As exciting as it is to jet-set around the globe, air travel contains a significant amount of carbon and has serious impacts on our planet. A study by Our World in Data found that aviation emits just under a billion tonnes of CO2 every year. With demand for air travel having returned 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 travelling, you can try to offset your carbon footprint.
Carbon offsetting consists of financially supporting a project that works 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 vying to remove CO2 emissions from our atmosphere, including reforestation and conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, such as solar and wind power.
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 most popular and established carbon offset programs. Climate Action Reserve and Verra, is the most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas program in the world.
Reduce your travel emissions
The pandemic has shown us that working from home and video calling won’t get in the way of productivity. But, as remote work is now normalized, face-to-face time may be required. If you can’t keep your business travel on the ground, you can at least try to find more eco-friendly ways to travel.
Although the train is one of the greenest means of transport, even driving your car can have a lower carbon footprint than flying, depending on the distance, number of passengers and type of vehicle. .
If you choose to fly, there are still ways to lessen the impact. A 2020 report by the International Council for Clean Transportation found that premium class passengers emitted up to four times more CO2 per kilometer than economy class because of the extra space. Direct flights have also been shown to be more climate-friendly than one-stop flights.
Invest in ESG
Responsible investing integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into the investment decision-making process. Responsible investment options can help you invest more in companies with the best ESG practices according to ESG rating providers.
To help offset the environmental costs of travel, you can direct your investments to companies that actively consider their climate change policies, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.
Switching to a responsible investment portfolio is easy, especially when you use a robo-advisor like RBC InvestEase. Just answer a few simple questions about your investment goals and risk profile, then choose the responsible investing option for the portfolio they recommend. Once your account is opened and funded, the RBC InvestiClick team will manage this portfolio for you, using smart technology.
In harvard business review, research shows that adopting strategic ESG practices is positively associated with return on capital. Responsible investing is comparable to standard investing and can have a positive impact on the planet.
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