It is becoming more and more apparent that the world must take certain measures in order to reduce its carbon footprint. The amount of emissions that is currently being released into the environment is still large enough to significantly impact our world’s future, and in order to ensure the safety of our planet, we must try to reduce the amount of harmful substances that is being leashed upon our ecosystems.
However, this is not what many industrial companies want to hear. Countless corporations throughout the world release tons of harmful gases as a by-product of their manufacturing processes; industries as diverse as potato chip companies and the producers of steel products release similar types of emissions into the environment. It would be a very costly endeavor for these companies to change their harmful ways. Therefore, many manufacturing corporations look to appease customers and alleviate their negative impact on the environment through other means.
This is where carbon offsets come in. Carbon offsets allow various corporations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an inexpensive, efficient manner.
If a company were to change its entire manufacturing process in order to make its procedures more environmentally friendly, the corporation would have to spend millions or even billions of dollars on new equipment, new processing designs, and new training for its workers. Instead of undergoing such a costly overhaul, many companies purchase carbon offsets instead. The company makes little to no change to its actual manufacturing processes. Instead, it invests in a program or system that is devoted entirely to reducing the world’s greenhouse gases. This support of a worthy cause essentially ‘makes up’ for the company’s bad impact on the world’s ecosystems.
There are many different programs that a corporation can support as a form of carbon offsetting. Oftentimes, companies will choose to donate to organizations that directly counteract their negative impact on the environment. For instance, a company that utilizes enormous amounts of gas–burning energy might purchase carbon offsets in the form of renewable energy sources such as windmills or solar power. Companies that consume large loads of tree-based resources might purchase carbon offsets that help to alleviate the destruction caused by extensive deforestation.
Carbon offsets are an important part of the regulation of our world’s ecosystems. These offsets are constantly criticized for treating a problem’s symptoms instead of the issue itself; most environmental activists demand that companies try to change their destructive ways, rather than simply compensate for the harm that they have already caused. However, carbon offsets nevertheless are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the monetary investments of multiple large-scale corporations, the health of our soil, our atmosphere, and our water has improved. New jobs have been created to attend to environmentally friendly causes, and money is saved on energy throughout the entire United States.
Individuals and large-scale corporations alike need to do their part to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. However, when the direct reduction of harmful additives in the environment is not an option, carbon offsets can help to improve the condition of our ecosystems through other means.