Understanding Carbon Offsetting

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Hello there, I’m Amanda, Freightzy’s newest team member. As a Marketing Co-op student minoring in Sustainable Business at the University of Guelph, I am thrilled to join a company with sustainability at the forefront of its operations. Freightzy has recently introduced a carbon offset program, and I would like to share what I believe to be the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing offsets. Carbon offsetting involves offsetting (surprise!) carbon emissions by funding carbon-reducing projects in other areas of the world. This funding can go toward such projects as afforestation initiatives and renewable energy implementation.

What I appreciate about this practice is that all working companies can quickly implement it. Carbon offsetting requires very minimal change to the operations and structure of a company, other than a decreased margin when buying offsets. Though I believe that businesses should be doing everything possible to help mitigate the pressures we have imposed on our planet, I understand that most companies do not have the capital to support large-scale changes to their business models. With other initiatives, companies would be required to rethink their supply chains or pay the substantial upfront costs associated with converting to renewable energy sources. By purchasing offsets, you are funding programs that actively encourage greenhouse gas reduction. For example, funding reforestation initiatives will act as a carbon sink while also providing an ecosystem for local species to flourish. Plus with rigorous oversight over which projects are eligible for carbon offsetting, companies can have peace of mind that their hard-earned revenue is going toward an initiative that is verified and traceable (Freightzy goes above and beyond by purchasing gold standard offsets). Some of these projects may not have had funding previous to carbon offset opportunities, and it feels pretty great to know that your contribution has a direct impact on the environment. Many consumers prefer to work with companies that disclose their carbon footprints and fund allocation, like Freightzy, so purchasing offsets aids in environmental sustainability and the economic viability of an organization.

That said, carbon offsetting isn’t perfect. The overall problem I have with offsetting occurs when large companies only offset. Industry leaders should partake in more initiatives than solely purchasing offsets.; With their size and revenue streams, these companies can provide means for significant change. Offsetting is a more passive approach to sustainability, as we are encouraging companies to balance emissions once they have already been released—companies should take other steps when venturing into sustainable practices. The earth is in a critical state, and I do not believe offsetting current emissions will do enough to combat the level of carbon we have released into the atmosphere (even in the past decade alone). If every large-scale company participated in offsetting programs, we would remain where we are today. For sustainable change to occur, our positive impact should exceed the negative, which companies can also accomplish by switching to renewable energy sources and utilizing clean transportation methods. These methods are proactive to the issues at hand and prove that companies can operate successfully without the release of carbon at the current level.

I believe there is a single message to leave with: Any degree of environmental sustainability should be commended within an organization. It is incredible to see a changing narrative within previously profit-centred entities. If you are part of an organization that is doing its part, be proud! If you are purchasing offsets, well done. But if you feel you can be doing more, then strive to do more! Offsetting is an excellent, achievable step toward global carbon neutrality and should be implemented by any capable company. Freightzy’s proactive initiative should inspire everyone to rethink and exceed the environmental benchmarks set within their industries.

If you have any questions or would like to involve your company in understanding your carbon footprint and purchasing offsets, feel free to reach out to our Freightzy team. As well, if you would like to know how Freightzy plans to move the transportation industry forward, check out: