What is Net Zero?

Net Zero Definition

Net zero is the state in which the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted into the atmosphere is balanced by the amount that is removed from the atmosphere. When the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) reaches this point, global warming stops.

An international treaty known as the Paris Agreement was entered into force on November 4, 2016. It set a target for countries to reach net zero by 2050. To help reach this goal, many manufacturers are adopting more sustainable product development practices to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.


What is an example of net zero?

The decarbonization of power through renewable energy sources like wind and solar is one way to achieve net zero.

*Source: https://www.twi-global.com

What are the negatives in net zero?

Some negatives of net zero include:

  • Verifiability: The program is vulnerable to manipulation because it’s getting harder to verify stated reductions and put offset promises into action.
  • Double counting: A single carbon offset may appear simultaneously on the balance sheets of several different organizations, exaggerating the impact.
  • Delayed impact: It takes time for the effects of nature-based offsets, like afforestation programs, to become apparent.
  • Delay in decarbonization: By offering an easy answer, carbon offsets could deter businesses from doing the difficult but ultimately more fruitful and lasting task of decreasing their own carbon emissions.
  • Permanence: To have a lasting impact, carbon offsets must be properly managed long after they are purchased.
What is a net zero strategy?

Examples of a net zero strategy include:

  • Generating electricity with renewable power sources (e.g., wind, solar, water)
  • Replacing traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles with electric vehicles
  • Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with carbon capture technology (e.g., carbon sinks, saline aquifers)

*Source: https://www.nationalacademies.org

What are net zero requirements?

The second half of this century must achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions from sources and removals from sinks of greenhouse gases, according to net zero standards. Going “net zero” means reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and/or making sure that any residual emissions are offset by removals.


With tightening environmental legislation and shifting consumer preferences, there’s a greater push for companies to adopt sustainable product development practices and deliver eco-friendly products. Thus, many manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to help build a greener future and enhance our quality of life.

Learn how to streamline environmental compliance for sustainable product development.