What Does It Mean To Be Carbon Negative?

What Does It Mean To Be Carbon Negative
Liam Berry

Liam Berry

Senior Writer

What does it really mean to be carbon negative? We take a look at why carbon negative has become so important and how to start your carbon-free journey…

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In an effort to protect the planet, your business may find itself rapidly racing to reach net zero.Part of this mission is becoming carbon negative. As the name suggests, carbon negative in business terms is when an organisation  removes more carbon  from the atmosphere than it emits. Businesses can remove carbon from the atmosphere by purchasing carbon credits or investing directly in carbon capture, sequestration and removal processes. This article will explore why carbon negative is a worthy long-term goal and how your organisation can achieve it.

Carbon Negative

While carbon negative may seem complicated at the beginning of your sustainability journey, companies can quickly master the methods of saving energy and reducing emissions. When that becomes the case, companies committed to environmental protection should consider going even further. 

Why? As EY Global Vice Chair Steve Barley said, “Sustainability is everyone’s business.”

Sustainability is everybodys business - steve varley
photo credit: businesschief.com

However, not every business is equally capable of or willing to contribute to the solution. Some companies, like manufacturers and retailers, will have a harder time achieving carbon neutrality or limiting their emissions. While there are great examples of industry leaders and innovators doing just that, not everyone will be willing. That’s why exceptional moral leadership is required from those who understand the gravity of the environmental crisis.

Every great executive aims to grow and innovate for the sake of revenue — and leaders should do the same for sustainability. Because if you’re not moving forwards, chances are you’re moving backwards.

How Can Businesses Become Carbon Negative

carbon pollution coming from a industrial business
photo credit: Unsplash

Saving Energy

The best climate action any business can take is the reduction of carbon emissions through energy-saving efforts. However, for most companies, even carbon neutrality cannot be achieved with reduction alone. To reach carbon negativity, businesses must participate in efforts to capture and remove carbon from the atmosphere. These efforts include planting and protecting trees, preventing deforestation and even using new technologies that capture carbon from the air and store it safely in a solid form.

Planting trees for businesses carbon nagative solution
photo credit: Unsplash

Carbon Credits

One way businesses can participate in carbon removal is by buying carbon credits. When you buy a carbon credit, you’re paying another organisation to undertake those carbon capture and removal efforts on your behalf. However, you’ll want to purchase from a verified partner to ensure you’re making a  legitimate impact. One Tribe’s carbon credit marketplace gives your business access to well researched, vetted vendors.

There are also more consistent, subtle ways of building carbon removal into your business, like using a digital tool that commits a portion of every purchase to carbon reduction. This can also positively affect your brand by showcasing your commitment to the environment and giving customers a sense that they’re actively participating in protecting the planet.


To achieve any significant climate goal, sustainability must be built into your business. It must become a guiding principle and a dedicated responsibility for your team members. That’s why going from your current state to carbon neutrality should only be the beginning of your journey. Those processes and values will make it easier to aim for greater heights. Plus, the added value to your brand and your conscience will be well worth it.

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