In case you missed it. Carbon part one defined carbon emissions and revealed how the term carbon footprint was an attempt to manipulate the public and shift responsibility away from big industries. Carbon part two touched on the business of carbon offsets and the complexities related reforestation and other offset programs. This week we look into the next layer of social responsibility with terms Carbon Neutral, Carbon Negative and Climate Positive.
Carbon neutral is defined as having no net addition of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is often achieved with carbon offsets that counter balance emissions. To be fair this is no simple task. First, it requires understanding what your carbon emissions are; the carbon footprint of each product, the energy required to produce that specific product, to distribute it, all the emissions associated with the materials sourced for it, and emissions associated with the basic running of the business. Then, finding a legitimate program to purchase carbon credits and ongoing audits for carbon offset certificates. The certification Climate Neutral currently has 247 brands certified carbon neutral, together measuring and offsetting 681,953 tonnes of carbon last year. This takes commitment and we are always grateful to companies willing to take these extra steps.
Carbon negative and climate positive are similar, going beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions, by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fast Company wrote a great article in 2018 on the topic, read it here. Some companies factor into their carbon footprint the customer's carbon emissions and offset that to be climate positive.
The private sector alone cannot solve climate change and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a good example of cities stepping up. Launched in 2009 cities around the world are members committed to initiate climate positive initiatives within their circle of influence. Success stories are then shared as best practices for other cities to implement. The C40 Annual Report 2020 is an inspiring read. Check it out to see if your city is involved.
As conscious consumers we have power, big business is starting to listen and social entrepreneurs are the industry disrupters we need to keep our planet thriving, but without government support and regulation companies committed to saving our planet are swimming upstream. We show our strength with the products we purchase and companies we choose to do business with. Many start ups are creating a business foundation based on good stewardship and we will continue to share by adding relevant products to our website. We also showcase companies here in our Doing it Right section each week, and we will continue to share books in our Inspiring Reads section. Keep scrolling and leave a comment below if you have a question, opinion, idea for a future article, favorite company or book.
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Responsible living is more than just caring about the environment. Woven into the ethos is taking a stand for social equity and East Fork Pottery has been fully committed to that from day one. Partnering with community outreach organizations to stretch outside their comfort zone; always paying employees a living wage, they are now working towards increasing wages to a family living wage. Receiving their Carbon Neutral Certification in April has been another huge milestone. All these steps and more have earned them B Corporation Certification, read about the journey here. Instead of seeing this accomplishment as the finish line, they view it as an inspiration for making additional changes. Reading East Fork's About Page was part of our inspiration for starting The Savvy Elephant. AND we haven't even touched on how stunning and beautiful their pottery is! See for yourself by clicking through to the East Fork Website.
With temperatures unnaturally warm the last few weeks here are some books to read in front of your air conditioner.
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