You may be wondering... ‘What is a carbon footprint, how can it be offset, and how would this benefit my business?’ Let’s look at what carbon offsetting means for you and your business.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint, by definition, is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
Carbon emissions affect the planet significantly, as they are the greenhouse gas with the highest levels of emissions in the atmosphere. This, of course, causes global warning and ultimately, climate change. Global warming causes extreme weather events, such as tropical storms, wildfires, droughts, and heat waves throughout our planet.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon dioxide has the same impact on the climate no matter where it is emitted and what the source, so if a ton of carbon dioxide can be absorbed from the atmosphere in one part of the world, it cancels out a ton of the gas emitted in another.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air as they grow and store it, making forests one of the biggest carbon sinks, meaning it absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.
So, basically, companies and individuals can cancel out the impact of some of their emissions by investing in a project that reduces or stores carbon – for instance, a project which contributes to forest preservation and tree planting!
Why should your business offset its carbon footprint?
Whether your company is a hotel, tour operator, restaurant, or car dealership, you probably know that your business is generating carbon emissions all of the time. Many of your day-to-day activities that keep your business running can also have an impact on the planet.
Minimizing these carbon emissions should always be your #1 priority, but no matter how many eco-practices you implement, producing carbon is inescapable. This is where carbon offsetting comes in!
Aside from being beneficial for the environment, offsetting your carbon can provide substantial advantages for your business, such as strengthening your branding.
Attract customers by showing you’re committed to eco-friendly practices.
Now, more than ever, customers are increasingly aware of their impact on the planet. They want to know that they aren’t harming the environment when they make purchases, and they want to support companies that feel the same way.
Customers are actively looking for businesses that can back up their claims to being ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ and are actually doing something concrete to manage their impacts.
Carbon offsetting is a clear and tangible way to show customers that your business is creating change and is serious about offsetting emissions that contribute to climate change. In fact, communicating about your offsetting program also provides an opportunity to further ingrain sustainability into your branding message.
Not only can you quantify your impact, you can also share examples of the positive environmental impacts that the project provides: “We offset 50 tons of CO2, and helped to restore Plumas National Forest in California, to recoup the 65,000 acres burned in the 2007 Moonlight Fire!”