Businesses begin to bark up the right tree
In the UK, thousands of businesses are keeping the economy moving, emitting more than their fair share of carbon as they do.
There are things all businesses can do to save power and reduce their overall carbon footprint. In recent years, an increasing number of businesses have embraced an innovative way of giving back what they’ve taken from the earth.
Carbon offsetting is the means for businesses to rebalance the scales in favour of mother nature, planting a new generation of forests.
Green shoots of growth
While many businesses are understandably keeping an eye out for signs of lasting green shoots of economic growth, carbon offsetting allows many to produce real green shoots to help protect the planet. Carbon offsetting is the process of businesses investing in projects which actively help to balance the carbon emissions they produce.
Reforestation efforts are just one way of doing so – UK businesses emitted a total of two metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2018, so there is plenty of room for offsetting, and lots to trees to plant, to absorb enough CO2 to offset their emissions.
Carbon Footprint Limited allows businesses to pledge to fund the planting of trees, estimating that each tree planted can save a tonne of carbon in the Amazon rainforest, through their Tree Buddy initiative. However, their operations also take root closer to home – the company helps plant trees all over the UK, and allows businesses to pick specific regions for planting.
No business like green business
Physically planting trees to offset carbon emissions isn’t the only way businesses can help protect the planet. Green bonds have become an increasingly popular investment, allowing investors to pour their money into existing or planned projects for renewable energy, conversation efforts and much more.
The Green Bond sector could experience particularly strong inflows from investors in 2021, with the Financial Times reporting that governments and businesses could issue as much as $500 billion in ‘green debt’, as a fixed-income revenue stream to support plans to ensure a green recovery from the COVID-19-induced recession.
The EU is a notable proponent of Green Bonds, as the European Commission is eyeing up plans to issue €750 billion in debt through these bonds over the coming years. The bonds will be accessible on the open markets, as a means to raise funds to finance the projects which will hopefully allow Europe to become the world’s first net zero carbon continent.
The commission is exploring the possibility to issue part of its bonds in formats that demonstrate its commitment to sustainable finance — including social and or green bonds– Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for the EU budget (speaking with the Financial Times)
Rather than investing money in seemingly empty investments while the metaphorical house could be burning down, assets like green bonds and ideas such as carbon offsetting through reforestation give businesses up and down the UK a real stake in our planet’s future.
Businesses might just be starting to realise the unavoidable truth that, if they don’t invest in the planet’s future sooner or later, they won’t have a planet on which to do business.