The Skinny on Carbon Offsetting

Concerns about global warming are on the rise. We’re seeing the effects right now – the numbers of extreme weather storms are on the rise, diseases are developing new patterns of spreading, many species are becoming extinct, and our vacation spots are getting hotter or colder (yikes!). Carbon offsetting is one way people have to help neutralize the effects of producing carbon.

What is carbon, and why offset it?

When you burn fossil fuels (ie. fly, drive a car, stay in a hotel, use your air conditioning) carbon dioxide is produced. Excess carbon in the atmosphere has caused global warming.

Carbon offsetting helps counteract the effects of the carbon we are putting into the atmosphere. (It should be just one part in acting more sustainable. Others include reducing consumption, drinking local tap water, and recycling just to name a few.)

Using an Emissions Calculator an individual or business can measure their greenhouse gas emissions. Once the emissions have been calculated, you purchase an equivalent amount of carbon offsets, which in turn balances out the carbon produced.

Why should I offset my business?

  1. Competitive Advantage: More and more consumers & businesses are looking for green companies and offset certification will give you a competitive edge
  2. Employee Pride and Loyalty: By demonstrating your green efforts internally, your workforce will take personal responsibility and ownership of the programs you introduce, creating employee loyalty
  3. It’s the socially responsible thing to do

Many companies offer carbon offsetting services. Their offsets may go towards things like tree planting, investing in renewable energy projects, energy recapture projects etc. When investing in a carbon offsetting company, ask about their financial practices, since this is a new and presently unregulated industry. Tourism Toronto currently offsets all business flights with Carbon Zero.

Tourism Toronto can help green your next meeting by connecting you to our network of green members. In addition, CVB’s are coming up with a number of initiatives to help ensure your meetings remain green – For example, Tourism Toronto has in the past offset the flights of VP’s traveling into our city for a meeting/conference.

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