As exciting as it is to jet-set around the world, air travel has a significant impact on carbon and has serious impacts on our planet. A to study by Our World in Data, found that aviation emits just under a billion tons of COtwo every year. With demand for air travel back to pre-pandemic levels, travelers may be looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
Here are some ways to reduce or offset carbon emissions, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.
Buy carbon offsets
If you can’t avoid traveling, you can try to offset your carbon footprint.
Carbon offsetting involves financially supporting a project that is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would be emitted elsewhere. You can try to balance your entire carbon footprint or offset specific activities, like flying.
There are different types of carbon offset projects, all competing to erase COtwo emissions from our atmosphere, including reforestation and conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy such as solar and wind.
Many airlines allow you to offset directly when you book your flight: you simply pay a fee on top of the cost of the flight, which is donated to a carbon offset program. If you want more control over exactly where your funds go, you can donate to some of the more popular and established carbon offset programs. Climate Action Reserve Y you will seeit is the most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas program in the world.
Reduce your travel emissions
The pandemic showed us that working from home and making video calls wouldn’t get in the way of productivity. But while remote work is now normalized, face-to-face time may be necessary. If you can’t keep your business trips grounded, you can at least try to find greener ways to travel.
While the train is one of the greenest ways to get around, even driving your car can have a lower carbon footprint than flying, depending on distance, number of passengers, and type of vehicle.
If you choose to fly, there are still ways to lessen the impact. A 2020 report from The International Council on Clean Transport Premium class passengers emitted up to four times more COtwo per kilometer than economy class due to the extra space. Direct flights have also been shown to be more environmentally friendly than those with stopovers.
Invest in ESG
Responsible investing incorporates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into the investment decision-making process. Responsible investment options can help you invest more in companies with the strongest ESG practices according to ESG rating providers.
To help offset the environmental costs of travel, you can direct your investment dollars toward companies that are actively considering their climate change policies, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint.
Switching to a responsible investment portfolio is simple, especially when you use a robotic advisor like RBC InvestEase. Simply answer a few simple questions about your investment objectives and risk profile, then choose the Responsible investment option for the portfolio they recommend. Once your account is opened and funded, the RBC InvestEase team will manage that portfolio for you, backed by smart technology.
In Harvard Business Review, research shows that the adoption of strategic ESG practices is positively associated with return on capital. Responsible investing has a return comparable to standard investing and can have a positive impact on the planet.
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