Everything You Need to Know About Carbon Offsets

Reducing your carbon footprint is critical in the fight against global warming and impact on climate change. The following questions were posed to Luke Miller (@offsetluke), an expert on the subject and CEO/Founder of Offset Options – a startup helping companies offset their carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.

What is a carbon offset?
A carbon offset represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary carbon offsets allow individuals and organizations to mitigate their own carbon footprint by funding projects that result in emissions reductions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

How do carbon offsets help the environment?
The idea behind carbon offsetting is that greenhouse gas emissions spread very quickly around the planet. As a consequence their impact on global warming does not depend from where they originated. So while the opportunities for reductions of emissions might be limited in one location for reasons of cost or technology, the next best option may be to pay for a reduction to be made in another location.

What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint represents our impact on the environment; carbon dioxide is recognised as a leading contributor to climate change. Energy use, transportation and other aspects of daily life produce greenhouse gas emissions – our carbon footprint is the measurement of these emissions, represented in tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent.

How do you calculate carbon emissions?
We can assist in the assessment of product or service’s carbon emissions (also called carbon footprint) to establish a baseline of current performance and identify opportunities for reduction and increased efficiencies. We can help to establish emissions reductions targets where appropriate and develop the best carbon offset program to address remaining emissions, engaging your stakeholders including employees, customers and others.

For some services – such as travel – Offset Options technology facilitates real-time emissions assessments, allowing for customized footprinting at the point of sale.

Offset Options’ assessments are based on international standards including:

GHG Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard
AS /ISO 14000 Life Cycle Assessment Series
AS /ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gases

Why should businesses care about this stuff?
A businesses carbon footprint is the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, packaging, marketing, sales processes, use and disposal. Seeing a dramatic rise in the number of “green” consumers and facing increased scrutiny from NGOs and the media, forward-thinking companies are increasingly looking to address CO2 emissions. In addition to working to reduce emissions through energy efficiency and other initiatives, carbon offsets are a meaningful way to address emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in the near-term.

Business through the carbon management process can:

1. Offer carbon neutral products and services through simple and seamless integration into existing sales applications, empowering customers to choose carbon neutrality by providing the option to purchase offsets online or in-store.

2. Demonstrate environmental responsibility and easily communicate this action to your customers.

3. Build a positive brand image and competitive advantage in a market with growing customer awareness.

Anything else you want to add?
The cornerstone of our organisation is giving consumers choice. To give consumers choice they need to be educated about the impact of the product or service they are purchasing, given opportunities to act upon that environmental impact, then communicate to their community how they approached this issue. Also doing all of this in a very cost-effective manner

By having more informed consumers working together as a community will real change take place in addressing climate change.


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