These days, you’ve undoubtedly heard more and more companies pledging to become “carbon neutral.” But what does that really mean? Here’s a look at this important climate-crisis issue—and how you can get involved in carbon neutrality, too.
THE FIRST STEP? UNDERSTANDING CARBON FOOTPRINT.
From shipping customer orders to powering office facilities to manufacturing products, many of the things businesses do every day can take a toll on the earth. As a result of that activity, greenhouse gases get released into the atmosphere—and in turn, harm the environment, negatively affect health, and change the climate.
A company’s total contribution of those greenhouse gases is its carbon footprint. Individuals have a carbon footprint, as do cities, states, countries, and even events like sports games and conferences. Those footprints are measured in equivalent metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted during the period of one year. (Interested in what yours might be? Check out this calculator from the United Nations to estimate your impact.)
ENTER CARBON NEUTRALITY
Carbon neutrality comes in as a means of counterbalancing a carbon footprint, or “neutralizing” it. Simply put, the idea is that the amount of carbon dioxide you put in and take out of the atmosphere should balance out to zero.
There are a couple ways for companies to aim for carbon neutrality. The first is a logical one: Finding ways to actively reduce emissions. That means being responsible when it comes to supply chain logistics, labor, energy, materials, and more. For example, at Under the Canopy, we’re known for our use of certified organic materials in every item we make. But we’ve also committed to working with factories who consciously ensure their manufacturing processes are as sustainable and ethical as our products. We feel this is our obligation as an eco-minded company—and it also helps us pursue our own goal of carbon neutrality.
The second way to strive for a carbon-neutral business? Purchasing carbon offsets.
LET'S TALK CARBON OFFSETTING
Sometimes, it’s difficult for a company to avoid activity that adds to its carbon footprint. For us at Under the Canopy, our own carbon footprint includes product shipments from our suppliers and to you, our customer. So in order to reduce our carbon emissions, we invest funds annually in carbon offsets, environmental projects around the world that help us balance out the greenhouse gases we’re releasing. This means we calculate our carbon emissions related to product shipments during the course of a year and then counteract it by financially supporting the forestry, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects spearheaded by our chosen partner, the nonprofit Carbonfund.org.
We believe these investments make a huge difference in tackling climate change. But what does a donation to a nonprofit like Carbonfund.org really look like? Here are a few ways to visualize the impact.
One dollar reduces 220 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the same as:
- • 248 miles driven by a car
- • The charging of 12,726 smartphones
- • 4.1 propane cylinders used for a home barbeque
- • 4.2 trash bags of waste when landfilled instead of recycled
- • 3.8 incandescent lamps that haven’t been switched to LEDs
Every dollar and every action counts in reducing a carbon footprint and creating a better planet. We’re proud to achieve carbon neutrality…and look forward to the day when all companies—and individuals—will reach this vital goal.
Want to help? This December, Under the Canopy will be backing Carbonfund.org’s Envira Amazonia Project. This tropical forest conservation project near the city of Feijó in Brazil aims to mitigate more than 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions—protecting 500,000 acres of rainforest, preserving native biodiversity, creating local health clinics, and more. As we kick off our Month of Giving, we’re inviting you to contribute to this nonprofit in the form of a $1 or more donation when you make a purchase. Thank you for your consideration and for any contribution you can make to reduce carbon emissions…and help our planet and its people get even closer to a cleaner and healthier 2021.
SHOP CONSCIOUSLY WITH UNDER THE CANOPY