What is the climate impact of a small business and why is now the time to act on it?

Monday, February 22, 2021

This blog post comes packed with ideas on how you can reduce your carbon footprint as a small business owner. The writer, Anna Pakkala, works with Compensate's partners to make compensating easy for everyone.


In the past year, global CO2 emissions fell by 7% due to the global pandemic. Part of this is thanks to the dramatic shift in our working lives. As office space has become redundant for many and getting to meetings no longer requires taxis and airplanes, many businesses’ operational carbon footprints have also fallen.

However, there are some trade-offs: As we have started to accept that some business travel really can be replaced with virtual meetings, this has also increased demand on digital services and video streaming. This means higher digital carbon footprints for many knowledge workers. And as we shift our consumption more and more online, emissions from last mile logistics may also balloon.

If you’re looking to make your business operations more climate-friendly, the mantra should always be to first reduce CO2 emissions where you can. But in today’s working environment, especially for companies selling services, it can feel like there is nothing left to cut back on. 

When your home is your office, and your work day mainly consists of jumping from one video call to the next, is there any way left to be more climate friendly?

Yes, there is!

For individuals, the biggest sources of CO2 emissions come from eating, living and moving. The building blocks of a small business’ carbon footprint are actually pretty similar. 

Where the company “lives” and how its employees and products move around are some key categories to consider. What you put into your products and how you package them (or, what you need to perform the services your business provides) should also be considered. For many, this may not be physical “ingredients”, but digital services, especially if most of your team’s day is spent sitting at a computer.

When looking to make your business operations more climate-friendly, these three: space, travel and “ingredients” are some key areas to start with to reduce emissions. 

Are there switches you can make to deliver the same value – or more – with less emissions? In addition to smaller offices and less travel, efficient packaging or greener methods of transportation can be a start to transforming or improving your products’ carbon footprint.

But what about the rest?

For the emissions you can’t avoid, consider compensating for them. Especially for small businesses, the cost is often minimal: for the price of a cup of coffee and a lunch, a remote consultant could be carbon negative for a year!

And you don’t have to navigate the carbon capture standards alone: at Compensate, we carefully curate a portfolio that ensures the most reliable and cost effective climate impact for your compensation funds. We also direct 100% of the compensation funds to carbon capture.

Easy tools to get started

Understanding, compensating and tracking your business’ carbon footprint should be as easy as possible – especially when you’re a small business. Our Compensate Plus service lets you do just that. Choose which calculators you want to use and calculate the carbon footprint of your office (whatever that may look like), your use of digital services and/or travel and logistics for your business. Once you know where your CO2 emissions come from, you’re on track to reduce them even more! 

The climate needs all of us – and for businesses, it can be a source of competitive advantage. So don’t wait: start your journey to carbon negative today.


Psst! For a limited time, you can try out our Compensate Plus service for free for 14 days – you only pay if you start compensating.

For the emissions you can’t avoid, consider compensating for them. Especially for small businesses, the cost is often minimal: for the price of a cup of coffee and a lunch, a remote consultant could be carbon negative for a year!

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