Our views on carbon offsetting
We believe that everyone should offset their emissions, but with some reservations. Firstly, it’s important to point out that carbon offsetting is a downstream measure rather than an upstream measure; it does not directly reduce the use of fossil energy. So carbon offsetting must always be considered to be a complementary and temporary measure taken whilst implementing measures to reduce emissions.
Critics have claimed that carbon offsetting is a way to buy oneself free and to let someone else makes a change rather than oneself. Isn’t this a somewhat negative view of mankind? It assumes that people choose to deceive themselves and others.
The companies that we work with see carbon offsetting as something positive. They have strategies, goals and action plans to limit their impact on climate change. Carbon offsetting is an additional measure to take responsibility and minimise climate impact.
U&W [you&we] always signs a Letter of Intent with customers which states that carbon offsetting is not the only measure the business is taking, rather that the measure is part of a package which aims for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within the business.
By buying carbon offsets, a business is paying an extra cost for its climate impact. When this cost becomes clear, and analysis shows what the climate impacts are, this information becomes a driver for reducing emissions year by year. In this way, the cost of carbon offsets is a driver for creative measures ‘at the source’, for example efficiency improvements, energy savings, new solutions and lower fossil fuel usage.
Carbon offsetting leads to a reduction, or an uptake, of emissions of greenhouse gases as part of a project somewhere else, most commonly in developing countries.
When you choose to buy carbon offsets, you learn the cost of your climate impact. When you also work to implement measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the costs of offsetting reduce year by year. Carbon offsetting also contributes to sustainable development in developing countries.
We want to put ourselves out of business
We ask the companies that buy carbon offsetting through ZeroMission signs a Letter of Intent which states that carbon offsetting is not the only measure the business is taking, rather that is part of a package of measures which aims to reduce use of fossil fuels and other climate impacts. In this way the need for carbon offsetting will fall over time and we will less to those customers. But we expect that more companies will want to take responsibility for their climate impacts, and perhaps many more when the risks of remaining dependent on fossil fuels become clearer. So new customers will arise all the time.
Doing good under commercial conditions
Carbon offsetting demonstrates that a company takes responsibility for its activities. Many of our customers communicate the fact that they offset carbon and this has a positive effect on their brand. They receive greater trust from the market. They have a competitive advantage at the same time as achieving a greater goal. Many customers choose products and services from companies that offset carbon where possible. Rather than from competitors.