Category: Blog

What is carbon offset?

So what does carbon offset really means? And why has this become such a popular tool when it comes to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions? Let’s look into the concept to get a better understanding of what it means and how it is used.  


Carbon offset – the definition
First things first. Carbon offset is not a new concept. But in the last couple of years it has become an increasingly popular way of taking responsibility for one’s emissions. First, you calculate how much CO2 you want to neutralise. It might be the emissions for a flight for example. Then you buy “offset” for that amount of CO2, meaning you pay to decrease or omit those emissions elsewhere. So instead of making changes that would decrease your own emissions, you pay to reduce emissions elsewhere, where it may be cheaper to do such reductions. There are currently many projects all over the world, with the purpose to reduce CO2 emissions. These projects are financed by people and organisation buying carbon offset.


Is carbon offsetting good or bad?
There have been many discussions about carbon offsetting. There has also been quite a few scandals around the actual offset projects. Some have been mismanaged, others not efficient as carbon sinks and some has even destroyed local environments.

And is carbon offset good for the climate? Some say yes, as we are then decreasing emissions where it makes the most economic sense. Others say no, as the phenomenon makes it seem ok to continue with the emissions here, where we if fact need to rapidly decrease them everywhere.

So what should we then think of carbon offsetting? Our stance, and many with us, is to reduce all the emissions we possibly can ourselves. For the emissions that are still left, it seems reasonably to buy carbon offset – but from certified and monitored carbon offset projects.

We do need to change our behaviours to decrease emissions as rapidly as we must, and carbon offset shouldn’t be a way to avoid of even postpone that important work. But there’s more – when you do those necessary reductions, you’ll see that often you also end up saving som money! Good for you and good for the planet!

Learn More

Carbon Footprint – What is it ?

You’ve probably heard about CO2 emissions in relation to climate change before…?  

Well, there is a reason for bringing that up over and over… Simply put, CO2 (carbondioxid or “carbon”) is the most common greenhouse gas emitted by humans – with devastating effects on our climate. Therefore, we need to talk about carbon footprints and how to lower them. It’s essential for our planet and all life on earth! And the latter, we believe, is a pretty good reason.


Carbon footprint – the simple definition
What is the definition of carbon footprint? Well, the carbon footprint of a specific activity equals all the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions created by that activity, converted into carbon dioxide equivalents. This could for instance be the GHG emissions created from a certain product, an organisation or even an individual. For products, the whole life cycle is taken into account everything from getting the materials, creating the product, shipping, using it and handling the waste. The carbon footprint of an individual is a subject well debated. 70% of all global emissions are due to private consumption and changes on the individual level is therefore of great importance for lowering the global carbon emissions. 

When talking about individual change, the carbon footprint is sometimes mixed up with the ecological footprint. Even though the two are closely related (the carbon footprint makes up as much as 60 percent of humanity’s total ecological footprint), the ecological footprint itself consists of other important factors beyond the carbon footprint (water usage, biodiversity impact etc.). 


The Paris Agreement – 2 Degree Target
As climate change is not only a problem for the future, but a present one, everyone around the world needs to engage in true climate action. The Paris Agreement made it clear that each country has a responsibility to lower their respective carbon footprint striving to achieve the “well below 2 degrees” target. This means, among other things, working with and implementing a switch to green energy. But policy makers aren’t solely responsible for taking climate action. Other actors in society, including us individuals, share that responsibility.

Learn More

What is the Paris Agreement?

Since the conference of the parties in 2015 which was held in Paris, the term “Paris agreement” has become a global and well-known expression. Let’s take a step back to be able to understand why the Paris agreement, often referred to as the Paris climate accord – L’accord de Paris – is considered to be groundbreaking for humanity and the climate.


COP – the conference of the parties
First thing first, what does COP stand for and what does it really mean? Well, COP is the shortening for The conference of the parties on climate change, a UN convention led by UNFCCC, which was founded in 1994. The first convention was held in 1995 in Berlin and has since then been held every year in different countries all around the world, where all the member states are invited to discuss how to handle the alarming issue of climate change. 

For a longer period than we might think, climate change has been on the global agenda but often without moving forward in the question. This has been an issue during COP. But at COP 25 in Paris, a lot of hard work finally resulted in the now famous and groundbreaking Paris agreement!


The importance of the Paris agreement
The year was 2015 and 196 countries were gathered in Paris to discuss how to tackle climate change and how to collaborate around the very much required emission cuts. There were high hopes to actually agree on a strategy for the climate but there had been disappointments before. 

But this time the 196 countries came together and signed a global agreement to tackle climate change and set the world on the right course. One key success factor was a decision to work with a bottom-up model where each nation would decide for themselves on how to lower their national emissions, instead of a top-down. Common goals were decided, along with them, the well-known 2 degree target keeping global warming well below two degrees above pre-industrialized levels, striving to keep it under 1.5 degree celsius.

But how will this then work you might wonder? Well, it was decided that each nation was to set up their own strategies on how to lower their national emissions to achieve the goal which was to be presented in what is called the nationally determined contributions, NDCs. In addition there would also be a stocktake every fifth year to review the collective progress towards reaching the aim of the agreement and to inform about further measures to be taken on a national level.

So now to the question we all want the answer to – will it work? The Paris agreement is groundbreaking agreement. 196 countries participated, they agreed on a common goal, changed the system and took responsibility both globally and nationally. But of course there is a lot more to do and it will be of great importance that each individual nation take the agreement seriously. Therefore it will be of greatest interest to see where we are in 2023 when the first stocktake is held.

The world is counting on the Paris agreement. Now that we have the tool let us use it in the best way possible to save coming generations and life on earth. 

Learn More

Yes! Engage your employees in a more sustainable living

In this post, we explain why you should engage your employees in a more sustainable lifestyle and share three different ways you can get started.

Why should a company engage in the lifestyle of their employees? Seems a strange thing to do? Well yes, talking about a more sustainable living of your employees gets you thinking about surveillance systems and not being allowed to eat what you want. The horror! But that would be taking a very authoritarian view on what a company can ask of an employee…  

In reality, companies already heavily influence the lifestyles of their employees in everything from when we get out of bed in the morning, to how stressed we are, how we use our bodies and what money we have for consumption and savings. 

Instead, it turns out that bringing sustainability into the conversation at work is actually a positive experience, says 85% of survey participants. In fact, staff expect from their employers that they take action on climate and 65% state they want to be active in that work.1  

Opening up for a conversation about sustainability for individuals, for the workplace and for the planet as a whole, creates a very engaging and positive experience for your employees. But there are more! 

3 arguments for why you should engage your employees in a more sustainable living

Foster green innovation within the company

The world is moving fast and the green transition will only accelerate in the coming years. For your company to stay on top, you will have to rethink business model, cater for changing consumption behaviours and demands, reorganise sales and distribution etc etc. So you will need your team to really understand what is happening here. And there is no stronger way to understand something, than to connect it to your own reality, to your own lifestyle.

 

There are a few stepstones to make this happen in a non-intrusive way while creating room for innovation: 

  • create internal awareness of your sustainability work to date. Many projects are already in progress and your employees need to know about them to be able to contribute. 
  • educate personnel in understanding the complexity of the question and how individuals, communities, 
  • companies and government policy all fit into this.  
  • emphasize that you are doing this together. Talking about the consequences of climate change can be 
  • overwhelming and create a lot of anxiety. By showing that your company takes this seriously and works for a better tomorrow, will create a sense of belonging and purpose.  
  • invite your team to participate in identifying ideas on how to improve and accelerate. The people close to the problem can often provide simple and easy insights and solutions. 

Improve your sustainability performance and activate a larger customer base

Every sector of the global economy needs to transform and radically decarbonise in just over two business cycles.2 And there’s an increase in consumer demand for sustainable products and services.  

For your company this means creating space for more innovation and better understanding of customers’ needs. With your team keeping a high focus on this, you will be able to create better products and services suited for the future. The fast-changing landscape requires more collaborative work and a common understanding within the whole of your company of the problems and opportunities. And who knows, if you’re fast enough you may gain a competitive advantage! 

Your customers will be equally appreciative as your personnel for you taking action so spread the word of your progress and you will be seen as a role-model for your industry activating a larger community of existing and potential customers. 

Engage and retain your personnel

Ok, so now your team is well-informed and ready to innovate and improve your sustainability performance. But do they like it? Yes, creating a common understanding around sustainability seems to create loyalty and trust with the employees. Our customer surveys show that 85% of the participants are happy or very happy that their employer is engaging them in sustainability. 3 

Companies today are struggling to keep key personnel and recruit new talents. When working-from-home becomes the new norm, we need renewed efforts on engaging our employees in the challenges and opportunities that the company faces.

 

And it’s fun to do something great for the climate! It’s fun to try out new stuff, to feel part of a solution, a community and to contribute! So do good stuff and celebrate it – in return your employees will stay with you and create a stronger company. 

 

How to engage your employees in a more sustainable living in 3 different ways

  • Create awareness around climate change, emission levels and climate footprints and how this affects your business, society and the individuals. 
  • Create learnings so as to understand the amplitude of change required, the urgency of the situation, what one individual person/company/society can do and why it matters. In this context, we find that it is important to make it fun. This simple shift in talking about the very dire theme of climate change, makes a big difference. Don’t use shaming, that will turn people away from your initiative. Human beings learn the most when we are having fun. (Source) So make it fun and easy to participate in the learnings…  
  • Create action! This is where the magic happens, because learnings become knowledge when we start changing our behaviours and do things differently. Start small, focus on the low-hanging fruits: a veggie lunch, biking to work maybe? Then onto something more difficult: bring up a more sensitive topic during dinner, or with a business partner. There are hundreds and hundreds of things we can do. There are easy and difficult things, low-impact and high-impact, short-term and long-term, money-saving and health-increasing things. You choose. What we have found is that it always starts by doing something, a first step. Once you have started, doing the next step is easier and then all of a sudden you are looking at this topic differently. You have started to act for the climate and make a positive impact. 

Deedster Challenge – a Team building Activity

We have brought all of these 3 aspects together into one experience. In our service Deedster Challenge, we create a 4-6 week long team building activity and challenge where we guide your teams through an engaging, fun and interesting experience using our mobile app. Together with your internal and external communications department, we create the material required before, during and after the challenge and create room for the celebration at the end! 

It’s not easy to create change and drive a transition towards a sustainable society, but we at Deedster want to be a part in that journey. We have worked with behavioural scientists and academia in design and sustainability as well as the experts at WWF Sweden and a team of phenomenal app- and backend developers and UX-designers to create Deedster. Our mission is to involve everyone in true climate action and it would be an honour to work also with your team.  

So we ask of you to engage your employees in a more sustainable living. We do this because it is urgent and because we see that this initiative is accelerating change. The climate crisis requires many of us to engage on a personal level as well as on a professional level. We are all inhabitants of this world, so let’s help each other in protecting it. 

Learn More