Looking to offset the climactic impact of your next promotional vehicle campaign? There are many ways to increase the sustainability of a promotional vehicle campaign, but some vehicle setups will be more environmentally friendly than others.
Less power intensive setups, such as barista or bar setups for example, can be run on stored renewable energy, but it is not currently possible for more intensive projects such as catering setups to be run solely off renewable power.
That’s not to say that your impact couldn’t be mitigated through those means, but it is not yet possible to achieve total renewable independence.
However, there is a way to compensate for your environmental impact, you can balance the scales through a good carbon offsetting scheme. Offset companies will allow you to buy carbon credits against your emissions, literally ‘offsetting’ your impact.
In this article, we cover the top five carbon offsetting schemes, helping you find legitimate companies you can put your faith in.
The Top 5 carbon offset companies:
What legitimises a carbon offset company?
A legitimate carbon offset company mitigates your carbon emissions by using your donations to fund decarbonisation or similar environmentally friendly projects.
It sounds good in theory, but how do you actually know where your money is going?
How would you feel for example, if you found out you were paying to plant a tree that was already going to be planted, or scheduled for future logging? You would be essentially funding a timber plantation. Or even worse, what if no trees were ever planted?
Even bodies as large as the Vatican have been duped by such scams, so it is wise to tread lightly, as not only are you failing to offset effectively if you partner with such an organisation, but your customer base is likely to suspect you are complicit, and hold you accountable.
Then there is the money, you will have essentially wasted it all.
So what legitimises a carbon offset company? I guess you could say actually performing the service you are paying for. This means they offset in addition to the normal course of business; making an environmental contribution that would not otherwise happen without your donation to a real project.
Honest companies will be quick to show their work, with real case studies, independently verified projects, reviews, and of course valid certifications.
What certifications legitimise an offset company?
B Corp certification is considered a must in offsetting. A B Corp company is verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
It is also important to look out for companies that use third party certification programs, such as Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard, and Green-e Climate Standard. Those programs help confirm that projects actually exist and that you’re not wasting your money.
Native Energy are one of the best options for offsetting. Around since 2000, Native has plenty of awards and certifications that speak volumes in term of experience and honesty.
They also have some useful tools for the less familiar, including a calculator that lets you ballpark your environmental impact and the financial cost of offsetting it.
In 2016, Native Energy became a Certified B Corp which means it has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
In 2017, Native Energy was recognized as a Certified B Corp Best for the World Company. In 2018, it was also named as a Public Benefit Corporation.
For further transparency and accountability, Native Energy provides information on how it assesses additionality. Additionality proves that what a buyer is purchasing is making a real difference to the climactic status quo.
Native Energy also validates all of its carbon offsets using the following third-party standards:
- Gold Standard (GS)
- Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
- Climate Action Reserve
- American Carbon Registry
- Plan Vivo
- The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance
A much more recent addition founded in 2018, Ecologi is nonetheless a great option. The company has quickly risen to popularity thanks to its simple honest approach to offsetting.
The company is B corp certified and won B Lab’s Best For the World Company Award for Governance and Environment in 2022.
Ecologi is a United Nations decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 Actor, and all projects are certified by the Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard. The company also has a stellar 4.9 rating on Trustpilot.
Founded in 2007, 3 Degrees is another great offsetting option – particularly for business. Specialising in industry and utilities, the company supported the launch of the first voluntary community solar programs in the US.
3 Degrees has received numerous accolades over the years, notably receiving B Lab’s best for the world award in 2013, 2016 and 2017. It was also recognised by the Climate Action reserve for leadership in 2010 and 2016 and offset development in 2016.
Founded in 2005 Clear has consistently strived towards offsetting excellence for over 17 years. The website features a variety of handy calculators, though these are intended for individuals rather than businesses.
The company has continued to exceed QAS standards for over a decade, and recently attained B Lab certification. Clear also won B Lab’s Best for the World Company in the Environment category in 2022.
Clients essentially invest in sustainable forestry, purchasing trees that will eventually be cut down. The money sawmills pay EcoTree to cut these trees is then used to buy more land and plant more trees than were originally cut.
Now whilst this sounds counterproductive EcoTree claims a net growth of 3 trees planted for every one cut for wood.
The company attained B corp certified in 2021 and has a 4.8 rating on Google Reviews as of August 2022.
What are my next steps?
If you’ve found a company that matches your ecological ambitions then you’re ready to offset the cost of any campaign, no matter how large.