Globally, we continue to experience climate change and witness its impacts on our planet, threatening our environment and life as we know it. New Zealand alone emits nearly 83 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year, and almost 18% of total emissions are a direct result of transportation.
Now, more than ever, there is a need for businesses to embrace carbon offsetting as a regular part of their operational practices to mitigate the effects of global warming.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the practice of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. Essentially, it helps balance current emissions by funding an equivalent amount of emissions savings elsewhere.
While many countries aim to be carbon-free in the long term, the practice of carbon offsetting helps balance unavoidable emissions, as we gradually transition to a low carbon society. Carbon offsetting is part of a broader carbon reduction approach right here, right now.
How does it work?
These initiatives use carbon credits to offset emissions. A carbon credit is a financial instrument that represents a unit of greenhouse gas. Typically, one carbon credit equals 1 tonne of carbon dioxide.
Carbon credits are allocated back to the environment, often through forestry. Planting trees and maintaining forests creates carbon sinks, which act like the lungs of the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Carbon sinks can be a natural combatant to global warming, provide a much-needed home for wildlife, and help restore waterways. The more trees that are planted and protected, the more carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere.
Carbon Offsetting in New Zealand
Carbon offsetting has become widely accepted across New Zealand. In fact, consumers across the country now anticipate organisations to implement sustainable practices. Their purchasing power allows them to select brands that align with their values and opt out of those that do not.
Not only does carbon offsetting battle climate change, but helps you connect with a like-minded community of business leaders striving for a better future.
If you’re interested in learning more about your personal carbon emissions, Toitu has a great carbon calculator that measures both household and travel emissions. Calculate your personal emissions here: https://www.toitu.co.nz/calculators.
Carbon Offsetting in Business Practices
Implementing sustainable practices in business operations can seem a daunting task, but here are some initial steps:
Create conscious freight practices: Organisations that regularly require travel can often find it challenging to implement carbon-friendly practices into operations. Select environmentally-conscious partners and vendors to reduce environmental impact.
Reduce, reuse and recycle: The core values of this often-heard phrase remain more important than ever. Manage water and waste efficiently, and reuse items as much as possible.
Strategic procurement: Establish sustainable procurement practices and purchase from local groups if possible. Align company operations with vendors that share the same care for the environment.
What is ecoDRIVE?
7 years ago, CardLink launched ecoDRIVE as a voluntary carbon offset programme to help reduce emissions. Through this programme we help to offset emissions produced by a company’s vehicle fleet by planting native forests across New Zealand as well as Australia.
CardLink is on a mission to implement sustainable practices across all aspects of our business, and ecoDRIVE is the first step to building a much healthier future; to date already offsetting 326,000 tonnes of Co2 from the environment.
By supporting ecoDRIVE, you can help mitigate climate change, improve soil and water quality, and maintain the habitat for kiwi wildlife.
To learn more about our ecoDRIVE programme or to sign up, click here.