The Biggest Problems With Carbon Offsetting & How To Lower Your Carbon Footprint The Right Way

Carbon offsetting seems to be the checkpoint for every eco-conscious company on a mission to become more sustainable. However, there are several underlying problems with carbon offsetting that quite often get swapped under the eco rug. Most prominently, not all carbon credits are created equal.

 So what’s the right way to offset carbon emissions and actively fight global climate change and all its devastating effects on the environment, economy, and social well-being? The solution lies in the quality of your carbon credits. 

What is carbon offsetting?

In simple terms, the term Carbon offsetting describes the company’s way of paying to remove greenhouse gas emissions by paying a certain fee to compensate for emissions they generated during the whole production and distribution process. By purchasing nature-based carbon credits, companies can make up for their individual carbon footprint by preserving trees and forests that keep CO2 out of the atmosphere. 

Nevertheless, simply offsetting our emissions with no further action to monitor and lower our environmental impact is far from sustainable. 

While carbon credits are a great way to further reinforce our green-minded efforts, we should also point out the many problems with offsetting.

The Most Important Problem With Carbon Offsetting

Fraudulent Carbon Credits 

The first major problem with buying carbon credits is the lack of transparency. Some offsets on the eco market as simply better than others. It’s been proven that specific well-known (and lesser-known) programs do not help reduce carbon despite the sellers’ claims. 

“[Offsets] are controversial, in terms of what should and shouldn’t be counted, and if people are really doing what they say they’re going to do with your money,” mentioned Lisa Ellram, the professor of supply chain management at Miami University of Ohio.

For example, in 2010 it became known that recycled Carbon Emission Reduction certificates had been sold to unwitting buyers in the European carbon markets. Recycling or double-selling carbon emissions is unfortunately not uncommon. 

Greenwashing

Another problem with carbon offsetting is the lack of monitoring and examining the company’s direct emissions to access their true impact on the environment. There are plenty of instances where brands and companies have turned to carbon credits in an effort to appear more sustainable. In reality, no actions to reduce emissions within their production and supply chain had been taken. 

True change comes from within, and thus, it’s important to also make actual reductions to bring down our carbon footprint and find lower impact alternatives before we start purchasing carbon credits to compensate for our emissions.   

How To Offset In The Right Way

So what is the best way to offset co2 emissions and actually lower your impact and reinforce your pledge to sustainability? First, you need to identify your reduction targets.

 Calculate and communicate the environmental impact of your products

From the raw materials to the final distribution, it’s important to know your “hotspots.” This includes materials, transportation, and energy management. Kapes has partnered up with Green Story who, through their deep dive into our supply chain, created an impact report which shows us how much we save compared to using unsustainable materials, and how much impact we still have.

Start reducing your emissions

 The best way to offset co2 emissions is through eco-minded practices. As we mentioned, the problem with carbon offsetting is the lack of effort on a company’s part to actually make changes in the production and distribution chain. In order to reduce your carbon emissions, you can turn to recycled resources, choose certified sustainable suppliers, reduce waste, try to raise awareness among employees, and invest in green energy. 

 Start offsetting carbon

Carbon offsets must result in a permanent reduction of greenhouse gases. You can choose to be carbon-neutral by offsetting your total emissions to net-zero. Make sure to partner up with reputable carbon offset companies to purchase nature-based carbon credits that not only give a breath of fresh air to our Planet but also help the local community thrive and encourage them to protect the forests. These sustainable job opportunities are tightly connected to Wildlife conservation as locals aren’t obligated to cut down trees or poach animals to make a living.

In conclusion: The biggest problems with carbon offsetting & how to lower your carbon footprint the right way

Carbon offsetting is a fantastic way to minimize your environmental footprint by reducing emissions. However, there are a few major problems with offsetting including the quality of the carbon credits and lack of effort to make a change from within. By closely monitoring the entire supply and distribution chain, companies can get a pretty good idea of the actions they need to take in order to reduce their impact before buying carbon credits. The road to sustainability is certainly a long one, but if you consider the environmental, economical, and social benefits, the right choice is pretty evident.

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