According to Architecture 2030, the built environment is responsible for nearly 40% of all global carbon emissions, so there’s no disputing that our industry must become more carbon conscious if we’re to meet the UK’s 2050’s net zero emissions target. Here, Becky Gordon, Regional Sustainability Manager UKIME at Interface busts some common carbon myths.
Carbon offsetting isn’t good enough
Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising from products or services. There has been some criticism of brands who focus solely on using offsets to make carbon neutral claims. And this is understandable.
However, for a manufacturer, following efforts to reduce a product’s carbon footprint, carbon offsets can be a valid and effective way of addressing the remaining emissions that that are most difficult to reduce or remove. To offset responsibly, companies need to have an offset programme that is audited by a third party and select projects verified as gold standard or equivalent, while they consider future solutions to further reduce the carbon footprint.
Carbon emissions and the circular economy are unrelated conversations
Working towards a circular economy and rethinking our relationship with carbon are often perceived as two separate ideas, but they should be part of the same conversation. Tackling the climate emergency requires us to assess and reduce our carbon emissions in our workspaces. But it also requires us to be more thoughtful about reducing waste and to be more efficient when it comes to our use of resources. We need to ensure products utilise high levels of recycled and biobased content, and that they are designed for reuse and future recycling.