This year, most industries, regardless of size, will be making a conscious effort to reduce their impact on the planet and become more sustainable. A huge part of this will manifest as a concept called ‘carbon offsetting’. How feasible is carbon offsetting for micro enterprises, small businesses and start-up ventures? And what does carbon offsetting actually mean?
What is carbon offsetting?
Sometimes also referred to as ‘carbon balancing’, carbon offsetting is the process of neutralising the carbon emissions (or greenhouse gasses) that your business is emitting into the atmosphere through daily operations. This covers everything from the fuel used in vehicles to get to work, to the paper you’re printing on every day.
Some high-impact processes which significantly increase a company’s carbon emissions can be altered to reduce the effects. However, some things are a necessary evil – such as paper usage – as we continue moving towards a more paperless workplace. It’s these unavoidable measures which benefit most from carbon offsetting, such as a business joining a scheme which will plant trees in woodland around the world, helping negate the paper used in their workplace.
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How can a small business offset its carbon consumption?
There is a whole host of ways in which a small business can become more sustainable – more than we could possibly cram into the rest of this blog post so for now, let’s focus on your carbon offsetting strategy. Typically this involves offsetting;
Waste (especially waste going to landfill)
Use of electrics
This carbon balancing works by offering businesses the chance to ‘buy’ carbon offset credits, which are essentially a form of investment into programmes or organisations which work hard to do things like:
Restore and protect forestry
Generate sources of renewable energy
Support waste recycling schemes
Where can I buy carbon offset credits for my business?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a dedicated marketplace where you can go to purchase this conscious currency. It’s all about doing some research, whittling down the programmes and organisations you’d like to support and then investing or donating to them in whatever way their processes work.
This money then goes towards their cause and you can sleep easy knowing you’ve taken some measures to neutralise your impact.
A great place to start if this is something that has piqued your interest is by finding a carbon calculator online to evaluate where your business is having the most environmental impact. Once you know where the damage is being caused, you know where to focus your efforts.
What measures do you take to neutralise your business’ carbon footprint? Is carbon offsetting something you’re looking to implement this year? Share you experiences in the comments below or come and join the conversation over on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. If you want to make your bookkeeping process paperless, get in touch and speak to one of our friendly experts about our simple, cloud-based software, Pandle.
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