Let's try an unconventional approach. Despite being certain that reducing emissions is the final goal to reach, let's start by offsetting all your emissions, and let's see what happens.
This article is part of a 3 series of content. Please find all article links in our intro.
Let's see what happens if you decide to first offset your emissions before engaging in reducing them.
Offset fast first
We have developed a 'standard' system to offset your emissions. What it does is that instead of relying on your own data, we rely on existing industry averages. It is based on splitting your emissions into three categories (products, team, online) and offering you a quick way to achieve CO2 neutrality. It won't be sharp, but the point is to not waste time.
What it allows you to do is offset all your emissions in those 3 categories in literally less time than it will take you to finish reading this article.
Some action, please
The result is a direct action to fight climate change. In one decision, from one day to the next, your company is entirely CO2 neutral, and even climate positive. And yet this is just the beginning.
Get the team on board
Now that you are set into motion, you will be able to introduce this positive vibe into your company's culture. Your team has a good reason to feel proud of your sustainability and this is the right moment to promote small office behavioral changes but also allow more internal free speech and transparency on your emissions.
Follow the money
Now comes the most important part of this article. By 'offsetting first, reducing after' what you have achieved is to put a new financial constraint on your company, essentially a voluntary carbon tax.
This may sound awkward because as a company you are always seeking to achieve operational efficiency and avoid new costs. In fact, companies excel at reducing costs. And our methodology counts on this!
What you have achieved is to transform your sustainable problem into an operational problem. And this is something your teams are familiar with. This is a problem you know how to solve!
Now, reduce the tax
Once your products and services include this voluntary carbon tax, your team can be tasked with the same cost efficiency as usual and find ways to reduce your tax by reducing your emissions.
Any decision, even if done purely on cost, will in fact include a sustainability metric, as it will impact your carbon tax positively or negatively. Essentially, what it means is that you have internalized your pollution instead of leaving it as an unpaid externality that creates a burden on the world.
If things are not moving fast enough, a simple option is to increase your voluntary carbon tax by XX% every year. This will directly make your sustainability take more importance to your cost structure.
Now do a proper study, and start reducing
Now you can keep on doing a proper CO2 study in order to have better metrics and know where you need to put your efforts in reducing your emissions. This will take time and resources but now you have a company-wide drive to do it fast.
A new perspective
Obviously, this new cost, your Voluntary Carbon Tax, is not just a nicely crafted invoice. With these funds, you are helping hundreds of thousands of people to have a better life, better health, more resources, and more resiliency in those changing times. You are helping to avoid mass species extinction, protecting habitats, and stopping deforestation. You are storing carbon most efficiently and more cost-effectively, limiting the impact of climate change on all animals and populations. In other words, you are making the best possible use of your company money to make this world a better place. And we believe that, like good karma (or irony, whatever you prefer to call it), this will also be the best way for you to make your transition to sustainability and make sure your company is as relevant and vibrant as ever!
Thank you for reading!
Maxime Renaudin, Tree-Nation founder