There are now a bountiful amount of carbon offsetting businesses popping up all over the internet. All offer multiple packages with different levels of offsetting credentials. But does offsetting actually mean? Is offsetting alone enough to combat climate change?
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsets compensates for your harmful carbon footprint by paying for a project to reduce the equivalent emissions somewhere else, for example replacing a coal-fire electricity plant with wind turbines, or planting trees to sequester carbon. Because emissions are dispersed throughout the atmosphere, this compensates for the carbon footprint you weren’t able to reduce.
Is offsetting for your website carbon emissions enough?
The short answer is, we don’t think so. In our opinion, offsetting is a great addition to a well rounded carbon reduction, neutral or positive plan. There are so many companies out there offering these types of services now that it can be difficult to know if what you’re putting your money into is actually going to have any real return in terms of prolonged carbon reduction.
Offsetting is a great addition to a well rounded carbon reduction, neutral or positive plan
We believe there are a number of things that should be done alongside offsetting for a properly sustainable web. Here are a few:
- Moving your website(s) to a green hosting provider – one that uses renewable energy to power their servers
- Adding a CDN to your website(s) – again that uses renewable energy where possible to power the server network (find out more about CDNs)
- Optimise all images used on the website(s) you run – as well as reducing the overall size and number of images where possible
- Apply sustainable design techniques into your work
.. There are many more things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint across both business and personal life. But here we’re focussing on the websites you create.
If you work on adding as many of these into your working practices, adding carbon offsetting for the carbon you cannot reduce, then you’re onto a great path for more sustainable websites.