale. Prices for offsetting have traditionally been lower than CCUS technology, but we are starting to see a change in that space, with the development of much smaller, more targeted options starting to appear, and with technology like this offering a potential price reduction in the near future.
So, in a general sense I’m very supportive of exploring CCUS and I don’t think there will be a real pathway to decarbonisation without more traction in this space, BUT, when it comes to direct to air capture, I am a huge fan of, well trees! I like the work of Permanent Forests and Carbon Forest Services who are both delivering partnerships with organisations looking to offset their operations, but I LOVE Edge’s Tree Planting Predictor Tool, which helps maximise the value of plantings.