Cityhop has been thinking about carbon offsets and how realistic is it for companies to say they are buying carbon credits to offset their activities so they can be lauded for being ‘green’.
It’s like the ISO standards that lots of companies became obsessed with about ten years back and everyone started measuring their systems to be ISO accredited – whether it made them better to do business with was sometimes arguable but they did have a process!
Many of the companies claiming they are carbon neutral don’t appear to be doing anything really significant to reduce global warming. They might have reviewed everything they do, written it down and got a measurement as to how much energy they expend doing it so they could then buy some trees or some other off set but has it really made them change their habits or review their business practice?
What sort of cars do the executives drive – we reckon that’s the first place to look!
Cityhop may sound cynical but as NZ’s first car share company wouldn’t you think we would qualify as a carbon off set? We think so. One only has to do a little but of research into international car share modals to discover that every member actually does mean a car is off the road.
What does that mean? Less congestion, less energy emissions, cleaner air and water and much more, healthier communities as people walk or bike more, and more money going into local communities as people choose not to tie up a huge amount of captial in a depreciating asset.
Cityhop’s new year resolution is that the companies who are determining how and who is carbon friendly and entitled to offsets realise that companies that do something good like cityhop deserve a break and their members deserve recognition too for their efforts in reducing carbon footprints.
One of Cityhop’s fans suggested that if we were in the US we would get tax breaks for our green initiative and even be entitled to get our petrol tax back! Now that’s creative thinking.
Cityhop is very keen that the issue of carbon credits and offsets doesn’t get diminished by people wanting to be part of the action but rather that business do it for the right reasons – because they believe it is good to use less and put something back to right what they take out. Remember the child’s story of Milo. Have a look at the link to remind yourself or introduce yourself to the gorgeous child’s storybook about the importance of putting back in some form what you take out.
Carbon credits should be no different! Those who are doing something that benefit Governments and local councils should also get some credit too, whether they are businesses supporting a change of behaviour, like Cityhop or individual members.
What do you think?