Offset your travel carbon emissions
We’re sure you've heard a lot of fuss about global warming and we hope you've decided to do something about it.
You know that we need to use less power - so you've changed your light bulbs to compact fluorescent globes and taken all your appliances off standby. You take public transport or cycle/ walk to work when you can, and you only fly when you really need to.
You know that we need to move to using renewable energy for electricity generation, so you've switched to GreenPower.
Offset your carbon emissions when you have to travel
But now you’re asking what do you do when you have to travel by car or aeroplane for your next business trip? And, is there some way you can reduce your car's emissions until you can upgrade to something more efficient, such as a new hybrid?
Luckily there is an option for reducing your carbon dioxide CO2 emissions to effectively zero. It's called ‘offsetting’, or ‘carbon offsets’.
What is ‘offsetting’?
The idea behind offsetting is fairly straightforward. We have created a common case study – a business flight from Sydney to Perth - to see how offsetting works.
+ 1.95 tonnes
A return flight from Sydney to Perth results in the equivalent of 1.95 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) entering the atmosphere (that's nearly half the emissions of the average car over a whole year!).
- 1.95 tonnes
The small fee (likely under $25) you pay to offset the carbon dioxide for your flight from Sydney to Perth, if you buy Gold Standard Offsets, goes towards renewable energy, like wind or solar power, or energy efficiency projects.
Therefore, your Gold Standard Offset is an investment in renewable energy or energy efficiency, that reduces carbon dioxide by the same amount as your flight created, effectively cancelling out or ‘offsetting’ your emissions.
= 0 tonnes
This means that you can continue to fly, confident in the knowledge that you have effectively reduced your total emissions to zero.
Is it that easy?
Yes. It's that easy.
Carbon Offsetting doesn’t eliminate the need to live sustainably
Offsetting is a great way to effectively reduce your emissions at times when you can't reduce your emissions through energy efficiency, or switching to an alternative technology (like hybrid or high-efficiency diesel cars).
Although it might seem convenient to simply offset all of our emissions and not make other small life changes, it's important that we all take steps first to reduce our energy use (through efficiency measures) and switch to cleaner sources of energy (like Green Power and hybrid or high-efficiency diesel cars).
But on those occasions where you can't reduce your emissions for some reason, offsetting is a great way to take an extra step towards a sustainable future.
Where to start offsetting?
A growing number of offset programs are starting up around the world. WWF-Australia uses Climate Friendly to offset the emissions of staff flights and some events. They have an accurate set of calculators for working out the emissions for air and car travel as well as letting you know how much it would cost to offset your emissions.
If you decide to offset using Climate Friendly, be sure to mention that you heard about them from WWF and Climate Friendly will donate 5% of your offset fee to support our work.
Are all offset programs created equal?
Some offset providers promote the planting of trees as a method of offsetting your emissions. The theory goes that a growing tree will absorb CO2, therefore reducing the amount in the atmosphere. Some offsets however have the double-advantage of investing in important technologies which deliver clean energy or save energy, thereby avoiding greenhouse gas emissions at the source which is why WWF supports these.
To make the most of your investment, we recommend programs that comply with the CDM Gold Standard for carbon credits. Be sure to ask your offsets provider where your money goes - specifically if the projects they invest in are accredited to this standard. That way you can be sure that the fees you pay are being used to create a real reduction in carbon emissions.
Climate Friendly Carbon Offsets
In 2007, WWF-Australia formed a partnership with carbon neutral and GreenPower service provider, Climate Friendly. The partnership encourages individuals and businesses to become climate neutral.
You can become climate neutral with Climate Friendly by going to their website and:
1. switching to 100% accredited GreenPower, which is non-polluting electricity, from renewable sources, for your home or office
2. neutralising your driving and air travel emissions. You do this by ‘carbon offsetting’, which means you fund clean energy projects that neutralise your carbon emissions.
Climate Friendly will donate 5% of net sales made through the Climate Friendly website to WWF-Australia.
Click here for more information about Climate Friendly and WWF’s partnership.