A new survey is out at the moment, run by the UNFCCC and the International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance (or ICROA for short), to look into the drivers behind corporates voluntarily offsetting their carbon footprint. Imperial College London are running the survey and I’d recommend that you have your say.
For me it is quite clear – it’s about taking responsibly for your own carbon footprint. If we all did that then climate change would be a lot easier to deal with. While many companies that do offset do have this as their central reason, many use offsetting as a business driver, with green marketing and staff engagement all sound reasons. As far as the planet is concerned, as long as action is taken, emissions reduced and resources use prudently then other drivers are secondary.
The favourite bit of mud to throw at carbon offsetting is that it gives companies licence to carry on polluting, pretty damming statement hey? Er, no. The irony is that this is exactly the opposite. The report by Ecosystems Marketplace “The Bottom Line: Taking Stock of the Role of Offsets in Corporate Carbon Strategies” showed that companies that take action and offset their emissions are more likely to take action on reducing emissions and energy usage compared on non offsetters.
- offset buyers slashed their direct emissions by almost 17%, while non-buyers only reduced emissions by less than 5%.
- offset buyers were more engaged in direct emission reduction activities compared to non-offset buyers.
It would be too simplistic to say all offsetting companies are green companies; but from the look of it, they are a lot greener than those that do not….