Building a Net Zero Business Strategy

Today, we are talking to Jeff Hershey, Business Development Manager, Carbon Offsets. Jeff joined Guttman Renewables to guide new and existing customers in achieving their emissions reduction and sustainability goals. With a strong background in carbon offsets and other sustainability topics, Jeff provides key insight into how carbon offsets can be a part of larger net-zero or carbon neutral strategies.

Q. Let’s start with simplifying buzzwords around sustainability. What is the difference between “carbon offsets” and “carbon credits”? Are “net-zero” and “carbon neutrality” the same thing? Any buzzwords we missed?

A: There has been significant confusion over these two terms largely because their meanings have shifted and evolved over time. In the past, a carbon credit was associated more closely with compliance markets, while the term “offset” was used to refer to voluntary action to balance out emissions. These days, the terms frequently are used interchangeably to refer to the standardized unit of one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduced, avoided or removed from the atmosphere.

Net-zero and carbon neutral are both climate-positive goals but differ in several key ways. While carbon neutrality relates only to compensating for or balancing out CO2 emissions, net-zero is broader and extends beyond just carbon emissions to include all greenhouse gases (e.g., methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs). Carbon neutrality can also apply to a portion of a business’ operations—for example, a company might offset all of the emissions related to the operation of their trucks to achieve a carbon neutral fleet.

Q. Why is having carbon neutral or net-zero goals important for a company?

A: An increasing number of companies (and individuals) are realizing the importance of taking steps to reduce and remove emissions to help in the fight against the negative effects of climate change. Beyond this shared motivation, individual companies will have other motivations—ranging from appealing to increasingly climate-focused customers to taking early steps in preparation for possible future emissions-related regulations. A specific and increasingly popular motivation for using offsets to achieve carbon neutrality is to “bridge the gap” until lower-emissions fuel options are more readily available.

Q. Our article, Differentiating Your Business With Carbon Offsets, covered how a company can start internally to build a more sustainable business. What are the external steps to creating a more sustainable business?

A: Yes, that was a great summary of where to start – namely, getting a baseline by measuring emissions, then taking steps to reduce or avoid them through efficiency and other improvements. Reduction should always be the first step. For many industries, however, there will be some portion of emissions that remain – particularly if you consider all aspects of the value chain and Scope 3 emissions. This is where tools like carbon offsets can play a key role. It is also important to build strong relationships with suppliers and other vendor partners and work together to address those emissions that are out of your immediate control but still part of your value chain.

Q. What does Guttman Renewables look for when choosing a carbon offset project?

A: All offsets offered by Guttman Renewables are sourced from projects on reputable registries. Those registries are responsible for validating and verifying projects to ensure their impact is real and they adhere to established standards or methodologies. Regarding project types, we have an existing portfolio of offsets from a wide range of projects, but also work with our customers to understand their needs and source projects to meet their specific criteria and budgetary constraints.

Q. What are the steps to acquiring carbon offsets from Guttman Renewables, and how involved do companies have to be?

A: We’ve worked to make the process of utilizing carbon offsets as easy and streamlined as possible. Basically, we start by understanding a customer’s specific needs and objectives. We then handle the details from sourcing and purchasing the offsets to retiring those offsets. We provide a lot of flexibility and guidance at every stage with the primary goals of meeting customer needs and keeping things simple. We can work backward from an end goal and basic criteria, or customers can be more involved and provide input at various stages along the way.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at 724-489-5199 And while you are here, look at our other posts on carbon offsets and renewables here and calculate your company’s emissions here.

Written by:

As Director of Marketing for Guttman Holdings, I lead our advertising, digital marketing, branding, and public relations strategies, and share my expertise to communicate key messaging to all our stakeholders. With my diversified leadership background, I also drive innovation and cutting-edge business practice and results, to generate interest in Guttman Energy, Guttman Renewables, and Source One service offerings.

Guttman Energy Daily Market Update Disclaimer – The information contained in this market update is derived from sources believed to be reliable; however this update could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors and Guttman Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or reliability of this update. FURTHERMORE, THIS UPDATE IS PROVIDED “AS IS,” WHERE IS, WITH ALL FAULTS AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY. GUTTMAN ENERGY ALSO SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ALL EXPRESS AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES. YOU USE THIS UPDATE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. This update and any view or comment expressed herein are provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted in any way as recommendation or inducement to buy or sell products, commodity futures or options contracts.