The outdoor industry is leading the way when it comes to climate protection. While customers and other stakeholders generally welcome CO2 reduction measures, voluntary carbon offsetting is still a target of criticism. Yet, it perfectly complements a holistic corporate climate protection strategy as an immediate measure.

The key to sustainable success in business is to implement a thorough examination of the existing situation. Calculating the corporate CO₂ balance, analysis of current measures, and capacity building about the statutory framework, competitive environment, and the risks of climate change for the own business model: All this creates the background of an active corporate sustainable engagement.

Companies can develop their climate strategy based on their carbon footprint inspired by the competitive landscape. As a result, the implementation allows them to discover and harvest the “low-hanging fruits” and put everything in motion to reach their mid-and long-term goals or even a net-zero claim. As part of the overall process, many companies are offering voluntary CO2 compensation, thus making individual products, product lines, or the entire company climate neutral.

CO2 offsetting is one strategy among many

Hardly any other instrument in the fight against climate change is subject to such intense criticism, sometimes even labelled as greenwashing. It would be justified if CO2 compensation is the only pillar of a company’s climate protection strategy. But, such true greenwashing is virtually non-existent today. The desired advertising advantage is disproportionate to the direct costs incurred and, above all, the risk to one’s reputation.

Instead, compensation, i.e. the offsetting of specific CO2 emissions by supporting effective climate protection projects, serves as an instrument to calculate the actual costs of a product, bring them into one’s sphere of responsibility, and not burden the customer.

Offsetting is not suitable as a stand-alone miracle weapon for corporate climate protection. It is only effective in line with strategic plans and implementation to reduce the product or company footprint. However, offsetting projects have one significant advantage: their immediate effect. In the case of mitigation projects – i.e. reducing emissions through more efficient, subsidized technologies, for example – the certified offset usually takes place within two years. In the case of nature-based carbon capture projects, the time horizon extends up to ten years. Yet the captured CO2 has a long-term effect.

Therefore, a commitment to offsetting is fundamental in times of transition towards climate neutrality because it tackles the time issue in global climate protection roadmaps. After all, it is illusory to believe that we will meet our reduction goals by cutting our emissions massively in 2040 or 2050 drastically in a short period of time as if by magic. On the contrary, we are in a long-distance race, and the more consistently we tackle it, the faster (and with more capacity for the final sprint) we will reach our goal.

Myclimate advises companies on climate protection strategies. The focus is on the analysis and identification of reduction potentials. However, as a pioneer in voluntary carbon offsetting, we offer this effective instrument to round off corporate climate protection engagements.

 

Photo: Myclimate

Myclimate
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