Download the 2023 Impacts Report
The full report contains more about the participating companies, our calculation approaches, and the projects we supported by purchasing carbon credits.
Our 2nd annual day of climate action welcomed 38 businesses to go carbon neutral for Earth Day 2023.
We’re CarbonBetter, a minority-owned sustainability consulting and energy logistics firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. We help companies align what’s good for their businesses with what’s good for our planet. We’re honored to share the results of our 2nd annual day of climate action for businesses with the release of our Earth Day 2023 Impacts Report! To build upon the impact of our inaugural Earth Day 2022 Impacts Report, we partnered with the Naturally Network and invited businesses nationwide to take a step toward a net-zero future with us by participating in our 2nd annual event.
We believe that progress comes step by step; a series of distinct choices and small changes create significant shifts. We intend for this 2nd annual day of climate action to encourage a regular rhythm of activity, spurring changes in how business leaders advance sustainability initiatives in their businesses and the communities they serve. The CarbonBetter Climate Services team donated time and resources to estimate and offset the operational carbon footprint of participating Austin businesses for Earth Day, April 22, 2023, at no cost.
“We believe that climate action should be part of business as usual, and our Earth Day event celebrates businesses working to create that future while inspiring others to do the same.”Tri Vo, Founder & President of Carbonbetter
About the Participants
In total, CarbonBetter measured and offset the carbon footprint of 38 businesses that requested to join us on this 2nd annual endeavor, an increase from our 29 participants in 2022. The carbon impacts of participating businesses and the positive impacts made through carbon offsetting are summarized in the full report, with some highlights shared below. Together we can influence the societal shifts necessary to fight climate change, starting with this one day of action.
We are excited to share that 79% of participating businesses are actively taking steps to address sustainability within their company. Of those not actively taking steps, 50% said it is important to them to do so but that they need more information about where to start. We’re excited to help these participants kick-start their sustainability journeys through participation in Earth Day 2023.
Of the participating businesses, 53% regularly employ waste and water reduction efforts, and 55% select partners with similar sustainability goals, while 63% regularly select sustainable packaging choices. We hope this initiative will encourage more businesses to seek guidance when needed to take those first steps toward sustainable business practices.
Participant Spotlight: Clever Carbon
Clever Carbon, founded by Michelle Li, makes carbon literacy hip, fun, and relatable through team-building events and bright, simple educational graphics that make complex concepts easy to understand.
PARTICIPANT SPOTLIGHT: Le Meals
Le Meals is a full-service Austin catering company inspired by the rich cultural heritage of restaurateur and founder Alexandria Hollowell. Le Meals was an enthusiastic participant in our inaugural Earth Day event in 2022, and we are grateful they are back for 2023!
Participant Spotlight: Daddy’s Homemade Syrup
Dannie and Amber are the husband and wife team who founded Daddy’s Homemade Syrup. Like many environmentally conscious businesses, they have focused on minimizing plastic packaging use but have struggled with balancing cost and environmentally friendly choices.
Certified Offset Portfolios
Buying high-quality carbon offsets has never been easier. Explore CBCO Portfolio 22-1 and get instant access to fully vetted carbon offsets.
Our Carbon Footprint
We have estimated the carbon emissions from natural gas and electricity usage on Earth Day, April 22, 2023, for all participating businesses, producing a measurable, transparent, and traceable summary of the carbon impacts. Whether quantifying your impacts for a day or a year, we believe that carbon impacts and progress toward decarbonization should be shared in ways that reach your customers, competitors, and community. By sharing the total estimated carbon impacts of participating businesses and highlighting their successes, our goal is that the collective impacts will go beyond the numbers by enabling participating businesses to drive change locally and beyond.
There are many ways to calculate carbon emissions, and many assumptions and choices must be made. In any selected approach, transparency and traceability are essential. To that end, we have documented the assumptions and key calculation inputs for Earth Day 2023 in our full report. To facilitate quantifying carbon emissions across a range of business types and operations, assumptions are necessary to keep the process simple and efficient without creating a data-gathering task that’s too complex for participating businesses.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically carbon emissions, in this case, are grouped into Scopes. Scope 1 emissions are from direct combustion onsite and fleet vehicles. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions are all other sources of emissions, such as corporate travel and supply chain.
When evaluating the climate impacts for Earth Day 2023, we included Scope 1 GHG emissions from natural gas consumption and Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity. To minimize the data-gathering effort and the complexity of the calculations for participating businesses, we excluded fleet vehicles, combustion of fuels other than natural gas, and Scope 3 emissions sources.
For a detailed summary of the carbon emissions estimating process, including the assumptions and calculations used, please see the full downloadable report.
Total Earth Day 2023 Carbon Impacts
In total, all participating businesses emitted 1.04 metric tons of natural gas-related GHG emissions and 1.72 metric tons of electricity-related GHG emissions on Earth Day 2023, for a grand total of 2.76 metric tons of CO2e. Since one carbon offset credit is equivalent to one metric ton of CO2e emissions, that necessitated the purchase of 2.76 metric tons of carbon offset credits and direct removals to match the emissions of all participating Austin businesses.
Carbon Offset Projects Supported
One of the most impactful and important ways to reduce carbon is to implement projects within your business that directly reduce emissions. For a collaborative day of climate action like Earth Day 2023, it would not be feasible to implement energy efficiency projects, improve equipment, or establish more efficient processes at the participating businesses.
Another way to reduce carbon impacts is to indirectly reduce emissions through carbon offsets. If you buy and retire one carbon credit, you have essentially balanced out—“offset”—one metric ton of your carbon emissions. Carbon credits are created by either carbon sequestration (capturing and storing carbon from the environment) or carbon avoidance (preventing carbon from entering the environment). Offsets are meant to “reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase the storage of carbon, or enhance greenhouse gas removal from the atmosphere.”
Carbon credits can be purchased and retired to offset Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions—note: emissions are not offset until a carbon credit is retired. They can address both direct and indirect emissions through global emission reductions from external projects and are generally part of an organization’s long-term plan to reduce emissions. High-quality carbon credits are additional, permanent, and verified by a third party. It is important to note that offsets do not directly negate the original emissions source.
While choosing carbon credits from projects in the states where participating businesses operate would have been ideal, we were limited to projects available on the marketplace from which we could purchase the appropriate volume of credits to match our Earth Day impacts. We wanted to invest in a diverse cross-section of projects to fund exciting technologies with valuable co-benefits. We selected the following projects to offset the emissions from participating businesses on Earth Day 2023, with more details of the projects included in the full report:
Project 1: HIGH IMPACT REFORESTATION (1 METRIC TON)
The “BaumInvest Mixed Reforestation in Costa Rica” project on the Gold Standard registry. Nature-based solutions are an important tool for sequestering carbon, and the BaumInvest Project has planted more than 1 million trees to date across 1,280 hectares that were previously deforested land and sustainably manages 2,115 hectares of pastureland that were previously degraded by cattle
Project 2: Pulling Pollution FROM the Air (0.76 METRIC TONS)
While not a traditional carbon credit project generating certified offsets on a registry, Climeworks is leading the charge for direct air capture (DAC) of CO2, a technology that pulls CO2 molecules straight out of the atmosphere. Through Earth Day Austin 2023, we have invested in the removal of 760 kg of carbon from the atmosphere using Climeworks’ innovative DAC technology.
Project 3: DESTROYING NITROUS OXIDE (1 METRIC TON)
Registered on the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) with a 2021 vintage, the Phlogiston Phase I industrial project destroys nitrous oxide (N2O)—a greenhouse gas with 300 times the warming potential of CO2—as it is produced as a byproduct of nylon manufacturing in Cantonment, FL. his is the largest voluntary N2O abatement project in North America.
While measuring, reducing, and offsetting business carbon emissions are essential for delivering proven results that mitigate climate change, no step in the right direction is too small. In just one day of climate action, 38 U.S. businesses came together to offset nearly three metric tons of estimated GHG emissions from operations on April 22, 2023. In doing so, these businesses funded three meaningful carbon offset projects around the world!
Involvement in our Earth Day 2023 Impacts Report is just one way the business community is advancing solutions to fight climate change. Participating companies shared that they are routinely considering the climate impacts of their decisions related to materials, packaging, manufacturing, and operations, and steps toward sustainability in all of these areas make a real difference. CarbonBetter helps clients of all sizes and at every stage of their sustainability journey make decisions like these, always celebrating and sharing progress over perfection.
The CarbonBetter team is already looking forward to Earth Day 2024 to help even more businesses reach net zero for Earth Day because every small step in the right direction helps create the societal shifts that will save our planet. Looking forward to joining our next day of climate action? Join the email list here.
Earth Day 2024 is now accepting participating companies! Submit your information today to join us.
Download the Full Earth Day 2023 Impacts Report
Learn more about our impacts, participating companies, and the carbon offset projects we supported to get to carbon neutral for Earth Day.