The era of corporations integrating sustainable practices is being surpassed by a new age of corporations actively transforming the market to make it more sustainable"
- SSIR.org , Standord
With everything that our world is facing in 2020, the last thing on the minds of leadership is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). That is unless YOU are a leader that sees economic recovery as an opportunity to get lean and design efficiencies that will inspire a shrinking market dollar to choose you over your less-savvy competitors.
People are hyper-critical of the many decisions organizations are choosing to implement and have a watchful eye towards the next generation of responsible and smart actions. Whether you're in Industries related to Energy, Transportation, Manufacturing, or many others that respect carbon management the globe is felt undeniably smaller.
And with the global stage opened to remote work, talent and solutions are at our reach 24 hours a day. We are working smarter, informed, and responsible to build efficient ways to move forward.
"Surveys show that 88 percent of business school students think that learning about social and environmental issues in business is a priority, and 67 percent want to incorporate environmental sustainability into their future jobs."
-- SSIR.org , Standord
Intengine is a long-term believer that sustainable action leads to long term profit. If your steps forward come with a carbon debt, building in carbon neutrality can be achieved with a carbon offset. Understand your options with a little self-reflection and a lot of deep analysis.
Here are excerpts from the Carbon Market and Carbon Offsetting paper released this summer.
How Businesses Report on Emissions
A carbon footprint is a report detailing the amount of direct and indirect GHGs an organization emits through its activities. These emissions are broken down into scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from activities owned by or under the control of the organization, such as heating, on-site fuel combustion, or use of company vehicles. Scope 2 emissions primarily refer to emissions generated from purchased electricity. While Scope 3 indirect emissions come from all other activities emitted upstream and downstream of the supply chain, including employee commuting and travel, and purchased products and services.
Calculations and Support
Emissions are calculated for each scope by collecting and measuring consumption data such as energy, fuel, and material use. Emissions are calculated and converted into a unit called carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)—which is the standard unit converting the global warming potential of all the different types of GHGs emitted from an activity.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, by the World Resources Institute²0, is the most well-recognized method and standard for calculating GHG emissions. This protocol sets out what businesses should include in their GHG inventories and what frameworks they should use to calculate them. Some businesses choose to also report their emissions and targets publicly through organizations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project²¹ and Science-Based Targets²².
GHG Protocol Standards Scopes.
All direct from the activities of an organization or under their control. This includes fuel combustion on-site such as gas boilers, fleet vehicles, and air-conditioning leaks.
Indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organization.
Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organization.
All other Indirect Emissions from activities of the organization, occurring from sources that they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste, and water.
In-house management, expert guidance.
When preparing your company to buy or sell offsets the first step is clear. A company-wide audit is needed to identify areas where improvements can be made. Often the advice and direction of a nonpartial expert is helpful to evaluate and educate on areas of improvement. The peace of mind that your efforts are being accurately represented is also often a motivator to get compliance from staff that may need to change their work habits to support new policies designed to contribute to GHG emission reductions positively.
“There is no universal way to tell whether one offset project is more effective than another. Some projects will have more carbon sequestering potential than others based on the size of the project, where the project is, or what type of project it is.”
Incorporating Carbon Management into your Business’ Sustainability Goals
When deciding whether carbon offsets are right for your business it is important to consider what real impact your carbon management initiatives will have on the climate. Organizations that use offsetting to avoid making any real changes to their operations may be at risk of greenwashing.
Organizations should first prioritize improving operational efficiencies, switching to renewable energy and low carbon transportation, and investing in technology that reduces emissions overall. Only after your organization has made as many reductions as possible, should you turn to carbon credits to offset what cannot be reduced.
An organization with a smaller budget can also use offsetting as a stepping stone towards changes it cannot afford to make today. For example, a company may want to switch to an all-electric fleet of vehicles, but the technology or funding for this transition may be many years away. This company may choose to offset its transportation emissions as it works towards undertaking more costly climate-related actions later.
The best way to start with carbon offsetting is to contact an offset service provider to understand how offsets can fit your organization’s sustainability goals
"A low-carbon economy will be better for consumers, businesses, supply chains, and society – but getting there is challenging...The pricing of carbon, as well as the disclosure by companies of climate-related risks, is necessary to ensure the efficient functioning of markets. Internal carbon pricing can help businesses future proof themselves in a rapidly changing external context."