• Will Zesiger

What’s Your (Carbon) Budget? Our Roadmap for Going Carbon Neutral In 2020

Happy Earth Day!

Before I dive into the core of this blog post I’d like to share some exciting news with you all: Cheer Partners is aiming to go carbon neutral in 2020! It’s something that we’ve been discussing as a team for a while and we’re determined to make it happen.

Why go carbon neutral?

With COVID-19 taking the world by storm, it can be hard to focus on other global problems like the climate crisis that needs to be solved. However, I think COVID-19 has shown us that with collective collaboration, focus and willpower, it’s possible for the world to work together and solve any problem that we face. Taking what we’ve learned so far from this pandemic, we can approach the climate crisis with a roadmap for how to solve this issue.

Though it’s a daunting task, there are incredible examples of countries, businesses and leaders we can look to for guidance who are stepping up to solve the climate crisis in the midst of this pandemic. A perfect example of this is Microsoft. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it was going to completely overhaul its entire business structure and global supply chain to go carbon negative by 2030. Though this move won’t single handily solve climate change, it will send ripples throughout the global economy and kick off a domino effect for businesses around the world.

Create a passionate dream team

As an employee at Cheer Partners, I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a company that genuinely prides itself on sparking positive change throughout the world and supporting its team members to take on initiatives they’re passionate about.  Because of that, I felt comfortable presenting the idea of going carbon neutral to my senior leaders.

I had a feeling that they would like the idea, but I could not have anticipated the overwhelming level of support I received. With a resounding “go for it!” from leadership and the rest of the team, I started the long process of figuring out how to begin this journey of going carbon neutral. T

How big is our carbon footprint?

My first step was to find the starting line and discern how much carbon we actually emitted into the atmosphere every year. The more I learned, the more I realized how difficult it was to define a carbon footprint. Furthermore, as a remote company, these difficulties are multiplied by the number of employees one has. For example, instead of measuring your carbon impact from one office building, you need to take into account each of your employee’s individual workspaces’ (usually their homes’) carbon impacts. In order to ensure we didn’t underestimate our carbon impact, we decided to measure carbon impact from each employee’s home electricity/gas, car use, public transportation and air travel.

This expression is overused, but it accurately describes my reaction when I got the results: my jaw dropped. Though we are a remote company and our footprint is much smaller than the typical company our size, our total carbon footprint was much larger than I was expecting. We found that Cheer Partners releases an estimated 508,777 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every single year! That’s the equivalent of 40 T-rexes in weight every year from fossil fuels (pun intended). Suffice it to say, the team and I were shocked and realized that this problem was even more important to solve than we initially realized.

How do we offset that carbon?

After measuring our footprint, the next step was to find ways to offset it. There are many great companies that can help with this, but we decided to work with CoolEffect. They have an amazing track record, great transparency, third-party verification and focus on carbon offset projects that simultaneously help people in need around the world.

How much does it cost to go carbon neutral?

I don’t know about you, but I assumed that going carbon neutral would have been extremely expensive: I couldn’t have been more wrong. Though going carbon neutral isn’t free, it’s much more affordable and accessible than it’s ever been before. For example, on average, it costs about $7.87 to offset one ton or 2,205 pounds of carbon through CoolEffect. To put that into perspective, for Cheer Partners to offset all 508,777 pounds of our CO2, it would only cost around $152 per month or $1,817 per year. For such a positive benefit, the costs are incredibly low.

What now?

Though offsetting our carbon footprint is a huge step, it’s still just the first one. There are countless other ways to aid the effort against the climate crisis, and we at Cheer Partners intend to explore as many of them as possible. I’m so excited for what 2020 holds and I can’t wait to share more of our initiatives with you throughout the year.

How can you go carbon neutral?

When I was researching this initiative, I found myself overwhelmed by countless resources and carbon offsetting options. Although carbon offsetting isn’t part of our professional offerings at Cheer Partners, we believe that sustainability and carbon-reduction initiatives are great ways to improve employee experience and engagement. Here are some of my favorite resources to help you to get started! If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to me any time, I’m happy to help in any way that I can.

  • Terrapass Carbon Footprint Calculator: There are many ways to measure your carbon footprint, but I found the Terrapass carbon footprint calculator to be an easy-to-use and detailed way to calculate your carbon footprint.

  • Cool Effect: A well-priced, transparent, and human-focused carbon offset company. Cool Effect is a great way to get started with carbon offset.

  • 3 Degrees: 3 Degrees is the right fit for you if you work for a larger company. They specialize in tailor-made solutions on a big scale and will make your carbon-neutral transition easy.