Top 10: companies committed to reducing carbon footprint

By Blaise Hope
These companies understand that they're not simply focusing on the present; they're also investing in the future by implementing carbon offset schemes

Compensating for greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions is the goal of a carbon offset programme. A growing number of carbon offset companies have jumped on board this growingly popular global trend, to invest in environmental projects with the goal of balancing carbon footprints

Future emissions can be reduced through investments in clean energy technologies, tree planting or the purchase and compensation of carbon emissions from emissions trading programmes, which is the primary goal of carbon offset providers. 

There is a vast range of offset providers in terms of their areas of specialisation and charges, and their activities are influenced by where they are located.

10: Green Mountain Energy

Carbon offsets provided by Green Mountain Energy are held to the highest possible standards, reflecting the company's dedication to environmental sustainability and a reduction in the total environmental effect. 

To ensure that the carbon offsets are from credible and vetted third parties, the provider imposes strict quality criteria. Forestry initiatives, wastewater treatment, renewable energy, and landfill methane gas capture are among the key areas of focus for the organisation.

The firm also provides Green-e® Energy certified items to ensure that their solutions are comprehensive and long-lasting. Green Mountain Energy Certified Electricity - TRE is available to commercial customers in Texas, as well as Go Local Solar option for household consumers.

9: Disney

The Walt Disney Company has already established itself as a key player in the voluntary carbon market, and it intends to extend its offset purchasing programme to address indirect emissions from its operations. As a result of Disney's double-digit internal carbon prices, the company has been able to pay above-average prices for new offset projects, particularly in the forestry sector.

By the end of 2022, The Walt Disney Company is committed to having a science-based reduction goal in Scope 3 emissions, which include emissions from its products, service manufacturing and delivery.

8: General Motors

By 2040, General Motors plans to be carbon neutral in all of its global activities and products. The US’ largest automaker intends to decarbonize its portfolio by migrating to zero-emissions vehicle technology, sourcing renewable energy, and using minimum offsets or credits to achieve its objectives.

GM expects to invest in carbon credits or offsets to cover the estimated residual carbon emissions. With time, the most efficient, fair, and inclusive concepts for credit and offset solutions will emerge. 

The organisation understands that offsets must be utilised sparingly and should reflect a holistic approach to minimising the consequences of climate change and helping people throughout the world thrive.

7: Delta

Delta Air Lines has been a major buyer of carbon offsets. Due to its inherent difficulty in decarbonizing, the global aviation industry is one of the hardest to abate. The airline will spend more than $30 million to offset over 10 months during the 2020 period. 

This firm also commits to combating climate change and achieving net-zero greenhouse gases emission by 2050.

As a medium-term goal, they hope to switch to sustainable aviation fuel by 2030 and replace 10% of their present jet fuel. As part of this agreement, Delta has promised to purchase 70 million gallons of sustainable aircraft fuel per year in the near future.

6: Alphabet

As Google’s parent company and several former Google subsidiaries, Alphabet has a lengthy history of purchasing carbon offsets. 

Since 2020, the firm has purchased high-quality carbon offsets to offset Google's complete carbon footprint, including all operating emissions prior to the company becoming carbon neutral in 2007. This means that Google's net carbon impact for the course of its existence is now zero. Alphabet claims they are the first large corporation to accomplish this feat.

An estimated $5 billion in clean energy investments are expected, as well as the reduction of emissions equivalent to the annual use of over 1 million cars and the creation of 8,000 new employment as a result of this initiative.

5: Cemex

Cemex is North America's largest maker of concrete. Vertua, the first-ever net-zero CO2 concrete, was launched by the company in 2020 and is now part of a comprehensive family of products that includes low carbon cement, concrete, as well as aggregates and admixtures worldwide.

Globally, the cement industry is contributing somewhere between 6 and 8% of emissions. To lower the carbon footprint by up to 70%, Vertua concrete neutralises the remaining 30% through offsetting measures. In terms of quality, it produces less heat and fewer cracks.

4: Microsoft

Microsoft achieved carbon neutrality mostly through investments in offsets that focus on avoiding emissions rather than eliminating carbon already emitted. However, they're refocusing their efforts in 2020 with an aggressive strategy to lower Microsoft's own carbon emissions to become carbon negative by 2030

By the middle of this decade, the company will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions to near-zero levels by switching to 100 per cent renewable energy, electrifying the global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030, and pursuing the International Living Future Institute Zero Carbon and LEED Platinum certifications. 

They also began phasing in an internal carbon fee to cover scope 3 emissions in July 2020. This fee is now $15 per metric ton and applies to all scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as scope 3 trip emissions. Each division plays a charge depending on its carbon emissions, which are used to fund sustainability initiatives.

3: Shell

Shell has established a net-zero goal for 2050 and has been bragging about its carbon offsets scheme. Along with increasing gas sales, decreasing oil sales, and expanding into the clean energy sector, Shell will rely on a range of carbon-capture technologies and reduce its own operational emissions.

Through “Nature-based Solutions”, they encompass all actions aimed at regenerating ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, and wetland systems. This may include preventing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as assisting in the sequestration of carbon in so-called 'carbon sinks'. 

Each of these activities results in the biological uptake and storage of carbon - most commonly via the photosynthesis process. These actions have the potential to result in the marketing, trading, and sale of carbon offset credits. They also contribute to the reduction of soil erosion, the protection of wildlife habitats, and the production of products such as timber and biofuels.

2: Honeywell

Honeywell commits to become carbon neutral in their facilities and activities by 2035 and to continue to examine and assess carbon emissions throughout our supply chain, quantifying and mitigating them where practicable. 

Since 2004, the company has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90%. This has been accomplished by incorporating sustainability into our core operating system, resulting in the creation of hundreds of efficiency projects across our operations. They'll take care of the remainder over the next 14 years.

The American multinational corporation that focuses in four areas of business: aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and technologies, and safety and productivity solutions will continue to save energy. By 2035, they plan to reach carbon neutrality through converting to renewable energy sources, electrifying business fleets of vehicles, and utilising credible carbon offsets.

1: JetBlue

JetBlue declared in 2020 that it has fulfilled its objective to become carbon neutral on all domestic flights. JetBlue became the first major airline in the United States to commit to this vital and quantifiable step in reducing its impact on global warming earlier this year and is now the first airline in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality on all domestic flights.

On July 1, the airline began offsetting all domestic flights' carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel. Carbon offsets, according to JetBlue, serve as a bridge to other industry-wide environmental changes, like low-emission fuel. 

As a result, JetBlue is investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), beginning with flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO).


Featured Articles

Sustainability LIVE – More Events to Come in 2024

Sustainability LIVE will be returning with more events in 2024 with New York, London, The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards, and Diversity & Inclusion

Sustainability LIVE New York: Meet Our Speakers

Discover the lineup for Sustainability LIVE New York. Don’t miss out on your chance to attend the two-day virtual event on 3 and 4 June 2024

The Sustainability & ESG Awards Submissions – 1 Week to Go

Just one more week to go until submissions close for The Sustainability & ESG Awards launching at Sustainability LIVE London Global Summit

American Express’s Madge Thomas joins Sustainability LIVE NY


PepsiCo CSO Jim Andrew joins Sustainability LIVE New York


Amy Brachio, EY Joins Sustainability LIVE New York

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)