Offsetting is a valid way to reduce global carbon emissions quickly and cost-effectively.

Christiana Figueres – Former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

Climate change is a global environmental and economic issue. There are benefits to businesses and the economy from tackling climate change and the climate crisis.

Business Benefits of Going Green and Carbon Offsetting

1. Improved brand image and competitive advantage. 

Consumers consider a company’s impact on the environment in considering where to purchase goods and services. Customers prefer buying from companies with a positive track record in personal, social, and environmental values.

Your brand awareness will also benefit. Using green messages in your advertising can make you more memorable, as well as increase engagement and positive feelings towards your brand.

Being greener also penetrates at a deeper level to employees, their families, and beyond.

Note that the opportunity to enhance your brand image will backfire if your company does not practise what it preaches.

2. Reduce costs and increase efficiency. 

Reducing the resources your company uses can immediately save you money. Sustainable business practices lend themselves to improved operational efficiency and conserved resources. Improved efficiency enhances employee productivity and reduces costs.

Energy conservation strategies that contribute to your sustainability goals will also decrease costs. For example, going paperless, moderating your office air conditioner or heater, or even installing solar panels.

Reducing inefficiencies means reduced cost and less waste. For example, changing to more energy-efficient, long-lasting light bulbs means you will spend less on energy and have to buy lightbulbs less often. It also means you won’t have to dispose of lightbulbs as often. The cumulative reduction in waste will have further environmental benefits, while also reducing your waste disposal costs.

For everyone using fossil fuels, there’s a carbon tax. At the moment it is only €20 per tonne but this will rise to €30 soon and to €100 by 2030.

3. Improved agility in responding to changing regulations. 

Governments and industry regulators are already discussing and implementing environmental regulations. As climate change and dwindling energy resources continue to impact our daily lives we will see even more regulations to protect the environment.

Integrating sustainability into your business now will better position you to meet changing regulations in a timely manner. This may even result in financial savings in avoided carbon fines and penalties.

4. Attract employees and investors. 

People are attracted to positive feelings. People under the age of 30, especially, have been surrounded by environmental protection messages for most of their lives. Attract the calibre of people whom you want to employ by demonstrating a sound set of values and ideals that they can feel connected to. Employee retention will also be positively impacted by a strong values base.

When looking for companies to invest in, investors will look for companies who’s practices and image align with their own. Increasingly, sustainable practices and good social responsibility can be “make or break” factors for investors who want to maintain a certain type of portfolio.

5. Increased profits.

Companies with high ratings in environmental, social, and governance factors outperform the market in medium and long-range terms.

You can find plenty of case studies showing this, for example, this one from McKinsey and various pieces from the Carbon Disclosure Project. The World Economic Forum, Forbes, and many others agree.

6. Minimise your supply chain risks.

Businesses and organisations around the world are going green, and that means they will be reassessing their partners and suppliers. If the companies they work with are not sustainable enough they risk being dropped. Staying ahead of this and greening up your business removes that risk.

7. It’s good for your community (and therefore for your business).

A greener environment is good for everyone. Climate change, by definition, means the climate we operate in is altered. If we reduce or slow climate change we avoid the negative effects it brings with it.

Cleaner air means fewer sick days. Reduced extreme weather events mean better business continuity and supply chain security. Avoiding sea-level rise means lower infrastructure risks. Controlled global temperatures mean fewer crop failures and better food and resource security. It also means less extreme working conditions.

These are just some of the many benefits of making your business more sustainable and combatting climate change. Offsetting your carbon is an important part of the business sustainability process.

We all benefit from a safer planet.