What is Net Zero and Where Does SW Stand?

Ask GIA Blog

Glove Intelligent Assistant

This blog has previously discussed topics of climate change, greenwashing, sustainability day, and even the hierarchy of waste. To recap in a short summary, the waste hierarchy has been expanded to a ranking process which prioritizes waste prevention instead of the old, reduce, reuse, recycle mantra. We will continue to discuss other terminology used in association with the hierarchy of waste and how our company adheres to our commitment towards sustainable business praxis. Thus, this week on the ask GIA blog, we will be expanding on the topic of net zero.

Net zero is the amount of greenhouse gas produced versus the amount of greenhouse gas removed from the atmosphere. When the amount of greenhouse gas removed from the atmosphere is equal or more than the amount of greenhouse produced, we will have achieved net zero. Net zero is not interchangeable with the terms ‘carbon neutral’, ‘zero waste’, or ‘gross zero’. ‘Carbon neutral’ is a term that many businesses use as a promise to limit their carbon emissions, or an attempt to offset their carbon emissions by pledging funds towards ‘carbon credits’. ‘Carbon credits’ refer to funds for carbon emission reduction projects which businesses may choose to invest in to offset their business’ own production of carbon emissions. ‘Zero waste’ is more focused on reducing carbon emissions as much as possible and only offsetting unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions as a last resort. Lastly, ‘gross zero’, which may also be referred to as ‘real zero’, refers to industries trying to completely eliminate carbon emissions from their industry operations.


Why Should We Achieve Net Zero?

We need to preserve the wellness of the Earth for future generations and the results of climate change are currently threatening even the current generation. The result of this global temperature rise is synonymous with global warming. Excessive carbon emissions are inducing a catastrophic impact on the environment. In today’s climate, the average global temperatures are now 1.2°C higher than in the pre-industrial era (Climate Action Tracker).


The current temperature increase trends are showing that global temperatures could increase by as much as 2.7°C by 2100 (United Nations). Adverse weather fluctuations, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and rising sea levels, will become more frequent due to global warming. The hazards have the potential to result in major socioeconomic changes across the world. Without a doubt such devastating natural disasters will trickle down to impact the economic, financial, and social spheres. It’s estimated that failure to limit the rise of greenhouse gas emissions could “affect 2 to 20 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050”(McKinsey Sustainability). “To stabilize the climate and limit physical climate risks[…]it is necessary to reduce net [greenhouse gas] emissions to zero and limit warming to 1.5°C above pre industrial levels” (McKinsey Sustainability).

Where Does SW Stand?

Achieving net zero requires a wide scale effort and our company understands this. For decarbonization efforts to be effective, there must be an industry wide shift away from using fossil fuels and towards a more sustainable energy source. The industry needs to reduce the amount of excess energy consumption during regular business operations, properly utilizing the hierarchy of waste. Businesses and the industry must promote a circular waste economy from manufacturing, to transportation, and during disposal.

SW understands that these decarbonization efforts will determine the future of both the industry and the environment. Our company has developed a number of new technologies that have transformed the single-use glove category – from simply protecting hands to enhancing comfort, enabling better performance, to protecting the environment. SW prioritizes waste prevention above all else. We minimize using hazardous accelerants in our glove formulas and manufacturing processes.


With our branded technology, EcoTek, our gloves will reduce waste completely in anaerobic conditions after 2.5 years. The technology reduces carbon emissions that occur with a recycling or recovery process. Likewise, there is no additional financial cost to dispose of our gloves as they are meant to reduce waste in the anaerobic conditions of commercial landfills. There is no additional carbon emission generation, as our product does not need to be transported to an additional disposal process. Ecotek can be simply disposed of with regular trash and will actually reduce overall waste build up in landfills. The technology combats the waste of single use products as our disposable gloves will eventually degrade into organic matter. SW’s research and development team continues to work hard to assess additional ways to reduce our carbon emissions while we contribute towards net zero in the glove industry.