Carbon credits are big news in the current climate of a desire for a sustainable future and the latest Cop26 warning of the dangers we face as a planet if we don’t make a radical change to our way of life immediately. The global carbon market is something to consider, but what are carbon credits? How do carbon credits work? And how can you make use of carbon credits when working with suppliers, such as plant hire companies in the UK?
More companies, throughout many different sectors, have begun to explore the merits of carbon offsetting and the use of carbon credits when selling products and services to their clients and customers. Within the plant hire industry in the UK for example, some plant leasing companies have added carbon credits to the contracts of leasing machinery and equipment to clients. If you sign an agreement to hire some machinery, you can agree to allocate carbon credits towards projects that offset the carbon that will be created by your purchase. An example of this would be companies that say they will plant one tree for every product sold.
Businesses can purchase carbon credits that are generated through projects that are aimed at cleaning up the environment and our atmosphere. The idea is that these projects compensate, or offset, any emissions that are yet to be created. There are, of course, some carbon offsetting projects that have been dubious in the past, so be sure to check the credentials of any company you purchase from that offers carbon credits or links to carbon offsetting projects. When done well, and in conjunction with a real, sustainable approach to changing the culture of an organization to think about the environment in all processes, it can be a good thing to sign up to.
Some carbon credits are used as part of reduction schemes, where processes are improved to cut emissions moving forward. This can be seen in the creation of new renewable energy projects. Whereas removal projects look at how to absorb or eliminate greenhouse gases, such as reforestation.
It isn’t enough to just offer carbon offsetting as part of the process of ‘normal’ activities and transactions between companies and customers, however. Real, sustainable changes must be made within companies and within industries. Without big corporations and government change, the world will not have a brighter future, but that’s not to say carbon credits and a shift in culture and mentality at a smaller level can’t be a positive thing. If you work in an industry where plant hire is a necessity, choose to work with companies that have a genuine, well-thought-out carbon strategy, where you can see the latest models of vehicles and equipment are used, where carbon emissions are being lowered and all practices are geared towards sustainability and a lowering of the carbon footprint of the organization. This is a positive start to your own journey to make a difference to the future of our planet.