Carbon Offsets: A New Onramp To Climate Action
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. Carbon offsets, 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 offsets 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 downsides 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. Second, the work is hard, expensive, and uncertain: emissions accounting is notoriously inaccurate, and very few organizations have internal resources that are able to build the marginal abatement cost curves that require detailed knowledge of supply chains. While this work is undertaken, emissions continue to add up.
Offsets as an Onramp to Climate Action
Carbon offsets 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 offsets 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. What’s more, using offsets can drive greater enterprise-wide support for carbon action. A survey by 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 offsets programmatically. With CNaught, it is simple for companies to use offsets 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 offsets 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.