Research shows that support for efforts to combat climate change is growing around the world. Many companies are now paying attention to those trends and taking positive steps towards improving their impact on the environment.

There are lots of new terms floating around to describe company policies and climate-related objectives. Business owners and conscientious consumers will want to take the time to learn about what these terms mean and which companies are taking the most significant environmental steps.

Below, Eddie Listorti, the Founding Partner and CEO of Viridios Capital outlines the terminology used to describe corporate climate-change efforts and sheds light on which companies are going climate positive.

Terminology to Describe Companywide Climate-Change Efforts

Some companies pollute the environment through the waste and emissions they create in manufacturing, transporting, and otherwise engaging in commerce. In centuries past, the destruction caused by major corporations — some of which still exist today — led to dramatic images of burning rivers and other catastrophic events.

Environmental regulations helped to take steps toward accountability for these companies. Now, some powerful companies are taking far more aggressive measures to address the invisible signs of ecological destruction. These businesses state goals of becoming carbon neutral, carbon negative, and climate positive.

A carbon-neutral status refers to a balancing act in which a corporation will take steps to offset its carbon emissions. The company has unavoidable carbon emissions, but through purchasing “carbon credits” or eliminating some carbon sources, they manage to remain neutral, not adding or removing any carbon, and creating a form of statis.

While carbon neutrality may be admirable, other companies are now setting loftier goals:  To achieve carbon negativity. These companies work to remove more carbon than they emit. The purpose of carbon-negative policies is to leave the world better off instead of merely not doing harm.

The term “climate positive” is effectively taking the place of carbon-negative because it sounds more uplifting. The two concepts are virtually the same, and a climate-positive company will work to eliminate more carbon than they release.

Companies Pledging Climate Positivity

One of the largest companies to pledge their commitment to climate positivity is Microsoft. Microsoft is looking to take back the damage they caused from their inception in 1975. By 2030, Microsoft plans to reach a point of carbon negativity. By 2050, representatives say they will have removed enough carbon to offset the company’s lifetime emissions.

IKEA is also taking steps to become carbon-negative by 2030. After all, the Swedish furniture manufacturer hails from the same nation that ranks the highest in achieving all 17 UN Sustainable development goals. The move will be no easy feat for the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Its plans include using electric delivery vehicles, relying 100 percent on renewable energy, serving more plant-based foods, and using more recycled materials.

Other companies that plan to reach carbon negativity in the next decade include Mint, TurboTax, and QuickBooks.

Even GM — a company known for making large, gas-guzzling vehicles — is now working towards carbon neutrality by 2040. If the company stays on track, it will phase out all diesel and gas-fueled vehicles within fifteen years.

Consumer-Driven Environmental Change

Studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of consumers prefer companies that promote sustainability. While surveys are one thing, sales data suggests that people are willing to put their money where their mouths are, leading to massive growth in sustainable products. Businesses paying attention to this trend are beginning to invest in their futures by protecting the Earth.

About Eddie Listorti

Eddie Listorti is a distinguished professional with 25 years of experience in business and banking. His track record includes managing annual revenues of AUD 2 billion and teams of 2,000 staff across management positions in financial markets.

Mr. Listorti’s experience includes risk management, identifying value and opportunities, and building and managing successful teams. His wide range of expertise includes FX trading, fixed income, commodities, carbon trading, and investment banking, to name a few.