Explained: What does 'carbon offsetting' really mean? And how do carbon offset projects work? Zenko

What does it mean to carbon offset?

Carbon offset units, or carbon credits, can be bought by people and businesses to make up for the carbon emissions they produce. 

These carbon offset units, or credits, are created from projects that reduce, remove or capture emissions from the environment.

By buying carbon offsets, the idea is that you can cancel out your emissions and become carbon neutral, where you have offsetted all your emissions.

Why are businesses using carbon offsets?

The pressure for businesses to act on climate change will only grow. This means tackling the source of the problem - carbon emissions. Buying carbon offsets is one of the easiest ways for companies to make up for their impact on the environment.

We believe that businesses have not just a responsibility to act on climate change, but also an opportunity to inspire their customers, staff and society.

Big companies like Microsoft, Google, and even airlines like Qantas have committed to becoming carbon neutral (although with differing rates of progress - Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, while Qantas aims to be carbon neutral by 2050). 

In Australia, businesses can be certified carbon neutral by the government with Climate Active. You can find a list of certified carbon neutral Climate Active businesses here.

So how do carbon offsetting projects actually work?

Carbon offsetting projects are environmental projects that help to reduce, remove or capture emissions from our planet. These could include things like renewable energy, reforestation, or better farming and agricultural practices. 

One carbon credit is issued for each tonne of emissions avoided, removed or captured from the atmosphere. 


Are carbon offset programs just greenwashing?

There are now many projects in Australia and all around the world that claim to be generating carbon offsets. It is important that the carbon offsets you may be looking to buy are certified to make sure they are properly offsetting emissions.

At zenko, we believe that carbon offsetting is an important piece of the puzzle to tackling climate change. 

Project Drawdown, the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, shows that natural ‘carbon sinks’ remove over 40% of emissions we produce. By purchasing carbon offsets, we can support these important carbon sinks that protect the environment and remove emissions from our planet.


Don’t just offset, reduce your carbon footprint directly

It’s important to remember that buying carbon offsets or credits don’t prevent individuals or companies from actually increasing their carbon emissions. Carbon offsets just make up for the amount of carbon emissions you produce - which means you are simply paying to cover what you produce. 

We believe that businesses should always look at reducing their impact directly, rather than simply buying carbon offsets. 

That’s why we help workplaces directly reduce their carbon emissions, not just offset it.


Explore our range of eco-friendly workplace products and make your workplace more sustainable today.

🌳 carbon offsetting

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Zenko makes workplace sustainability simple so you can help protect our planet. We make it simple and easy to buy planet-friendly office supplies, all in one place.