Our impact on the environment has never been more clear, and consumers are starting to take notice. In response, brands of all sizes are making moves to lower their carbon footprints, educate the public, and develop long-term sustainable practices.
If you’re trying to learn how to offset your carbon footprint, the Internet can be an unapproachable teacher. New carbon offset companies are exploding onto the market every day, using wind power projects and carbon credits to draw in hopeful companies.
Unfortunately, not all carbon offsetting companies are created equal. Like many other industries, a lack of transparency makes it easy for companies to mislead their clients. Everything from questionable statistics to ill-considered strategies can make carbon offset projects less reliable than a roll of the dice.
Let’s take a look at what carbon offsets are, how they work, and talk a bit about finding a trustworthy carbon offsetting company for your business needs.
To learn more about how carbon offsetting is an integral part of every brand’s sustainability strategy download our free ebook.
What Are Carbon Offsets?
Carbon offsetting is a way that individuals and companies can work to counteract their carbon emissions. Anyone can partner with programs designed to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and compensate for their everyday greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies that are interested in limiting their carbon footprint can find plenty of great carbon offset companies to help. Before we get into talking about how to find the right carbon offset company for your needs, let’s talk about how carbon offset programs work.
How Do Carbon Offset Projects Work?
Carbon offset projects work to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, limit emissions at their point of origin, and reduce the impact of human activities. Carbon offset companies run, develop, and maintain carbon offset projects to help others lower their carbon emissions.
Some examples of carbon offset projects include conservation and reforestation, developing sustainable energy infrastructure, and emissions control. Diverse forms of carbon offsetting projects can make it easier for individuals and corporations to reduce their carbon footprints and even become carbon neutral.
Why Should Businesses Offset Their Carbon Footprint?
Business has a large impact on the environment, whether large or small. Industries like energy and fuel production, agriculture and farming, industrial processes (like manufacturing), and even eCommerce wreak havoc on our planet every year.
Shipping items using traditional industry methods consumes large amounts of fossil fuels and emits large amounts of carbon dioxide. The larger the item shipped, the larger the impact. For example, a company that ships cars throughout North America emits more problem greenhouse gases per purchase than one that ships tennis shoes.
While these companies could focus on planting trees and conserving forests, they could also diversify their investment through biogas and alternative fuel research to lower their emissions over time.
If your brand markets to Millenials and Gen Z consumers, these investments are crucial. Reducing your brand’s carbon footprint is key to building trust in these younger markets. Over 65% of millennials surveyed sometimes or always check brands’ sustainability practices for deciding to buy.
But younger generations aren’t the only ones who appreciate businesses supporting green initiatives. 92% of consumers reviewed said they’re more likely to trust companies with ethical and sustainable practices. Imagine what that could do for your sales!
Steps for Working With Carbon Offset Companies in 2022
We get it, decreasing or neutralizing your carbon footprint may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Carbon offsetting companies provide a simple way for businesses of all sizes to take their carbon emissions into their own hands.
Before you select your carbon offsetting services, you’ll want to take stock. What sustainable practices does your company have currently? Is there a budget in place for furthering your sustainability goals? Do you know what your business’s emissions are?
The following steps will help you prepare yourself and your company to prioritize sustainability, from calculating emissions to maximizing impact.
Calculate Your Emissions
Your first step is to calculate your business’s emissions and better understand your carbon footprint. Along the way, you’ll learn what areas are contributing the most to carbon emissions and global climate change. This can help you determine what changes you need to make and how to move forward with your sustainability goals.
Develop Sustainability Initiatives
Sustainability initiatives are plans to improve your business’s sustainability.
A company that makes clothing could source materials locally to reduce emissions caused by shipping. A server farm would probably focus on transitioning to renewable energy sources, like solar power.
Consider where your emissions are coming from and how to best treat them at the source before you work on offsetting. Offsetting is a great way to supplement ongoing work to limit your business’s carbon footprint.
Budget to Reduce Emissions
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the bottom line.
The best way to ensure you meet your carbon offsetting goals is to budget for the changes that need to be made. This could involve partnering with carbon offsetting companies, developing green business practices, or hiring environmental consultants.
If you didn’t consider time and funding when you were establishing your sustainability initiatives, this is a great time to bring those into alignment. For example, if green energy is a concern, you could affordably source green energy through local programs until you could invest in your own solar system.
Maximize Positive Environmental Impact
Some carbon offset projects that focus on nature conservation overestimate the effectiveness of their efforts on lowering carbon in the atmosphere. These programs often pay private landowners to leave their natural land alone and do little for the environment and local economies.
Ethically run carbon offset companies work with carbon offset projects that are more proactive, socially responsible, and environmentally sound. While conservation efforts can be effective, they can be taken a step further by encouraging biodiversity conservation and restoration.
The Best Carbon Offset Companies for Businesses
Let’s start by saying that the best carbon offset company for your business depends on your business needs and values. The clearer your understanding of these things is, the better chance you’ll have of finding the right carbon offset company for your business.
The carbon offset companies we discuss here all meet rigorous criteria and standards. They design each project to support local communities, meet their clients’ unique business needs, and help our environment thrive.
While, ideally, all carbon offset companies would meet these criteria, many will do the bare minimum. Take time to research the company you’re interested in working with and check their credentials before you get started.
EcoCart – eCommerce Solutions
EcoCart’s focus is on reducing the environmental impact of modern commerce practices. Working with EcoCart, your sustainable practices become a part of how you engage with, and educate, your customers.
Projects are held to rigorous standards, identifying and maximizing positive impact to support our environment. EcoCart verifies its projects with major carbon standards, including VERRA, the Climate Action Reserve, and the Gold Standard, to ensure viability. Also, additionality is ensured in each project EcoCart supports, meaning the project reducing greenhouse gas emissions would not have happened without the offset.
eCommerce businesses can select a carbon offsetting project through EcoCart that matches the values they share with their customers. Projects span the globe, and provide employment opportunities to local communities.
The results? Huge.
Brands that partner with EcoCart have seen a 10% increase in order value, a 14% increase in cart conversions, and a 15% increase in repurchase rate. Why? Because consumers who buy from companies with sustainable practices feel proud that they’re supporting a greener future.
Native Energy – Renewable Energy Sources
Native has over two decades of experience providing hundreds of companies with sustainability services. Its service categories include Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), Help Build™, and general carbon offsetting projects.
Through Native’s REC program, businesses nationwide can transition to renewable energy offerings. Native works with Green-e Energy certified organizations to ensure it’s connecting clients with renewable energy industry leaders.
Companies interested in taking an active approach to building a better tomorrow can work with Native to develop unique sustainability initiatives. Native is confident in its teams of specialists and works to help companies create carbon offsetting programs that match their values.
Other Great Carbon Offset Organizations
Myclimate is a non-profit organization with carbon offset projects spanning the globe. It has developed over 170 projects in 45 countries. The organization provides advisory services and educational programming in addition to its carbon offsetting projects.
3Degrees provides diverse carbon offsetting projects, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, forest management, and landfill gas capture. Additionally, this company offers utility partnerships and transportation decarbonization services.
8 Billion Trees focuses its carbon offsetting efforts on supporting forest conservation (protecting existing trees), reforestation (planting trees in dwindling forests), and afforestation (planting trees where there were none).
Terrapass was launched in 2004 to help everyday people reduce their carbon footprint from vehicle emissions. Since then it has expanded its portfolio offerings to corporations to help offset greenhouse gas emissions from other areas such as air travel and energy consumption.
Greenhouse gas emissions are a driving force behind climate change, raising temperatures globally. Coastal areas are flooding and woodlands burn, throwing our delicate ecosystems out of balance and severely impacting biodiversity and health.
The world is changing quickly, and people are afraid. Younger consumers are only becoming more aware of the impact their decisions can have, making sustainable practices an increasingly important part of doing business.
Carbon offset companies help brands of all sizes, across industries to find or create the solutions they need to limit or neutralize their carbon footprint. Partnering with a carbon offset company can help you educate your customers, support environmental success, and improve health for humans and animals alike.
At EcoCart, we help businesses connect with eCommerce solutions for our modern world. Our services change how you engage with your customers, creating new trust and conversations about sustainability.