Net Zero: What Does It Mean And How Can We Achieve It?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘net zero’ before, but do you know what it means? 

Simply put, net zero refers to the process of restoring a balance between the number of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere — levelling out at ‘zero’. 

But how do you reach net zero? And how can we achieve it as a society? In this article, we’ll dive into what Net Zero means and how we can work together to make it a reality.

What Are Greenhouse Gases? 

Greenhouse gases get their name from the ‘greenhouse effect’, which refers to what happens when gases trap energy from the sun, warming the earth’s surface and the layer above it, similarly to how a greenhouse’s glass keeps in heat. 

The most common greenhouse gases are:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane
  • Water vapour

CO2 is the most dangerous of greenhouse gases and one of the most commonly human-produced gases. It’s dangerous as it’s a large contributor to global warming — a crisis threatening to disrupt the natural environment irreversibly. 

Cutting carbon emissions is incredibly important for sustaining our way of life and creating a better future for the next generations. This is why net-zero matters. 

Is Net Zero The Same As Carbon Neutral? 

Although the two are often used interchangeably, carbon neutral differs from net zero. 

Carbon neutral means cutting down carbon emissions as much as possible and is often used as a business term to refer to efforts to cut CO2 emissions. However, unlike net zero, carbon neutrality often doesn’t follow a super specific plan — it’s more about a general effort to be as conscious as possible. 

Net zero is more about balancing — reducing greenhouse gases as much as they’re given off. Emission reduction plans will generally follow a certain trajectory, carefully balancing the number of gases released into the atmosphere.

While both focus on reduction, net zero is slightly more complex as it involves all the greenhouse gases, not just carbon. 

What Does Gross-Zero Mean? 

Gross zero is a step further than net zero; it refers to the efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions completely. Gross zero is a popular target for those in the energy sector, as they are constantly searching for ways of generating energy with renewable methods that don’t give off carbon emissions.

How Can You Reach Net-Zero? 

Many property owners across the world are becoming more conscious of their energy consumption and the effect it’s having on the environment. The renewable energy sector is an excellent way to combat this, with various options for independent production available. Some things you could consider for your property include:

Solar Panels 

Solar panels are a fantastic way to generate electricity and stop reliance on the national grid. If your house is powered by gas, you may be spending a lot of money on energy and releasing many harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Solar panels can help you gain an alternative sustainable energy source by harnessing the natural resource of sunlight. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels help produce energy, which is then sent through an inverter which changes it from AC to DC electricity, which can then be used to power appliances in your home. 

Wind Turbines 

Wind Turbines are another effective way of harnessing a natural, renewable energy source to produce electricity. If you have enough land for a wind turbine, it can be a great way to produce electricity to power your home or business. In recent years they have become popular options for businesses, factories and schools with sufficient grounds to install the structure.

Electric Vehicles 

Electric vehicles (EVs) can help you substantially reduce your personal carbon footprint. Cars are one of the biggest contributors to global pollution, and governments worldwide have put in plans to encourage the public to switch to EVs by 2030. By using an electric car and charger for your daily commutes, you could help cut greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global efforts to create sustainable transportation systems. 

Go Net-Zero With Smartly

If you are interested in embracing a net-zero future for your home or business, Smartly is here to help. 

As a leading UK supplier of solar panels, solar tiles and electric vehicle charging equipment, our specialists are well-equipped to help you find the best way to create a more sustainable future for yourself and the people around you. 

Speak to an expert today! You can use our contact form to get in touch or our live chat for a quick response.