The 10 Companies With the Most Carbon Offset Credits in 2021

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{Carbon offsets like reforestation are one of the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.}

With close to eight billion people living on this planet, even the simplest tasks in our daily lives harm the environment. From cooking dinner to driving to school, or flying to a business meeting out of state, emitting CO2 into the atmosphere is often unavoidable. 

To tackle the growing problem of our carbon footprint, individuals and companies alike are looking for innovative ways to offset their carbon emissions. 

Could carbon offset credits be an ideal solution?

Carbon offset credits and their role in protecting the environment 

What is a carbon offset credit? 

A carbon offset credit is a transferable certificate issued by a government body or credible, independent agency that an individual or a company can purchase to offset their carbon emissions. 

This credit represents an investment a company or individual makes in a carbon offset provider (like a windmill farm, for example). In return for this effort, they receive a credit. 

This scheme enables companies to receive carbon offset credits for projects that relate to reforestation, renewable energy schemes, methane collection, pollution reduction, agriculture, and more. 

How does it work?

Let’s say a company is inching closer to its carbon emissions limit for the month, but it’s done everything possible within the company itself to reduce its emissions. 

By investing in a credible carbon offset provider – such as a reforestation program or a non-profit food-waste initiative – a company can receive a carbon offset credit, which can offset its local emissions.

Why does it matter?

Even if we’ve exhausted solutions in our backyards, the good news is we can invest in an eco-friendly project elsewhere. 

This means we can neutralize our carbon output by both altering our daily activities and by investing in local and global efforts to shrink our carbon footprint as much as possible. 

And this is where a carbon offset credit is as practical as any solar panel you install on your roof, or the annual public transport pass you buy for your daily commute. A change at home can be just as good as a change abroad.

10 companies with the most carbon offset credits in 2021 

With third-party watchdogs and a focus on transparency, many companies in the travel, retail, and financial sectors are always on the lookout for the most effective carbon offsets available. As a result, they’re racking up the carbon offset credits, allowing them to edge even closer to carbon-neutral status. 

Here are some of the top companies with the most carbon offset credits to date:

The travel industry

With hundreds of thousands of flights, commuter trains, and vehicles in the sky and on the ground every day, companies in the travel sector are major culprits of climate change. These four companies, on the other hand, are investing in many carbon offsets to compensate for their damage:

  • Lyft: Why not get picked up in a ride that’s carbon neutral? The Lyft corporation not only encourages public transport and discourages private vehicle ownership, but it has invested so much in carbon offsets, that each pick-up and drop-off is carbon-zero. Also, it plans to onboard 100% electric vehicles into its fleet by 2030.
  • Hilton Hotels: On the surface, this luxury hotel chain with its daily linen service and high-thread-count sheets doesn’t exactly seem eco-friendly, but it has made a strong effort to use locally sourced products whenever possible. Hilton plans to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030, in addition to reducing the intensity of its water usage.
  • Delta Airlines: Launching thousands of flights around the world, every day, Delta recognizes the impact fossil fuels have on our planet. It plans to swap 10% of its jet fuel, sourced from fossil fuels, with a sustainable fuel alternative by 2030.
  • Amtrak: Amtrak plans to reduce its energy and fuel use by 40% over the next decade. It has also joined arms with the Carbonfund Organization, which allows rail riders to offset their rail-carbon emissions by donating their Amtrak Guest Rewards to the organization, and encouraging riders to donate directly.

The retail sector

Here are the top four companies that stand out within the retail sector, going above and beyond their competitors:

  • Nike: Nike has rolled out its 2025 vision with an ambitious plan to reduce its GHG by 70% by using 100% renewable electricity and fleet electricity. To date, it’s achieved 48% renewable energy in its plants, and it is focused on reducing its use of freshwater by 30%.
  • Starbucks: It seems almost everywhere you look, there’s a Starbucks on the corner. So, how is this java giant keeping its operations green? The company has ambitious plans to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030. Also, it will “conserve or replenish” at least 50% of its freshwater usage, and plans to purchase 99% of its coffee from ethical sources and with its partnership with C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity).
  • Chipotle: Chipotle is committed to locally-sourced products and, to date, has invested in over 31 million pounds worth – an amount that it claims has funneled over $23.3 million into the local sector. And here’s great news for its current and future employees: Chipotle is committed to achieving and maintaining gender and racial pay equality. 
  • Boden (UK): Who says eco-fashion can’t be fabulous and sustainable? Boden is committed to offering its buyers 100% sustainable cotton by 2023. Also, it plans to significantly reduce its use of polyester and replace it with recycled polyester wherever possible.

The financial services industry

From the plastic in a credit card itself to the packaging, shipping, and delivery involved in any online order a consumer makes, the financial services industry has emitted its fair share of carbon into the atmosphere. 

Some companies are committed to investing in significant carbon offsets and divesting – or completely cutting off from  – the fossil fuels industry. Here are two of the top financial service providers with the most impactful carbon offset credits:

  1. Aspiration Zero: With eco-friendly credit cards on the rise, the Aspiration Zero helps its cardholders achieve carbon neutrality. Through partnerships with the Arbor Day Foundation and One Tree Planted, Aspiration plants a tree for each purchase you make with your card. 

Unlike other financial service providers, Aspiration isn’t a bank, and it has zero ties to the fossil fuels industry or dirty money.

  • Amalgamated Financial Corporation: Amalgamated uses 100% renewable energy resources in its offices and branches, in addition to not lending to fossil fuel companies. For the past four years it has achieved “net zero-emission in its operations”  – see the disclosure report here. Finally, it has purchased the following carbon offsets for natural gas, travel, and other unavoidable operational emissions.

A carbon zero card to offset your purchases

While several industries and companies are making strong headway in their battle against climate change, there are greener ways to support them in those efforts.

With the Aspiration Zero credit card you can shop knowing that any time you swipe, a tree will be planted in your honor. Purchase what you need and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

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