Offsetting carbon emissions in market research
Offset Carbon Emissions With Conjointly
Published on 1 October 2019.

Conjointly is now carbon offsetting every purchase of our online automated platform. Learn more about how you can get involved with this green initiative.

The scientific community is in consensus regarding global warming and climate change. Carbon emission reduction is of paramount importance now more than ever in the context of the crisis in the Amazon. As of January 2019, at least 74 thousand(!) fires have been started in the rain forest. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the Amazon rain forest contributes relatively little towards oxygen production (about 5% overall) but it is a vital carbon sink which pulls in significantly more carbon dioxide than it releases into the atmosphere. But not at the moment, as it is on fire and is currently absorbing less carbon than expected. Conjointly, like many other private companies and consumers, are looking to commit to greener practices in order to make a positive impact with regards to carbon emissions. The company is a valuable resource for marketing, insights and product managers at large companies in different sectors, such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), as it provides automated tools and expert support for product and pricing research. Conjointly’s initiative could be beneficial for your company as this gives your business an opportunity to address this environmental crisis with no additional effort and at no additional cost.

Conjointly is introducing a new feature to its services. With every service purchase made on its platform as of early October 2019, Conjointly will purchase carbon offsets. The platform offers corporate licences and free trials with optional extras; in both cases, anytime a payment is made, a certain amount of carbon emission offsets are automatically included at no additional charge. As this is a new feature, it is still unclear just how much carbon emissions will be offset with each purchase. However, Conjointly commits to deliver a confirmation specifying the details some time after the purchase is complete. Conjointly conceived this initiative not only because the company desires to make a difference, but because we want to pioneer carbon offsetting in market research, and also because a significant portion of our customers are looking to commit to greener practices. If you are a key decision maker for a large company in CPG, technology and other sectors, there are several reasons why you and your company should consider using greener practices and taking advantage of services which allow your company to gain credit for carbon offsets.

Why being a greener business is an advantage

Climate change deniers are now a minority; consumers and society in general are now aware of the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. They are no longer just aware, they are speaking about it and becoming personally involved. Consumer activism on climate change is motivated by both personal and social impact goals; individuals have acknowledged the threat, believe that human action can reduce it, and that their own actions make a difference. As such, more consumers are making purchasing decisions whilst taking into account the brand supplying the product or service, its position with regards to climate change and the levels of their corporate social responsibility in general. Even if an individual is not compelled to make environmentally friendly changes to consumption habits on their own, there are significant social pressures which could impact consumer decisions with regards to their brand choices. Additionally, consumers are more connected than ever through social media. Individuals engage with their brands more often and, because of this, corporate brand personality has become increasingly important. Consumers which are aware of environmental issues tend to derive more satisfaction from greener brands and are more loyal to those brands as they mirror their own environmental attitudes in their self-reported purchasing behaviour. This presents a clear opportunity for corporate social responsibility and for a business to actively demonstrate their environmental activism. It then makes sense for your company to consider demonstrating that it looks beyond financial gains and takes environmental issues seriously.

Many big brands are investing in greener practices and ways to the negative impact of their operations on the environment. For businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprints, the carbon emission offsets market is an effective way to lower the economic costs of climate change mitigation programs. If reduction targets can be met with less spent on these targets, this could allow private organisations to set higher reduction targets and make a greater positive impact with regards to climate change. It is unsurprising, then, that companies like General Motors, Barclays and P&G bought millions of tons in carbon offsets voluntarily, with several other companies buying hundreds of thousands of tons of offsets. Lyft recently announced that they intend to make their rides, of which they facilitate over a million of them daily, carbon neutral through carbon offsets. Finally, Goldman Sachs, which were carbon neutral since 2015, went a step further and actually bought into two carbon offsetting companies. This demonstrates the significance of carbon offsets for corporations.

Using the Conjointly platform and its new feature means that your company is indirectly addressing carbon emissions and gaining credit for it. This is not an uncommon practice. Companies need not address carbon emissions directly through their operations. In fact, there are many organisations which are tackling their carbon footprint indirectly through making an impact in their supply chain. L’Oreal, for example, sources some of its ingredients in Burkina Faso, where local residents boil the shea nuts used in its cosmetics products before they are sold to the company. L’Oreal started distributing cleaner burning stoves to their suppliers in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint.

What Conjointly's carbon offsets feature means for your enterprise

Conjointly aims to make it easier for our customers to costlessly include carbon offsetting in your value chain. This offer may sound far-fetched, or it may appear like too little will be spent towards offsets to make any effective impact. However, assuming that little or no impact would me made is misguided. A corporate example which illustrates the effectiveness of carbon offsets is the purchase of sophisticated lighting controls made by a business for £80,000 in order to cut a final 100 tonnes of annual carbon emissions. The same carbon emission reduction would have cost £75 if carbon offsets were utilised instead. With this in mind, consider the size of marketing, product and insights budgets of large companies. Even if a single-digit percentage of that budget is spent on carbon offsets, this makes a large impact, particularly if you take into account that the majority of Americans could offset their annual carbon footprint for less than $100. Yet it should be noted that, although consumers prefer eco-friendly products, it is unclear whether consumers are willing to pay a premium for products which have a social impact. Some studies show consumers willing to pay more for eco-certified refurbished products while others findings are in contradiction to this notion.

As highlighted, corporate brand personalities impact the perceptions and spending habits of consumers. As it stands, there are significant shifts in consumer mentality towards environmental awareness. Organisations should make every effort to internally reduce their carbon footprint. However, the exercise of directly reducing carbon emissions within an organisation has diminishing returns. More must be spent to eliminate each additional ton of carbon emissions and the process can get very expensive at a surprising rate. Conjointly offers a complementary way to reduce your carbon footprint without extra effort or cost. What makes this new feature offered by Conjointly particularly useful for any business is that it allows a company to develop corporate brand personality which is conscious of its impact on the environment even if the business has no other opportunities to implement a carbon emission reduction policy. The business can highlight its contributions to carbon emission reduction without additional costs of production, thus without changes to its pricing. This can be done by reporting the accumulated confirmed carbon offsets purchased through Conjointly. This could then result in attracting environmentally aware consumers who may have been using competing brands while strengthening the loyalty of existing like-minded customers.

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