Companies, celebrities, states even countries are citing plans to be carbon neutral by a certain date. Does this mean they have completely eliminated their carbon emissions? In most cases, No. What they have done is purchase carbon offsets.
With a carbon offset, an entity can pay someone else to remove a specific quantity of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. That could involve financing a wind turbine generator to displace fossil fuels, replanting trees, or supporting a renewable energy program in a country on the other side of the world. It does not necessarily mean that the company has taken any steps to reduce their own footprint in their own backyard.
We’re not questioning the validity of the projects which sell the offsets, actually, such programs can help generate income in economically challenged areas. But, at a time when climate change is making such a direct and significant impact on our world, the idea of paying someone else to clean up the environment without changing your own behavior doesn’t make much sense. So, when someone claims to be Carbon Neutral – do your research. Have they really reduced their emissions – or are they paying someone else to do it?
At Copalli Rum, we don’t believe in just buying offsets. We believe in action. Our commitment at this time is to take responsibility for our own production and reduce our footprint through our actions. That is not to say that at some point in the future we won’t supplement our efforts through specific offsets, and if we make that decision, we’ll be upfront about it. But purchasing offset credits will never be the primary source of our impact management.