Our everyday actions – at home and at work – consume energy and produce inevitable carbon emissions. No matter how hard we try, no business can function without a carbon footprint. After all, it’s taken several hundred years of industrial revolution to get to where we are today, so we can’t exactly shift human nature from energy-hungry to green-living in an instant.
With the universe tackling the pressing need to reduce carbon emissions, the government and many powerful organisations are promoting the need to use carbon offsetting to tackle the issue effectively and quickly. It’s a huge stepping stone in reducing carbon emissions and it’s the only way to achieve carbon neutrality.
But how many of us actually know what it is?
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offset is a form of trade. The notion behind the scheme is that the emissions generated through an activity are calculated, which then results in a third party being paid for an environmental initiative somewhere else.
Projects can entail forest restoration, power plant and factory renovations or increase the energy efficiency of buildings and transportation. By carrying out sustainable projects, this in effect, reduces the carbon emissions released by reimbursing and balancing them elsewhere.
There are three ways to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere:
- Through capturing and destroying a greenhouse gas that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere
- Through producing energy using a clean, renewable resource that eradicates the need to produce that same energy from fossil fuels e.g. wind power
- Through capturing and storing greenhouse gases to prevent their release into the atmosphere e.g. a project that encourages the healthy growth and maintenance of forests
What are the benefits?
The UK is the first country to set standards for carbon offsetting schemes, and it makes good business sense. By demonstrating green credentials, you will improve public relations, marketing and brand thought leadership.
Offsetting gives you great credibility and shows you are committed to your environmental responsibility and also satisfies new investors who are considering investing in your organisation. That will in turn attract new business, engage staff and put you at an advantage to competitors. Everyone loves positive media coverage.
What’s more, carbon offsetting not only helps to fight global climate change but also takes care of local communities that are less fortunate such as through providing education, jobs, food and biodiversity.
Another advantage of offsetting is the ability to quantify the cost of environmental damage from carbon emissions. Governments are then able to calculate accurate budgets around carbon neutrality.
Who’s doing it?
Adidas Group, Sony, Google and Microsoft are all setting the trend by either pledging to or have already become climate neutral and are encouraging others to follow in their stead.
Bands like Pink Floyd and Coldplay likewise trumpeted their ‘green’ lifestyles, with Coldplay producing the world’s first carbon-neutral albums back in 2003.
Lead guitarist Jonny Buckland said “We have green energy in the studio and every kilowatt of energy we use that isn’t green will be offset by buying carbon credits”. Impressive or what?!
How can you get involved?
Whether you’re an individual or a business, you can pay a small fee to invest in projects around the world to balance out your own footprint, such as through delivering clean energy technologies or obtaining and taking carbon credits from an emissions trading scheme.
You can choose to offset your entire carbon footprint or aim to neutralise the impact of a particular activity. For example, when you’re booking a flight online, you can select the option to carbon offset your journey and calculate the emissions your trip will release. You can then pay an additional amount to the offset company to reduce emissions elsewhere by the equal amount, therefore making it ‘carbon neutral’.
Moreover, you could invest in doing environmental work yourself. You could plant some trees in your garden or on land you own or make a donation to an environmental campaign.
In our industry, carbon emissions are an unavoidable consequence of the services and products we provide. That’s why we carbon offset all of our emissions released by our tankers. This allows our tankers to deliver fuel with a carbon neutral service at no extra cost to our customers.
What’s more, our sister company, Crown Oil, offers Carbon Offset Red Diesel which is simply an environmentally-friendly version of red diesel. It works exactly the same way and you don’t need to make any changes to your engines. Through opting for Carbon Offset Red Diesel, we help you to offset the carbon dioxide emissions released through your vehicle’s consumption and purchase carbon credits on your behalf.
To support the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by at least 2050, the government has announced new plans for measuring carbon emissions. The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations are set to take effect in 2019 which will replace the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
Carbon reporting is the first vital step for companies to make reductions in greenhouse gases. By measuring and reporting on emissions, companies can start to set targets and put in place carbon management initiatives to reduce emissions in the future. The scheme is designed to streamline and minimise the complexity of the carbon and energy reporting landscape.
Who does it affect?
- Companies with more than 250 employees
- Companies with an annual turnover over £36m
- Companies with an annual balance sheet larger than £18m
Their energy usage must be calculated and reported which will include electricity, gas and transport.
Here at Crown Oil Environmental, we offer a wide array of environmental services to help prevent damaging our planet. From fuel oil testing, fuel polishing to fuel uplifting, our team of experts have a wealth of experience in the industry.
If you would like to learn more and see how our team can help you with any of our services. Call us today on 0330 123 3399 to speak to one of the team.