Carbon neutrality is becoming a standard business practice. Microsoft is carbon-neutral, as are MetLife, Lyft, Salesforce, Google and BCG. And it’s not just for the big corporates or West Coast entrepreneurs. Startups (Diamond Foundry), small-(Burts Bees) and medium-size companies (Fetzer Vineyards) are carbon-neutral, and even countries like Costa Rica, the UK, and Finland have made bold commitments.
Often I hear, “First we’ll get our own house in order, and then we’ll do the remainder, and finally, we’ll offset as a last resort.” To my mind, this approach misses the fundamental value of carbon offsetting: financing the transition to low-carbon technologies. “Technologies” can mean a ceramic water filter so that homes can avoid waterborne disease without boiling water on open fires, it can be a solar light that is charged at school to encourage children to attend and taken home so they can do their homework, or it can be a program to conserve forests and grasslands that store so much carbon.