Sustainability is an important issue for companies across industries, but it is a particularly high priority in the energy and utilities sector. As energy and utility companies work to make their operations more climate-friendly, many rely on carbon offset credits.
When organizations are unable to reduce their own carbon footprints, they can buy carbon offset credits. Each credit represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide that is either kept from being released into the atmosphere or removed by a carbon-reduction project, such as reforestation, carbon-storing agricultural practices, or waste and landfill management. This supports purchasers of carbon offset credits in meeting their sustainability goals, even if their own operations are not yet as green as they’d like.
Demand for Environmental Sustainability and Governance options are growing. The market for carbon offsets could be worth more than $50 billion by 2030. In years past, technology innovation and sustainability initiatives have not always been closely aligned, but that is changing. ESG models are providing performance-based indicators for companies to track progress toward their goals.
“As it is now recognized, environmental degradation diminishes the capacity of the planet to sustain economic development, and sustainable economic development and environmental protection therefore cannot anymore be in conflict, as both are needed for improved human well-being,” Nick Voulvoulis, professor of environmental technology at Imperial College London, tells Euronews. “This means that tech innovation cannot omit the issue of sustainability, but again innovation alone is not enough.”
Many energy and utility companies are taking advantage of technology solutions that employ tactics such as carbon offset credits and informal carbon reduction exchange practices to reduce their environmental footprints and achieve their sustainability goals.
LEARN MORE: How CDW helps organizations use technology to achieve their sustainability goals.
Hardware Can Improve Sustainability for Energy and Utility Companies
Technology vendors have taken significant steps to help companies reduce their carbon footprints. They support this objective by creating carbon-neutral products and including carbon offsets as a part of product purchases.
For example, ASUS recently launched the world’s first carbon neutral-verified business laptop, along with other sustainable tools. Through its Carbon Partner Services, ASUS enables companies to opt int o an offset purchase that compensates for any emissions associated with the purchase of their other products.
Similarly, HP's CarbonNeutral Product Certification program brings some of the company’s devices to carbon-zero through offsets and reductions. Its Carbon Neutral Computing Services also provide pathways to carbon neutrality — either “to the door” (hardware that’s carbon-neutral up to delivery) or “lifecycle” (hardware that remains carbon-neutral through its lifecycle), helping customers maintain their own sustainability goals.
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Technology That Enables Carbon Offsets
Technology tools are also instrumental in the actual generation of carbon credits, which are tracked and recorded electronically so that project managers, carbon offset retailers and customers can ensure the same metric ton of reduced carbon emissions isn’t claimed by multiple parties. Tracking methods vary, but some systems rely on blockchain, and companies such as Intel are working toward creating greener blockchains that can make the very creation of offsets a carbon-neutral proposition.
Artificial intelligence and other technologies support data collection related to carbon offset credits, enabling the industry to continually evolve and optimize. Some technology companies boast offset-specific data management tools. IBM’s Envizi ESG Suite helps customers manage all emissions data, including offset credits. Microsoft’s Environmental Credit Service boosts transparency and tracking, helping instill customer confidence in the veracity of carbon credits.
Whether your company is at the beginning or middle of its carbon reduction projects, these these digital technologies can help organizations get closer to achieving their climate goals.