Carbon offsets are a great way to reduce your impact on global climate change. Alongside emissions reduction, many organizations that choose offsetting are also keen to promote co-benefits such as environmental and public health improvements in local communities.
It’s not so well known that progressive carbon offsets can also deliver positive social impacts such as reducing poverty and creating sustainable jobs. So how can progressive offset projects help improve the livelihoods of local people?
How Do Offset Projects Deliver Social Benefits?
The very best carbon offset projects can stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty levels in local communities.
Renewable energy offset projects, for example, can often deliver cheaper, more reliable electricity to communities in underdeveloped and rural areas. The money saved on household energy costs can help lift families out of poverty, and businesses may start up or be encouraged to move into the area to take advantage of the improved energy supply.
The installation, operation, and maintenance of an energy generation plant can create both short and long-term employment for local people. A renewable biomass offset project that uses crop residues also creates sustainable demand in the biomass supply chain, so local farmers benefit from extra income by selling their agricultural waste.
What Other Types of Sustainable Projects Improve Livelihoods?
It’s not only renewable energy offset projects that can deliver positive social impacts. Clean water offset projects can also improve people’s livelihoods.
Communities without access to clean water typically use wood stoves to boil water to make it safe for drinking. Collecting wood for fuel – as well as collecting water – is often the women’s job, which leaves them with little time to work and earn money to help feed their families.
Offset projects that deliver water purification technology, such as the Ghana Clean Water Project, give women greater freedom to go to school, get an education and earn a living, bringing them greater independence and contributing to the economic success of their communities.
Reliable access to clean water also improves the health of the whole family, so less money has to be spent on healthcare and medicines, which helps to alleviate poverty.
Improving Livelihoods Closer to Home
The social impact of offset projects is most obvious in developing countries, but progressive carbon offsets can also benefit communities in the US.
Farmers and ranchers face difficult economic conditions and ever-decreasing margins for their products, alongside pressure to improve their sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Offset projects such as methane reduction on dairy farms, preserving grassland on cattle ranches, or generating solar or wind energy on farmland can all bring new income streams to agricultural businesses, helping them achieve economic sustainability and preserving small farming communities and a traditional way of life.
Can Carbon Offsets Boost The Social Impact of Your Business?
No matter what sector your business operates in, or where in the world your suppliers are, you can choose an offset project that improves livelihoods and boosts your sustainability credentials.
Progressive carbon offset projects can be complex, but NativeEnergy has demonstrated that its projects can successfully save thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and deliver significant social impacts.
NativeEnergy’s offset program provides funding to carbon reduction projects that otherwise would not happen. To invest in progressive offsets that improve the livelihoods of local communities, contact us today.