Today, I heard yet another tree planting project pitched to me with great eagerness from a marketing director. I think my reaction was telling. It’s like when you every Christmas got that sweater from your grandma and you really wished it was Lego – you just put on that face.

What’s your take on carbon offsetting? From a marketing point of view, I think it’s absolutely useless. I haven’t come across one program that’s been even slightly successful at involving people around offsetting. Do share one that excites you? What concerns me even more is the tokenism of carbon offsetting. It’s a corporate distraction and in most instances a concerted effort to avoid tackling the real problem.

All that effort and money could have been used at investing in real tangible change. For every dollar spent on talking about tree projects or offsetting, what about enabling your customers to lower their footprint. And for every dollar invested in off-setting – invest in real carbon-reducing innovation.

I see start-ups and innovators all the time that need your help, budgets and attention. Take Pipistrel Aircraft on a mission to electrify flying and has already a small electric plane on its wings called Velis Electro.

Or take banking. Doconomy, Mathias Wikström and team are revolutionising how the financial sector (and beyond) can offer carbon transparency to people’s consumption.

Or if you’re in the building sector or doing interior design, why not check-out CarbonCraft by Tejas Sidnal and his team.

Or if you truly want to tackle one of the biggest carbon polluters in the world: agriculture. I got two for you. Regenerative agriculture unlocks a massive potential in using the soil as a carbon sink and the less intensive production method benefits nature and biodiversity. What’s not to like? Finish vodka, Koskenkorva (Anora Group Plc), has launched an extensive effort to convert its farmers to regenerative farming and even launched a 100% regeneratively farmed vodka called Climate Action Vodka.

Why not get more companies to go regenerative – or educate people on its benefits?

Or take Mootral, Thomas Hafner and his team offer a feed supplement that removes up to 18% of methane, the highly potent greenhouse gas, from livestock. That’s putting an end to the pollution at its source, not trying to clean up the mess afterwards. Or lastly, if you really want to get rid of that carbon, there is a natural way of removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in rocks as nature has done for billions of years.

The start-up 44.01 and Talal Hasan and his team have their eyes set out on removing up to 1 billion tons of carbon that way. All, I ask, let’s think twice before we choose the easy route of carbon offsetting. Urgent action is needed, not tokenism offsetting marketing innovation sustainability carbonreduction climateinnovations


© 2020 Thomas Kolster. All Rights Reserved.

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