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Offsetting Carbon is a recent trend in business and among many individuals committed to counterbalancing the impact their actions or operations have on the environment. The individual carbon footprint of a household or organization is a measurement of the amount of green house gases we emit in pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). The City of Portland’s Office of Sustainability defines a Carbon Offset as the process of reducing the net carbon emissions of an individual or organization, either by their own actions, or through arrangements with a carbonoffset provider.
Here are two examples of how carbon offsetting can be used:
When one purchases a new car there is an estimated level of carbon dioxide that this car required during its production, and can be anticipated to produce annually or during its lifespan. Automakers may offer options to offset this impact on the global amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide by planting “X” number of trees for the car just purchased.
Professionals fly to meetings or conferences. The amount of carbon dioxide produced from this action may be greater than other actions businesses take on a daily basis. Forward thinking companies (and even Prince Charles of the UK himself) are now carefully selecting which events to have staff and management attend. As a result, organizations have come to exist solely to establish ways for businesses to donate money to efforts that reduce the impact of the carbon dioxide produced. This type of organization or company gives monetary value to and sells Carbon Offsets.
Carbon Offsets might come into play in our operations here at BDS. The BDS Green Team is in the early stages of exploring how to offset some of the carbon produced by our known and relatively easily calculated impact of flying to meetings, trainings and conferences. As we begin an exploration of possible options for BDS, you might wish to learn more about the concept by looking at a few of the following internet based carbon calculators. Many actions we make, like driving a small 2-stoke moped or scooter can actually make more of an impact then driving a big SUV the same distance.
The following calculators are meant to be reference sources:
The Bureau of Development Services does not recommend any particular resource for purchasing carbon offsets. Please be aware that the media has reported on several Carbon Credit scams. You should do your own research carefully before taking your own actions.