How to Make Carbon Offsets More Popular: Panel at Sustainable Brands London
A recent report by Ecosystem Marketplace found that just 14% of companies reporting to the CDP incorporate carbon offsets into their sustainability strategies. The survey also compared companies’ actions around five other carbon footprint mitigation activities and found that offsetters are more engaged in direct emissions reduction activities than non-offsetters. Further, a 2014 report by the Gold Standard found that a single clean cookstove carbon offset delivers USD$151 in additional social and economic benefits. Yet, many companies struggle to communicate the value of offset purchases to their constituents.
In partnership with the Gold Standard Foundation and Code REDD, the Alliance hosted a panel entitled How to Make Carbon Offsets More Popular: The Evolution of Effective Messaging Tactics at the Sustainable Brands conference in London on November 17. Sustainable Brands’ goal is to inspire, engage and equip today's business and brand leaders to lead on sustainability. Moderated by Jen Tweddell, the panel featured representatives from leading offsetting brands Jaguar Land Rover and Marks & Spencer, who shared best practices within their own companies in communicating carbon offsetting, both internally and externally.
Key insights shared by the panelists included:
- Keep messages simple and focus on aligning messages to the business objectives and activities.
- Communicate the social and environmental impacts to bring the projects to life.
- It’s important to have rigorous reporting and verification on offsetting projects but when it comes to messaging, storytelling is more important than statistics.
- Engaging employees is important. For Jaguar Land Rover involving employees in their sustainability program and visiting projects first hand has helped to create a network of corporate social responsibility ambassadors for the business. For more details you can view the video below.