Climate change or global warming is the result of a buildup of greenhouse gases (GHG), chiefly carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere exclusively from human industrial processes. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that normally would exit into outer space. This increase in trapped heat changes the climate and alters weather patterns, which may hasten species extinction, influence the length of seasons, cause coastal flooding, and lead to more frequent and severe storms. During the 150 years of the industrial age, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by 31 percent.
As more and more people are concerned about global warming and seeking to reduce their climate impact, carbon offsets, along with personal carbon reductions, provide an important solution to global warming. Carbon offsets let you pay to reduce the global GHG total instead of making radical or impossible reductions of your own. If you are running a business, you have a responsibility to keep any pollution that may result from your business activities under control. By considering health, safety and environmental issues together you can ensure that people at your premises remain healthy and your environmental impact is kept to a minimum. Calculating the carbon footprint of your organisation can be a first step to reduce the emissions it causes.Business carbon offsetting is obviously important in slowing or even reversing climate change.
The total set of GHG emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organisation, event or product is commonly called their 'carbon footprint'. It is a measure of the impact we make individually on the earth by the choices we make regarding our lifestyles. Many activities generate carbon emissions, which contribute to accelerating global warming and climate change. Probably the biggest contributors to our footprint are our travel needs, and our electricity demands for various activities. However, all our actions have a direct or indirect impact.
With world economies booming our carbon emissions are on the rise. Every industry makes a major contribution to the carbon emissions through almost every area of the company's activities. Some businesses, particularly those that are energy-intensive, will have requirements to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsetting is a way to counter damage done through the release of carbon emissions (CO2), from business activities. Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce the CO2 emissions they are responsible for by offsetting, reducing or displacing the CO2 in another place, typically where it is more economical to do so. Offsetting does not undo the environmental harm caused but does cut the total amount of CO2 released. The idea behind carbon offsetting is that you then do something to remove the equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere so making whatever it was that you did "carbon neutral" - as if it had never happened in the first place. This is usually achieved by paying a company a fee based on the amount of carbon dioxide you have released or caused to be released. For every tonne of CO2 emitted, an equivalent tonne is supposedly removed elsewhere with the help of special projects. These projects provide anything from energy efficient light bulbs or cookers to wind farms.