How to Engage Customers on Climate Change?

Airlines, Utilities, and companies that deliver their product or service by directly burning fossil fuels have a challenge demonstrating sustainability. They have large carbon footprints. Commerce is a collaborative effort. The products and services are sold to customers. That large carbon footprint is in collaboration with their customers. Counteracting that footprint could be a collaboration as well. The flexibility of a method developed by Carbon Xprint provides an opportunity for customers and companies to collaborate.

The Carbon Xprint method quantitatively offsets a carbon footprint with incremental investments in clean energy. The unit cost for these investments match the cost of a ton of carbon. The investment is dedicated to finance certified clean energy projects. To counteract one ton of a carbon footprint, the customer would purchase one unit of the investment.

Utilities know how much energy they deliver and airlines know how many miles are flown. Calculating the carbon footprint that the customers consumed would be easy for these industries. An option to offset this footprint would be included on the bill or at time of purchase. The investment could be through a bank or a bond used to raise capital for the utility or airline’s own renewable energy, energy storage, or energy efficiency project.

The company and the customer collaborate on taking responsibility for the product’s carbon footprint and they collaborate on financing physical assets that transition to a clean energy infrastructure.

Utilities are facing a legal requirement to reduce their carbon footprint. People want to do something but they do not know what to do. Polls from Yale University and the Washington Post show that the majority of people are willing to pay if something would be done about climate change. With this method, customers balance their carbon footprint by directing a portion of their savings. It is not a sacrifice.

Investment in clean energy is needed. The IEA estimates that $44 trillion is needed by 2050 to keep the average global temperatures below a 2 degree Celsius rise. This investment is estimated to produce $115 trillion in fuel savings. Unlike the carbon mitigation strategies of a carbon tax, cap-and-trade, and renewable energy credits, this method finances new clean energy and moves mitigation forward.

Commerce is a collaboration that benefits both parties of the transaction. Carbon mitigation can be a collaborative effort as well. One that benefits customers, companies, and mankind.


Originally published at on November 12, 2015.