The World Land Trust is aiming to sign up 365 businesses to its Carbon Balancing service in its 1st year. It is currently the only charity offering a free carbon audit service and carbon offsets and has been at the forefront of carbon issues since 2002 when it hosted a seminar for the corporate market.
The World Land Trust will outline the benefits of carbon balancing to businesses at a launch on 8 March 2005 at Rainforest Cafe, London.
A focus on climate change, anticipated legislation and, this year, the UKs presidency of G8 make this an area of growing importance. Tackling carbon emissions is becoming a significant driver for businesses of all sizes, especially those that are responding to customer demand for responsible and ethical practices.
Key business advantages of carbon balancing include:
Understanding and implementing reductions in carbon emissions means ultimately reducing the amount of energy used.This represents a direct and measurable saving in expenditure for organisations.
It is widely recognised that a good sustainable business means a good profitable business. 80% of the Financial Times Global 500 companies now explicitly acknowledge the importance of climate change as a business risk (Business for Social Responsibility).
88% of British employees believe it is important that the company they work for is committed to living its values. Employee advocacy doubles if involved with corporate community initiatives.
Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about the consequences of global climate change. Multinationals, such as Virgin and HSBC, are leading the way with schemes to reduce and offset their emission, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral. 44% of European consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally and socially responsible products (MORI).
This year, the UK holds the presidency of G8. The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, has stated his wish to focus on the challenges of climate change (and Africa) during this presidency.
According to Environics 2001, a company's responsibility to society, environmental and labour practices are all seen as more important that its economic contribution in the eyes of the public across 20 countries.
A business which places importance on its environmental and social performance is attractive to investors according to more than 50 of analysts and 2/3 of investors.
The scope of businesses required to make emissions reductions will have to increase in order to meet the worldwide emissions reductions target of 5% on 1990 levels by 2012. Preparation for these targets now can ease the transition into future schemes and save money in the long run.
The World Land Trust has launched a dedicated website for businesses wanting to find out more about carbon balancing in general (www.carbonbalanced.org/corporate). There is also an online audit facility, and details of how companies can work with the World Land Trust towards becoming carbon neutral.
The official launch takes place at 11 am on Tuesday, March 8th 2005 at the Rainforest Cafe, 20-24 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1.