But going carbon neutral isn't just for the big guys. No matter the size of your company, going carbon neutral can save you money and potentially give your business a competitive advantage.
Let's explore the carbon-neutral craze, starting with the basic connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. Then we'll help you figure out how much carbon your business emits, known as your carbon footprint.
Carbon Dioxide Basics
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a normal part of the air, but it's also one of the major greenhouse gases. At normal levels, CO2 traps some heat in the earth's atmosphere and lets some escape. (This process is known as the greenhouse effect.) But high levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases trap too much heat in the earth's atmosphere. By burning fossil fuels like oil and coal, we're increasing the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere, causing global warming.
By going carbon neutral, companies, countries and presidential candidates try to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by balancing their emissions with equal reductions in CO2.
But it's not just a feel-good exercise. By reducing your company's consumption of electricity, fuel and resources like paper, you'll reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs, as several large companies have done.
What's more, as increasing numbers of consumers seek out environmentally friendly products and services, and large companies strive to green their supply chains, carbon neutral companies become hot commodities.
Figuring Out Your Carbon Footprint