Building ESG: The (Un)Sustainability of Carbon Offsetting ________________________________________ The widely visible effects of climate change make reduced greenhouse gas emissions a prerequisite for a green future. In this, carbon offsetting offers a solution to reduce the climate impact of products and services. Carbon offsetting has many synonyms, such as CO2 offsetting, footprint offsetting and neutralising your emissions. So basically, it is offsetting the effects of an individual or a company’s CO2 emissions. This technique can be used in case the complete elimination of emissions is not (yet) possible. Types of carbon offsetting Carbon offsetting often refers to three recognized techniques, namely 1. Prevention, 2. Sequestration, and 3. Replacement. First, when an emitted amount of CO2 is prevented elsewhere, it means that the accumulated number of emissions does not increase. Second, capturing an equal amount of CO2 as previously emitted. Planting forests is typically used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Third, contributing to the transition from harmful activities to environmentally friendly alternatives. To arrive at offsetting your footprint (by any means), you will first need to calculate your CO2 emissions. This can be done easily using a CO2 Calculator. However, CO2 offsetting is not without risk. This is because, according to the Authority Consumer & Market (ACM), consumers experience the use of carbon offsetting methods as confusing. In fact, research shows that only less than 50% of customers know the difference between CO2 reduction and CO2 offsetting. This underlines the importance of good information services towards consumers. For example, users can’t figure out for themselves the technical differences between these ways. This leaves customers susceptible to misleading promises, and even Greenwashing. So be aware that carbon offsetting is (unfortunately) not always used with the right intentions and ask the right questions. Offsetting CO2 emissions hinges on its output. Unfortunately, some initiatives are unreliable in this. So, it is always important to investigate the claimed compensation more closely and evaluate whether a company compensates what it claims to compensate. Please feel free to comment your view and share the article
Glasp is a social web highlighter that people can highlight and organize quotes and thoughts from the web, and access other like-minded people’s learning.