Going Green with Your Travel Program, Part 2

In part I of our three-part series we discussed specific greener travel options to decrease your travel program’s ecological footprint. In today’s post, we talk about how your organization can take part in carbon offsetting. Read on… Carbon offsetting

In addition to the changes mentioned above, organizations can mitigate their contribution to global warming through carbon offsetting. Using a carbon footprint calculator, companies can estimate the amount of greenhouse gases they are emitting through business travel and purchase carbon offsets to balance out their footprint. For many companies, the purchase of carbon offsets enables them to take responsibility for the environmental consequences of their activities. Purchase of carbon offsets funds projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as wind farms, reduction of deforestation and capture of methane from landfills.

Elizabeth Baer from Conservation International, a global biodiversity research and conservation organization, says, "Business travel is often unavoidable. But after companies have gone through the process of reducing what travel they can and encouraging efficiency improvements, the next step is to offset what travel impacts remain." Baer continues, "Companies can calculate the emissions due to business travel, and purchase a bulk offset at the end of each fiscal year equal to the number of metric tons of carbon dioxide that was emitted. These offsets are usually purchased directly from an offset provider or through a broker. One option is to purchase forestry carbon offsets. This type of offset – achieved either through avoiding emissions through a reduction in forest clearing or through increased uptake of carbon dioxide through reforestation – usually generates benefits beyond carbon storage such as protection of habitat for species and community benefits such as protection of water quality." Has your organization participated in carbon offsetting? Check out Monday’s post for the conclusion of our series on “Going green with your travel program”.

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