How to offset the carbon footprint
The carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases associated with a product or service. By knowing it, we can offset those emissions with actions.
What is the carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that, directly or indirectly, are emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human production and/or consumption of goods and services.
The carbon footprint arose as a measure to quantify and generate an indicator of the impact of an activity or process on climate change. It serves as a management tool to know the environmental impact of the behaviours or actions of people, organisations, products, events, etc., that are contributing to increasing our emissions and how we can reduce or offset them and make a more efficient use of resources.
As citizens, why is the carbon footprint relevant?
Having this information about our carbon footprint is crucial to promote responsible and sustainable consumption. Everyday activities such as switching on the TV, turning on the heating, or moving around by car have environmental consequences. As consumers, each of our actions have an impact on emissions and calculating the carbon footprint generated by these everyday activities allows us to become aware of and try to minimise and reduce gas emissions, both at home and in the workplace.
This will foster a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Furthermore, as consumers it allows us to opt for products and services from companies committed to fighting climate change -with objectives for reducing and/or offsetting their climate impact- in addition to allowing citizens to become aware of their consumption habits and empowering them, since their decisions contribute to and form part of the global solution to the climate change challenge.
There are currently multiple platforms, initiatives, and even applications for mobile phones that help calculate our carbon footprint and, in this way, become aware of the environmental consequences of our everyday activities.
An ever-increasing number of institutions and companies have set targets to reduce their carbon footprint in order to achieve greenhouse gas emissions neutrality.
Many are also driving offsetting projects. Offsetting is the action of neutralising the amount of CO2 emissions that a person, company, or organisation emits when carrying out an activity, economically investing in a project to improve the environment and the social environment in which it is developed.
What is industry doing to offset its emissions?
Companies and industry are striving to be increasingly efficient by adopting energy saving and efficiency measures that will contribute to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with their activity and products; however, today there are still processes that are difficult to decarbonise.
Voluntarily, companies with internal policies of responsibility towards environmental care are seeking external mechanisms that will allow them to offset part or all of the emissions generated.
One way of voluntarily offsetting those emissions is through nature-based solutions, which make it possible to naturally capture and store CO2 from the atmosphere. There are different ways. One of them, that with the greatest CO2 capture potential, are solutions based on forest stands, such as for example tree planting projects or reforestation of degraded or burnt areas.on of degraded or burnt areas.