The ins and outs of carbon
According to NOAA Climate.gov: “Humans are putting an estimated 9.5 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels, and another 1.5 billion through deforestation and other land cover changes.” Additionally, humans have increased the abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by nearly 50 percent since 1750.
What happens to this human-produced carbon? Nature absorbs most of it. Forests (and other vegetation) absorb around 3.2 billion metric tons per year and the ocean absorbs around 2.5 billion metric tons per year – leaving 5 billion metric tons of human-produced carbon in the atmosphere each year.
Carbon offsetting helps tackle this big leftover piece of pie.
A couple years ago, iBec Creative signed on with Terrapass to measure our carbon footprint, offset our carbon emissions, and strengthen our commitment to help our planet. Terrapass is dedicated to fighting climate change, and they help companies and individuals take responsibility for their impact on our environment.
How does it work? We measure our company-wide carbon footprint and we purchase "carbon credits" from Terrapass. These credits fund a variety of projects intended to compensate for carbon emissions, such as forest management and wind power.
Essentially, you can help neutralize your carbon output by investing into the absorption of it, doing your part to give Mother Nature a little break.
(Understandably) less carbon than last year
We invited you into our new hybrid workforce last month and now we’ll show you the carbon impact of this shift.
Direct sources of produced carbon, 2019 vs. 2020. In 2019, employee commutes produced 19.5 metric tons of CO2 and natural gas (hot water, heat) produced 12.9 metric tons of CO2. In 2020, employee commutes produced 13.56 metric tons of CO2 and natural gas (hot water, heat) produced 8.98 metric tons of CO2. Electricity produced 0 metric tons of CO2 in 2019 and 2020 as the energy source was renewable.
It’s also worth noting our indirect carbon usage, which comes from our servers - currently at 41.15 metric tons of CO2. While we don’t own these servers and it’s not our responsibility to offset the carbon impact – we choose to offset it because it’s the right thing to do for us and for the planet.
Our reduced carbon numbers this year are clear, and we’re a small company. Think about the positive universal impact this pandemic has had on our environment.
Does this shift responsibility to the home office?
This is a question we’ll be talking about as a team, and something we all need to think about as a collective society. If a hybrid working model is here to stay, how can we translate company-wide initiatives like this into the home? Offsetting carbon is not only beneficial to our planet, but it’s also easy and inexpensive to do. Here’s some immediate steps you can take right now:
- Calculate your carbon footprint with our iBec Carbon Calculator
- Look into Terrapass or a similar organization that can help facilitate your positive impact on the environment
- Switch to renewable electricity, especially since it’s likely an easy switch with your local provider
- Commit to other small changes (i.e., biking to the store) that make a big difference
How will you offset your carbon this year?