Companies need to achieve net zero carbon emissions to help mitigate climate change’s effects and reduce their environmental impact. Net zero means that a company has balanced out the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it produces by reducing them or offsetting them through carbon credits or other means.
Carbon offsets are a way to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions by storing them in the atmosphere for emissions that occur elsewhere. Offsets are measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). Despite criticism that carbon offsets are an excuse to produce more emissions or to evade the eradication of fossil fuels, they are necessary, as replacing all energy sources and materials with alternatives overnight is impossible. Carbon offsets can reduce a company’s carbon footprint and contribute to becoming carbon-negative by doing extra offsets to undo some atmospheric harm.
Carbon offsetting projects bring:
· Social, health, and environmental benefits.
· Employment opportunities to international and local communities.
· Contribute to reversing some of the damage already done by offsetting the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Costs of Carbon Offsetting
Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas emission affecting global warming, but other gases also trap heat in the atmosphere. Carbon offsets can help reduce businesses’ carbon footprint, as they can become carbon-neutral by offsetting what they cannot reduce at the moment, funding tree planting projects or renewable energy farms. Most offset credits cost about USD 12 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Some carbon-neutral companies sell specific products with carbon offsets included in the price.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Carbon Offsetting
Carbon offsets have a positive impact as they assist companies in capturing and removing some of the emissions that already exist in the atmosphere. Additionally, they allow for residual emissions to be offset until more sustainable reduction solutions are identified. Furthermore, they contribute towards initiatives that have a long-term positive impact on improving the quality of life.
However, there are some potential drawbacks to carbon offsetting. Some companies have been accused of greenwashing or double-counting, which undermines the credibility of their claims. However, with rising transparency standards, reporting parties are becoming more thorough to avoid these issues. Net0 adheres to all GHG Protocol standards, making it easy to view emissions categorized by the scope and their offsets with investor-grade reporting in real-time. This provides proof that offsets are occurring and holds companies accountable.
Overall, achieving net zero carbon emissions is critical for both the environment and the long-term sustainability of companies. It is a necessary step in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and creating a more sustainable future for everyone.
Climate change has caused various environmental and social problems, including frequent and intense natural disasters, rising sea levels, and food and water scarcity. Companies contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions through their operations, supply chains, and products, and they are responsible for reducing their environmental impact.
Achieving net zero carbon emissions can also benefit companies economically, such as reducing energy costs and increasing efficiency. Additionally, consumers and investors increasingly prioritize sustainability when making purchasing and investment decisions, and companies that prioritize sustainability are often more attractive to these stakeholders.
Governments worldwide are also setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and companies that do not try to reduce their carbon footprint may face regulatory and legal consequences.