Search Products
Carbon Positive: That's Good Right?

Carbon Positive: That’s a Good Thing, Right?

We all tend to love a good TLA (Three-Letter Acronym) or those ‘simple’ labels such as ‘Carbon Positive’. Especially when they are fundamentally designed to help understand the technologies we are working with (and to mark us out as being ‘in the know”’). My favourite TLA is a circular one – GNU (GNU’s Not Unix)!

Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions reduction is no different. Labels such as Carbon Neutral, Net Zero, Zero Carbon are indeed helpful but it is also easy for similar sounding terms to cause confusion. I think the best example of this is Carbon Positive.

Carbon Positive

This term sounds like something we all aspire to – being positive about carbon (reduction). Unfortunately, the positive part of the phrase is not about attitude or commitment but just numerically ‘above zero’. Essentially, it means your business emissions are (like most businesses) above zero and thus contribute to global heating. This is not something to beat yourself up about, by the way – it is currently incredibly difficult to remove more carbon than you produce.

Carbon Positive is thus the position we want to move from – not a place we want to go!

Climate Positive

The label that can help engage in reducing carbon emissions and push a ‘positive’ mindset is Climate Positive. This means your total Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and equivalent Carbon Dioxide (CO2e) emissions are less than the CO2e released into the atmosphere.

Carbon Positive is thus the position we want to move from, not a place we want to go!

How can you be Climate Positive?

This phrase can also be termed Carbon Negative, but this is not simply just being in a position where your carbon emissions in isolation fall below zero. Practically moving from Carbon Positive means:

Carbon Neutral

The amount of CO2 emitted is balanced by reductions through carbon removals, often via carbon offsetting and carbon credits.

Net Zero Carbon

A commitment to reduce your carbon emissions as much as possible and then balance these emissions through offsetting.

Climate Neutral / Net Zero: takes other greenhouses gasses into account in achieving this balance.


Carbon Positive is probably the most likely term to confuse or mislead but more widely labels like Carbon Neutral and Net Zero can have a galvanising effect on your efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and your carbon footprint.

Your emissions reduction journey is going to need engagement both within your business and in your supply chains and so these labels can at least be useful signposts on the way. You can learn more about the Road to Net Zero and how you can take steps towards it in one of our latest Insight articles.


Please visit the Chronos Times area of our website to read the latest Insights and Bitesize articles, learn about our attendance at recent Events and much more.

The Road to Net Zero: Measure, Monitor, Act

Read our latest Insight article and learn more about the Road to Net Zero for your organisation
Find out more

Contact us to find out more

    For GDPR purposes it is important that you consent to receive communications from us, please read our Privacy Policy to understand how we use your data. Please use the Submit button to indicate your consent. Any future email communications that we send you will give you the option to unsubscribe.

    More in this category

    Using a Time Service: 5 Key Considerations

    Using A Third-party Timing Service: 5 Key Considerations

    Time and timing service have an increasingly important part to play in many applications, including: Enabling super fast 5G…

    Read more
    Time as a Service (TaaS)

    Time As a Service (TaaS): Still a work in progress?

    At several points over the last 20 years, I’ve thought that Time as Service (TaaS) was a no brainer.…

    Read more
    Network timing for substations

    GridTime 3000: Next Generation Timing for Substation Automation Systems?

    Clocks in substations delivering NTP and IRIG-B to substation automation and other systems are generally simple yet robust devices.…

    Read more

    Our Company

    You can call on us for deep knowledge and expertise on Global Navigation Satellite Solutions (GNSS), Precision Time Protocol…

    Find out more

    Expertise you can rely on

    Our Team will ensure that you get the latest technologies, the finest products and the best service Our Team…

    Find out more