The New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2006 is Carbon Neutral.
Being carbon neutral involves calculating your total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in “green” technologies such as solar and wind power.
For small and medium size organization, carbon offsets are the easiest way to go carbon neutral—and there are a number of "voluntary carbon markets" (think of them like stock exchanges for carbon emissions) springing up to help. According to a December 5th article in GreenBiz:
The International Emissions Trading Association and World Bank estimate that the market for carbon credits has increased to US$2.3 billion in the first nine months of 2006 and that the overall carbon market is now worth more than US$21.5 billion.
At Strategic Sustainability Consulting, we went carbon-neutral by purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org, and we've been very pleased with their service, credibility, and flexibility.
Want to learn more about carbon offsets, and if they are right for your organization? Email me at Jennifer@sustainabilityconsulting.com for a complimentary consultation!