The Business of Climate Change in 2022
To say that a lot happened in 2021 would be an understatement. From “once in a lifetime” massive winter storms and widespread blackouts in Texas, to the continued drought, fires, and extreme weather events plaguing seemingly every part of the country.
All told, the United States experienced 18 billion-dollar weather disasters in the first nine months of 2021, totaling more than $104 billion.
But it wasn’t just America dealing with these types of events — the entire world suffered through the impacts of climate change last year in ways that hadn’t quite ever been seen before. In 2021, climate change simply refused to be ignored.
And thankfully, it wasn’t — businesses, governments, and individuals stepped up to take climate action like never before last year. The loudest theme of 2021 involved the number of organizations making climate commitments by voluntarily taking steps to reduce the impact of their business.
For example, Cool Effect partners with a business whose main purpose is to transport life-saving organs — for obvious reasons, anything other than direct shipping (which has the highest carbon footprint) simply isn’t an option for them. So in 2021, they stepped up to account for these transportation-related emissions with quality, Carbon Done Correctly offsets.
We have hundreds of stories like these, stories of organizations stepping up to do their part for the planet. We help businesses of all shapes and sizes work to reduce their emissions, and the amount of them who are ready to get off the sidelines and start taking action has never been higher.
And action is the key word here if we’re going to continue following through on 2021’s forward momentum. While the Biden administration has faced a number of challenges to its climate agenda at home last year, countries around the world made climate action pledges in record numbers at COP26. Thanks to this onslaught of company announcements in Glasgow, “net zero” dominated sustainability conversations as we closed out 2021. Corporations, organizations, and governments of all kinds are increasingly pledging to reduce their emissions as close to zero as possible, with a deadline of 2050.
So now that those pledges and promises have been made, and the dust from 2021 has settled, it’s time to get to work. Pledges and promises are great, but to really make an impact on the fight against climate change this year, those words are going to need to be backed up with some serious action.
Organizations would do well in 2022 to follow the lead of our 500,000+ strong Cool Effect community, who stepped up in 2021 to close out the year in an inspiring fashion. The number of people purchasing a personal offset through Cool Effect increased 317% in Q4, while people offsetting their travel doubled.
Overall, donations directed toward our Carbon Done Correctly projects increased by 164% in 2021. The Cool Effect community is simply not content with talking the talk — they’re also committed to walking the walk. That kind of commitment is contagious, which is what has us so hopeful for what 2022 will bring.
Businesses in 2022 are looking to make a meaningful impact, not only with carbon credits but also with their broader ESG goals. Just this week, the world’s largest asset manager — with over $10 trillion dollars under management — provided their clients with an investment framework on how to navigate the planet’s transition to net zero emissions. “Today there is a significant degree of uncertainty about the transition,” they write. “The issue, however, is no longer whether the net zero transition will happen but how.” In short, reducing carbon emissions is no longer a hindrance to your bottom line or a “nice to have” part of a growth strategy — it’s now a mandatory part of any organization’s long term business plans.
This means more than just setting targets, organizations also need to lay out clear paths to reach these goals, and they need to do it ASAP. They need to act with urgency, as scientists say the world needs to reduce emissions drastically by 2050 to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
According to a recent report from Greenbiz, businesses who don’t act now to reduce their emissions could also suffer tremendous financial costs and implications for their inaction and delays.
When it comes to actually taking action for the planet, there is no shortage of options for any business, individuals and organization to make a tangible impact of their own. Whether it’s increasing energy efficiencies at your home or place of business or simply focusing on traveling better, there are myriad ways to reduce your impact on the planet — but we also understand that for most, reaching that “net-zero” goal isn’t possible without some help.
That’s why Cool Effect is committed to continuing to showcase the tangible impact that continued action and carbon offset purchases have on its portfolio of carbon reducing projects in 2022. Carbon finance is a lifeline for these projects and notably, communities in need across the globe. Highlights from last year include:
- The Giving Trees: In 2021, this project has grown to 120,000 farmers in 4 countries who have planted over 22,300,000 trees. In total 7,800,000 metric tons of CO2 have been sequestered over the life of the project. All while returning 70% of proceeds after costs to the farmers.
- Watering the West: Foresters focus on sustainable forest management including thinning of trees. See first-hand the benefits and positive impact of proper forest management with this video of a portion of the Bootleg fire in South Central Oregon. In 2021, these credits certainly did not go up in smoke.
- Breath of Fresh Air: Now more than 1 million people benefit from cleaner air in rural Honduras. After 2 hurricanes and COVID, the project is at more than full capacity, building a third more stoves than ever before. The project has also created 26 microenterprises and 212 jobs.
Carbon offsets are never going to be a singular solution to the problem of climate change, but they’re an important tool that shouldn’t be ignored. With Carbon Done Correctly, businesses, organizations and individuals can rest assured that their donations to carbon projects like these will not only benefit the planet, they’ll benefit the people and places that need it most.
In the fight against climate change, every moment matters, and 2022 is a big moment — one that we’re ready to rise up and meet together with action.