Net zero, carbon zero, carbon emissions – what does it all mean? 

  • 09 Oct 2020


In December 2015, world leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to come to a universal agreement on how to tackle climate change.

Commonly referred to as the Paris agreement, they committed to taking action to limit the rise in global temperatures. It was declared that the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

What is net zero?

Net zero is the point at which greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Put simply, this means that human-caused emissions, like those from fossil-fuelled vehicles or businesses, should be reduced to as close to zero as possible. The remaining emissions can then be balanced with an equivalent amount of carbon removal, which can be achieved through restoring forests or via direct capture or storage.

What is carbon zero?

Carbon zero is where no carbon was produced in the first place. So for example, an off grid house completely powered by renewable energy e.g. wind and solar, wouldn’t produce any carbon, whereas if it was powered by fossil fuels it would.


How do we get there?

The UK was the first developed economy to commit to achieving net zero by 2050. Whilst this is admirable, many climate change experts believe that 2050 is too late and that we need to work together to get to net zero sooner.

One of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases is CO2 – the carbon emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or oil – and this is mostly created by small businesses and their energy consumption. 

In 2019 alone, small businesses in the UK collectively emitted 55 million tons of CO2 emissions, just from the energy used to power their businesses.

How can Zellar help?

As a small business owner, getting to net zero may feel daunting. Zellar simplifies the process, helps you understand and reduce your carbon emissions and gets you started on your journey to becoming more sustainable.

To find out more about we can help you, visit

Together, we can make change happen.

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