The basics of carbon offsetting

Carbon

The basics of carbon offsetting

Grasping the concept of carbon offsetting allows companies to achieve the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

 

What is carbon offsetting?  In order to understand carbon offset, you must understand what a carbon footprint is.  A carbon footprint is how much carbon your business is emitting into the atmosphere.  This can be from shipping, freight, business practices and even the practices of your shareholders or your business partners.  The footprint can be measured through a process called carbon accounting and should be understood by any and every business owner.  It is your responsibility to have an understanding of the effects that your business is having on the environment.

How do you measure your carbon footprint? This requires research and due diligence.  The data can be measured with software, or by a consultant.  Once you have a grasp on your carbon footprint you can begin to try and offset your carbon emissions through attempts to balance the equation.  Thinking of it as simple algebra.  4 + (-4) = 0.  This is the same basic concept behind the idea of carbon offsetting.

The goal, ultimately, is carbon neutrality.  This is bringing your carbon “account” to zero through a system of balances.  For example, if trees are cut to create your products, then you should be planting just as many trees in their place.  Moreover, if you are unable to reduce energy usage at your business and your carbon footprint is still large, then you will have to find other ways to offset this.  Another example of a way to do so might be to fund research on the Greenhouse Effect. Will carbon offsetting solve global warming?  Probably not.  However, it is a great way to reduce your business’ impact on the environment.

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

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