What is the main difference between net zero and CO2–neutrality?
Both goals are related to reducing carbon emissions, while the key difference is the scale of these initiatives and the changes envisioned for businesses and individuals.
CO2–neutrality only covers a company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions and does not take Scope 3 into account. Offsetting (which is the act of saving CO2 in another location, outside of the company) is allowed in order to reach CO2–neutrality. At Hilti, we have extended the carbon-neutrality task by also covering emissions from our business travel (which is technically part of Scope 3 emissions).
Carbon net–zero, or net-zero carbon emissions require real carbon reduction in a company’s total emissions, which covers Scopes 1, 2, and 3. What this means is that, instead of offsetting our carbon emissions, the CO2 must be removed by actively taking carbon out of the atmosphere, either biologically (such as through forestation) or physically (such as through carbon capture and sequestration).
We will become CO2 neutral by 2023, and as a short-term goal, we plan to reduce CO2 emissions in the next ten years, according to our SBTi commitment. Additionally, as a long-term target, along with our partners, we aspire to make our own contribution to the fight against climate change and have committed to a net zero ambition by 2050.