For companies around the globe, a race is underway to drastically cut their carbon emissions over the coming years. The United Nations reports that the number of organizations signing onto its "Race to Zero" campaign (a pledge to achieve "net zero") has doubles in less than a year, and now includes 452 cities, 1,101 businesses, 549 universities and 45 of the biggest investors.
For companies and other organizations, "net zero" generally means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out across all of a company's operations. For some companies, becoming net zero fits into their broader needs to comply with current or anticipated governmental mandates. For others, it is about embracing environmental stewardship as a corporate value and fostering customer goodwill. For others still, converting to a net zero operation is an opportunity to employ new technologies and processes that can drive long term efficiencies, save costs and hedge against energy market uncertainties.
So who are the companies leading the charge in the Net Zero Race? They include many of the world's largest energy firms (BP, Shell, Total), technology companies (Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft), transportation firms (American Airlines, Delta Airlines), manufactures (Ford, Samsung, Cemex, Unilever) and retailers (Woolworths, Walmart). These companies, and many, many others, have publicly pledged to reach net zero by 2040, although some have pushed that goal as far at 2050. Still others have set the ambitious goal of achieving net zero as early as 2030.
Regardless of their timeline or reason for pursuing net zero, most all of these companies will need to undertake significant changes to their operations to meet their goals. Many will need to find new sources of renewable energy to power their factories, vehicles and buildings. Others will need to employ carbon-cleaning technologies to capture their greenhouse gas emissions. All of these changes create opportunities for the renewable biogas industry.
The biogas generated by an anaerobic digester - such as at a farm, landfill or waste treatment facility - is a renewable energy source that can often replace conventional, nonrenewable fuels. Also, since anaerobic digestion captures methane from decomposing manure and other waste that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, it reduces the overall level on greenhouse gas emissions in the environment. This is why biogas produced by anaerobic digestion can earn carbon-reduction credits under a variety of governmental programs. Companies in the Net Zero Race highly value these credits and purchase them to offset their own greenhouse gas emissions. With more and more companies joining the Net Zero Race, renewable biogas is poised to remain a valuable commodity for years to come.
Interested in seeing which other companies have joined the Net Zero Race? Various trade organizations and non-profits maintain lists of companies and their carbon-reduction pledges. Here are a few of resources to check out.*
*Custom Energy, Inc. does not endorse or attest to the accuracy of any information or statements on these or any other third-party sites.