As part of our carbon offsets webinar series, Navodit Babel, Green Story’s co-Founder, took us through the key aspects of the topic.
With consumer sentiment around sustainability soaring over the last year, we wanted to dive deep into the topic of carbon offsetting with our co-Founder, Navodit Babel. Not only is offsetting an aspect of sustainability that everyone can play a part in, but also is a popular option to reduce unavoidable environmental impact.
What are carbon offsets?
Human activity, like burning fossil fuels, clearing forests, and agriculture releases large amounts of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is one of them. Navodit explained that “these gases heat up the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.”
Scientists have calculated that the temperature must not rise more than 1.5 C to avoid the most severe effects of climate change. In order to achieve this, we need to significantly decrease emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.
Navodit put it simply, “offsetting your carbon footprint addresses the unavoidable emissions from your supply chain by funding projects that reduce reliance on fossil fuels – the source of carbon emissions.”
What kinds of offset projects can I support?
There are four main types of offset projects based on what they do for emissions: avoid, reduce, remove or destroy. Different projects elicit varied results, when it comes to carbon. Clean energy initiatives invest in alternative sources to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. While nature-based solutions remove carbon that’s already been emitted.
Navodit explained that when Green Story recommends projects to our carbon neutral clients, “we focus on projects that have an immediate impact on avoiding and reducing carbon so we can help achieve the 2030 targets.” He shared that around 70% of the importance is given to renewable energy projects, as they have permanent and immediate results.
Why should a company offset their carbon footprint?
Revamping your supply chain takes time. But Navodit shared that, “carbon offsetting begins your journey and contribution towards our net zero target, immediately.” That’s not to say that companies shouldn’t work towards greener supply chains, but offsetting is a great place to start.
If a greener future is really what we envision, then we must work towards building it. Navodit explained that “funding renewable energy, reforestation and clean energy projects stimulates the market,” helping us build the future we hope for.
What does the future look like?
While Green Story’s carbon offsetting solution is a glimpse of the future, there is still plenty of work to be done by all stakeholders. “We’re seeing a lot of partnerships and collaboration in the offset industry,” Navodit shared. “It’s the key to providing more solutions to our clients to reduce and offset carbon and make a much larger impact.”
Carbon neutrality is the first step, but it doesn’t end there. Navodit’s vision is “climate positivity through reforestation and afforestation projects. They are really critical because if we have to achieve our 2050 target, there needs to be a significant amount of sequestration projects.”
But it doesn’t end there either. Water a large facet of climate change, especially in the fashion industry. Water scarcity is a reality in many developing countries. “Gold Standard has a few projects that figure out water purification,” Navodit explained as one way to bring water into the conversation. The primary goals are purify and distribute water.
So, what do we do?
The reality is: climate action must start now to protect not only the next generation’s future, but ours as well. Navodit discussed the many actions that the government and individuals can take, “but from a company’s perspective there are 3 main things we can do: reduce emissions, inset carbon and offset carbon. The first two might take years and we’ll need to start now.” But in order to take the reins and steer in the right direction, we can start with carbon offsetting.
Regardless of our professional roles, we’re consumers too. “Unless the consumers get involved and really put pressure and demand offsets and reduced emissions, change will not ensue,” according to Navodit. The future of our planet is in our hands, collectively. While we may be on the right track, there is progress to be made. Carbon offsetting is an option for everyone to get involved, regardless of their role in the larger eco-system.