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Carbon Credits: A New Onramp To Climate Action
Mark Chen
January 4, 2023

It's no secret that we need to take drastic action to mitigate the effects of climate change. But the path typically recommended to businesses looking to take climate action can be confusing, expensive, and daunting. As a result, many businesses are intimidated and don’t take any steps at all. If used well, carbon credits, which work by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for emissions made elsewhere, can provide a quick, scalable, and effective way to begin taking climate action.

The Status Quo Path to Climate Action

When it comes to the corporate climate journey, most companies have been advised to follow a strict five step process:

  • Make a public commitment and set a deadline for becoming net zero
  • Conduct detailed emissions accounting
  • Develop a customized reduction strategy
  • Implement mitigation tactics
  • Purchase carbon credits to address any remaining emissions

This approach is the right fit for many organizations: if a company has top-down support, substantial financial and personnel resources, and organization-wide engagement, it can drive meaningful action.

However, there are challenges to the traditional approach. Most notably, it requires a massive company-wide investment from day-one. In a perfect world, every organization could afford to make this kind of investment, but for many or even most businesses, this may not be realistic. And ideally those businesses wouldn’t be forced into an all-or-nothing choice.  

Carbon Credits as an Onramp

Carbon credits can be an effective on-ramp to climate action. They are easy to scale, which makes them easier to pilot or test in a shorter time frame than nearly any other emissions mitigation tactic. Companies can also use credits to integrate emissions reductions into their consumers’ actions, for instance by enabling users to offset a purchase or travel–all without substantial upfront or ongoing management costs. To be sure, carbon credits should not be used to avoid other decarbonization steps. But surveys show use of carbon credits can drive greater enterprise-wide support for carbon action. For instance, Conservation International “found that companies that bought voluntary carbon credits had more ambitious emissions reduction targets and did more across the board to cut emissions compared with companies that did not.”  

CNaught is enabling this onramp by building the easiest way to access credits programmatically. With CNaught, it is simple for companies to use carbon credits and take a meaningful first step on their climate journeys.


The traditional approach for climate action is important, but it is complex, costly, and likely not the right fit for everyone. Voluntary carbon credits are a simple tool that enables companies to take action today and accelerate their progress toward a zero carbon future.

If you think CNaught might be a good fit for your company, you can sign up today or reach out to us at