What if you’ve implemented every conceivable eco-conscious practice in your business and your carbon footprint is still bigger than you’d like? It might be time to consider investing in a carbon offset. As you explore carbon offsets, a reasonable rule of thumb and the motto of Carbonfund.org, a leading nonprofit provider of carbon offsets and climate solutions, is this: “Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t.”
Carbon offsets can help individuals and organizations balance out their production of greenhouse gases generated by fossil fuel use with projects out in the world that reduce, eliminate or offset these same toxic gases. Projects tend to focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. Carbon offsets definitely inspire lively debate. Opponents believe that we can’t buy our way out of modifying the behaviors that contribute to generating greenhouse gases. Advocates feel that financially contributing to offsetting our use of fossil fuels is an essential component of an eco-conscious business plan.
Like any important business decision, you need to do your research. Google “carbon offsets for business” and you’ll find a few results that warn you to be wary of how much of your contribution stays with the carbon-offset company and how much actually supports a critical carbon-offset project in the world. Ecobusinesslinks.com completed a handy survey of carbon-offset companies to help you get started.
If you think that carbon-offsetting is just for transportation and travel, carbon-offset companies also provide services that enable you to make your events, offices, shipping and even your website carbon neutral. “All websites have a carbon footprint. This footprint is created by many factors including operation of web servers, networks, and the computers visitors use. For example, the average small personal blog creates nearly a ton of CO2 per year!” (Carbonfund.org)
A new year offers a fresh start for implementing positive changes in our personal and professional lives. Carbon offsets are a perfect resolution because they satisfy both a big-picture goal and a tangible action item. “Make the planet healthier” is the big-picture goal and “purchase carbon offsets for the business” is one very tangible, very actionable item.
Carbon offsets don’t excuse us from being ever mindful of our environmental impact. As you explore adding carbon offsets to your eco-efforts, perhaps you’ll find new ways to further reduce your need for a carbon offset in the first place. If you want to learn some simple strategies for reducing your carbon footprint, check out carbonfund.org’s recommendations. As you peruse the carbonfund.org website, take a moment to calculate your carbon footprint and learn more about the nonprofit’s carbon-offset projects.
Just remember: “Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t.”
Do you make it a business practice to purchase carbon offsets?