The problem with carbon offsetting
Chances are, you’ve heard the term “carbon offsetting” before, especially if you’ve followed along the #COP26 discussions and coverage a few weeks ago, or have personally explored new ways to make your business more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Labeled a “distraction” from the real solutions to climate change, ultimately permitting the likes of BP, Shell and airline companies who are all notorious climate offenders to continue their unsustainable behaviour.
But WHAT exactly is carbon offsetting?
HOW do you carbon offset?
And WHY do it?
Read on to find out:
Carbon offsetting is defined as the action or process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising from industrial or other human activity, by participating in schemes designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Offsetting allows you to compensate for the carbon emissions produced by your business by supporting emission reduction projects (i.e reforestation or renewable energy projects. These projects are primarily found in developing markets).
Your carbon offsetting journey is an easy 2-step process.
1.Start by using the climagap.com calculator for a comprehensive overview of your businesses current carbon footprint.
2. After you’ve identified your carbon footprint, you can purchase carbon credits - which are verified and measurable units that represent the carbon emissions reduced by the projects.
In 2020, nearly 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were prevented from entering the atmosphere through voluntary carbon offsetting projects. This is a result of a tremendous investment of ~€229 billion (around 361 billion AUD) by businesses to offset their carbon footprints.
NO SOLUTION IS PERFECT. CARBON OFFSETS HAVE RECEIVED A BAD WRAP.
Whilst carbon offsetting has come under heavy criticism this year, the work of restoring natural ecosystems or investing in clean technology is key to saving our planet. One way of doing this effectively is through offset projects; however, these investments should be done in combination with OR addition to cutting emissions directly. Offsets must never be mistaken or used as a substitute for action.
Ultimately it comes down to progress over perfection, and one small action is better than doing nothing and passing the responsibility for climate change on to someone else to solve.
Learn more about the types of offset projects available here.
Good for Business. Great for the Planet.