There are many misconceptions surrounding corporate carbon offsets. While the concept is sound, critics say it is a way of paying to pollute. As offsets aren’t necessarily effective at preventing emissions, they may merely postpone systemic change. So, how do you know if a company’s carbon offset program is actually working? Here are five things to look out for. Let’s get started.

Five Things to Look Out For

The business context of carbon offsets is critical, especially if a company wants to claim tax deductions. Many companies are focusing on how their activities impact the climate as part of broader environmental, social, and governance goals. This emphasis is often geared toward measurement and reduction of emissions through indirect means. Companies are also shifting their focus as a response to a growing list of emerging challenges. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the value of offsets.

Many businesses are using offsets as a way to meet their sustainability goals, improve the environmental condition of their supply chains, and connect with employees and consumers. These efforts demonstrate that offsets can work in the long term, but the questions remain. If you’re a company looking for a short-term solution, offsets may be the answer. Offsets can reduce employee air travel, which can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint. However, there are many risks associated with corporate carbon offsets, including regulatory uncertainty and the lack of data.

While carbon offsets have many benefits, they do not address all of the local impacts. A company can link its offset projects with major effects such as water quality, air pollution reduction, and job creation. In addition to addressing carbon impacts, offsets can also help protect ecosystems. Ultimately, carbon offsets are just one part of the solution to climate change. But what should companies do to make the most of them? And what should they look for?