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May 3, 2022

Want to Off-Set Your Carbon Emissions at Work? It’s Easy When You Know How

 
 

We’re now all well aware of the climate crisis we’re in. There is a mountain of compelling evidence pointing to the fact that man-made climate change is progressing at a rapid rate.

Thinking about the effect that climate change will have—and has already had—on our very way of life can no doubt feel overwhelming. Despite repeated calls to our governments to act, little has been done to curb this ever-growing existential threat.

Fortunately, we can still come together to take action against climate change. There are many ways each of us can reduce the harmful effects of climate change, with one of the most powerful being carbon offsetting.

In fact, it’s even possible to offset your company’s emissions and help your employees to offset their own at work. Doing so is a tangible way to join the fight against climate change.

If you’re interested to learn more, read on. In this article, we’ll explain what carbon offsetting is, as well as the benefits of offering this option in the workplace—both for the planet and your company.


What is Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is defined by Greenfleet as, “a way to counteract the emissions we can’t reduce or avoid.” It’s possible to offset any carbon-emitting activity in your life, from your car to your business.

So how exactly does it work? When you contribute to an organisation that offsets carbon emissions, the organisation will carry out projects that lower, remove, or capture carbon emissions. The main carbon offsetting projects focus on reforestation and/or renewable energy initiatives.


What are the Benefits of Carbon Offsetting for the Environment?

Carbon offsetting, especially done in a collective manner such as via your workplace, can not only make a sizable positive impact on reducing the effects of climate change, but also on the environment in general.

For example, carbon offsetting via reforestation works by planting forests of trees that naturally absorb carbon dioxide. Planting trees also helps to create and rejuvenate animal habitats.

Considering that reforestation simultaneously contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions, increases biodiversity, and restores land and water quality, it’s considered one of the best ways to tackle climate change.

If you want to see just how impactful reforestation as a means of carbon offsetting is for the environment, take a look at the impact of Greenfleet’s work on the environment.

As they explain, when you offset your carbon emissions with Greenfleet, the organisation plants native forests on your behalf. Along with capturing carbon emissions, the forests planted create resilient biodiverse ecosystems in Australia and New Zealand, restore habitat for koalas and other precious native wildlife, and improve soil and water quality. The forests are also legally protected for up to 100 years, meaning that they’re able to deliver long-term environmental benefits.


What are the Benefits of Carbon Offsetting for My Business?

Your business can only commit itself to so many projects. So why should your business consider carbon off-setting?

There are many reasons it makes sense to.

Firstly, job seekers and employees are increasingly concerned about working for companies that genuinely care about giving back. Having a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in place demonstrates that your company is taking CSR seriously.

Corporate social responsibility has been repeatedly shown to increase employee engagement and retention. Various studies have also demonstrated that a commitment to CSR improves customer engagement and trust and can even boost your bottom line. Plus, it’s a key means of strengthening your brand and reputation management.

Climate action and sustainability have become particularly hot-button issues for both employees and consumers. In a large study conducted by BCG and The Network in 2021, 70% of respondents said it is important or very important for Australian organisations to focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activities.

The HP Australia Environmental Sustainability Study 2018 pointed out that 53% of females and 49% of males would strongly prefer to work for a company that has sustainable practices. Younger Gen Ys particularly felt strongly about the matter, with 14% stating they would only work for a company that has sustainable practices.

The study also highlighted how much sustainability shapes consumers’ buying decisions and perceptions of companies. For example:

  • 81% of those surveyed believe that companies/brands should be responsible for the impact on the environment.
  • 78% believe that retailers should have sustainable practices in place to minimise their impact on the environment.
  • 71% claim they will be willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Another of the key reasons you should look into workplace carbon offsetting is that your business, like all others, produces carbon. The carbon produced directly contributes to climate change. It’s therefore your company’s corporate social responsibility to either work on reducing or eliminating your carbon emissions.

If going completely carbon neutral isn’t possible, you can still make a sizable impact by taking a proactive approach to reducing your emissions. Carbon off-setting is a straightforward way to go about this. It’s also worth noting that carbon-focused regulations are likely to increase, so it makes sense to get on top of your responsibilities sooner rather than later.


Will My Employees Really Care About the Ability to Off-Set Their Carbon at Work?

The short answer to this question is, “Yes.”

Many of your employees probably already contribute to fighting climate change in their personal lives. Providing them with the option to offset their carbon at work provides climate change conscious employees with the opportunity to apply the changes they've made in their lives to the companies they work for.

And how about employees who want to start, but don’t know where to begin? A workplace carbon offsetting program streamlines the entire process, making it easy and engaging to contribute to meaningful climate action.

If you’re wondering why it makes sense to do this in a workplace setting, the reason comes down to the impact of collective climate action. While individual climate action is powerful, it’s even more impactful the more people that get involved. By offering a way for employees to offset their carbon emissions, the environment—and your business—can work together towards your corporate carbon neutral goals.

In short, a workplace drive to reduce carbon emissions allows you to mobilise your workforce to really move the dial on fixing our future.


How Can I Help My Employees to Off-Set Their Carbon Emissions at Work?

While the actual process of carbon offsetting may be a bit complex, it’s easy to offer your employees the option to offset their carbon emissions at work. Thanks to Catalyser’s new partnership with Greenfleet, getting started couldn’t be easier.

By logging into their Catalyser account, your employees can now take part in Greenfleet's offerings through a range of Catalyser's Giving Modules. Specifically, employees can offset their carbon by contributing to Greenfleet’s Carbon 365 program or choosing to offset their vehicle or travel.

The three types of contributions to Greenfleet employees can make via the Catalyser platform are:

  • Regular payroll giving: Employees can contribute a set amount every month through their payroll. The benefit of this is that they can claim an instant tax deduction on their donations.
  • One-off payroll giving campaign: Your workplace can set up a special giving campaign, to encourage employees to make a one-off off-set contribution through their payroll.
  • One-off giving: If employees would like to make a one-off donation to Greenfleet, they can easily do so using this module.

Why Catalyser Chose to Partner with Greenfleet (and Why Your Workplace Should Too)

The reason we chose to partner with the non-for-profit organisation Greenfleet is because they have continuously proven their leadership in the sustainability space.

As Australia's first carbon offset provider, the organisation is well-regarded for its focus on delivering impactful projects that not only have strong environmental outcomes, but also have significant social and economic benefits. Greenfleet offsets carbon emissions by planting enough biodiverse, native trees to capture carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

Thanks to the support of generous donors, Greenfleet has already offset 3.9 million tonnes of carbon offsets, planted more than 9.97 million trees, and created over 500 native forests.


How Do I Get Started?

If you’re already a Catalyser client, your Customer Success Manager can help you set up Greenfleet on your giving module of choice within minutes. Your employees will then be able to make a recurring off-set pledge, or make an immediate off-set contribution in 3 easy clicks.

It’s a good idea to let your employees know about this feature of your corporate social responsibility program. A simple way to do so is to send an email with details about how they can offset their carbon emissions with Greenfleet. Make sure to include a link directly to the Catalyser platform to make it as easy as possible for employees to engage.

You can also mention it in your monthly meetings, a company-wide message on Slack, or your regular newsletters to employees. To encourage greater engagement and focus everyone on the same goal, consider running a one-off payroll giving campaign.

Of course, you should send the word out about your support of the initiative to your network, too. Many of your existing customers and clients, as well as prospective ones, will be interested to learn what steps your company is taking to tackle climate change, as well as your overall efforts to give back to the community.

If you’re not yet a Catalyser client, getting set up is a quick and easy process. Our Customer Support Team is happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process. Get in touch today to learn more.

If you’d like to learn more about Greenfleet, you can read more on the Greenfleet homepage.