Questions about Carbon Neutral America™
Who are you?
We are a social enterprise providing individuals and businesses with a straightforward, credible and reliable way to offset their carbon footprint, by investing in carbon offset and tree-planting projects all around the World.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to lead America’s response to the Climate Crisis by providing a simple, credible and reliable way for everyone to play their part in the battle against climate change.
What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organization whose main purpose is to bring about meaningful social change.
For us, that means getting as many people as we can to plant trees and to offset their carbon footprint, so that we can avoid the potential catastrophe if we do not take significant steps to combat climate change.
How does a social enterprise work?
A social enterprise applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being in a sustainable way.
As social enterprises have both business goals and social goals, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations.
Why are you a social enterprise and not a charity?
Charities often rely on grant money, donations or federal programs, which limits the flexibility in what they can do.
As a for-profit model, we control the profile and scale of our investments, with the incentives of our company being designed such that greater impact directly correlates to a great profit.
To be able to achieve our supersized ambitions, we need to be able to scale quickly. That means the keeping open the possibility of having access to investors and being able to incentivise talented team members and agencies with things other than money.
Finally, a company’s charitable or 501(3)(c) status does not guarantee that your money is being well spent. Some charities only spend 25% of their donations on charitable works. Others pay the people who run them very high salaries, some in excess of $500,000, so always be sure to check their financials (all have to publish their financials) to see how your money is actually being spent.
Why did you launch?
We launched Carbon Neutral AmericaTM because while Americans live in one of the most advanced nations in the World, we are also the second largest polluter, pumping 5.1 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
Without decisive action, there is a very real possibility that the impacts of climate change will be irreversible by 2030.
What do you offer?
We offer individual and small business memberships and bespoke calculation, offsetting and certification solutions for medium & large business.
Individuals can select from three tiers of membership, depending on their offsetting goals: Carbon Neutral, Carbon Neutral+ and Carbon Negative. Each tier of membership offsets a greater amount of carbon equivalent emissions and plants a greater number of trees.
For businesses with revenue of less than $150,000, or fewer than five employees, we provide a small-business membership option, which offsets their carbon footprint and we provide them with a carbon neutral business certification.
For businesses with revenue of over $150,000, or greater than five employees, we provide a bespoke calculation of their carbon footprint, offsetting of that carbon footprint and a carbon neutral business certification.
How are membership revenues invested?
At least 75% of our membership revenues goes directly to funding tree planting and carbon offsetting projects.
The remaining 25% is spent on fundraising, marketing and administrative costs, helping us grow the number of customers and ensuring the continuing growth of our impact.
Do you have a charitable arm?
Not yet. We believe that we can have the greatest impact by focusing on scaling our social enterprise, rest-assured that our non-profit arm.
However, rest assured that the Carbon Neutral America™ Foundation, is not far behind, so keep an eye on your email updates.
Do you have a physical office?
No. For us, it would be difficult for us to justify the additional carbon footprint of having a physical office, when our team are able to work efficiently and collaboratively from all over the world.
One positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many other companies have realised just how possible that this is.
If you would like to meet for business related enquiries please email email@example.com.
Questions about memberships
Can I pause or cancel any time?
Of course. We appreciate that not everyone who wants to make a difference will always be able to all the time.
With that in mind, our members can pause or cancel their membership at any time by logging into their Account and clicking on “Membership Status”.
When will my payments come out?
All memberships will be charged each month on the date that your membership started.
For example, if you set up your membership on the 20th of January, your next payment will go out on 20th February until it is cancelled.
Do I need to renew my membership?
Our memberships operate on a rolling monthly basis.
So long as your credit card stays active, you can rest assured that your membership will stay active and you will continue to play your part in the battle against climate change.
My address or card details have changed - how can I update this?
If you would like to change your address, update or change your card at any time, please log into your Account and these can be amended online.
If you need any assistance at all, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I pay more each month to offset more than my footprint?
If you need any assistance with doing this, please email email@example.com.
Can I purchase a membership for someone else?
Absolutely. All of our memberships can be purchased as a gift.
To do this, please make your purchase and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and email, and the full name and email of the person for whom you have purchased a membership. If you would like them to receive their welcome email on a specific date, please also request this in the email.
Once we have received your email, we will change the account into their name and they receive their welcome email (on the date requested, as applicable), as if they had just made the purchase themselves. They will also receive all the usual emails and updates.
As you have paid for the membership, you will be able to log on and cancel the payments at any time.
Questions about Carbon Offsetting and Tree Planting
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to compensate for the emissions that they cannot avoid, by supporting worthy projects that reduce emissions somewhere else.
How does carbon offsetting stop climate change?
Increased Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in the atmosphere are one of the biggest causes of global warming.
By offsetting your carbon footprint you can balance out your emissions to become Carbon Neutral, halting your contribution to climate change.
Is carbon offsetting regulated?
Yes. Carbon Offsetting is a heavily-regulated industry with billions of dollars being spent each year by businesses and countries on regulated Carbon Markets.
All of our carbon-offset projects are certified to the highest standards through the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions, Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), Verified Certified Credits (VCS), Climate Action Reserve (CAR) or American Carbon Registry credits programmes.
We strongly recommend avoiding any offsetting projects that do not follow these standards, as there will be no guarantee that all of the money spent goes directly to the offsetting initiatives supported, nor that the measurements and tonnes of CO2 are accurate and verified.
How can you make sure the project is doing what it is supposed to do?
The Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions, Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), Verified Certified Credits (VCS), Climate Action Reserve (CAR) or American Carbon Registry credits programmes have strict measures in place to ensure each project is doing what it is set out to achieve.
The projects are monitored by third-party audits conducted by the above programmes, as well as the national authorities of the host-country, who oversee national implementation.
What if my carbon footprint is higher or lower than included in my membership?
Carbon Neutral America™ was founded with the sole aim of giving individuals and businesses a straightforward, credible and reliable way to play their part in the battle against climate change.
We felt that long questionnaires that attempt, often inaccurately, to assess your individual emissions were not the way to do that.
For this reason, we offer three clear and straightforward tiers of membership that are driven by the scientific data and which give you the option to adjust your level of carbon offsetting based on your lifestyle (e.g. if you travel a lot) or your presence (e.g. if you just want to go the extra mile).
To account for fluctuations in individuals’ emissions, we err on the side of caution, with our base Carbon Neutral membership offsetting approximately 23% more emissions than the data suggests that you produce. That way, everyone is covered.
If you happen to have a lower carbon footprint than the average person, then you can sleep just that little bit sounder, knowing that you are helping to reverse the effects of climate change.
Will changing my lifestyle make a difference to my carbon footprint?
Lifestyle choices and what we do are very important to our carbon footprint and emissions. However, lifestyle changes such as having a meat-free diet, changing your travel methods, buying sustainable and eco-friendly products and looking at your energy usage and provider only save around 1-3 Tonnes of CO2 per year.
What trees do you plant, and where?
We plant trees where they have the biggest impact, with a focus on locations that can support species that are fast-growing and that have higher. This means planting trees all over the world, from Haiti to Madagascar to Nepal.
All the trees that we plant are native species, ensuring that they benefit the local wildlife and biodiversity.
Our tree planting projects also have broader social, environmental and economic benefits for the communities where they are planted, as communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty.
By employing locals, our projects enable them to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.
What protects the trees from being cut down?
All our reforestation, planting, and woodland management projects have sustainable action plans, with risk management in the case of fire, wind, drought, flood, pest or disease.
For all of the trees planted there is a strict time period (in many cases 30 years or more), where the trees are protected. This ensures that the species grow and have a measured tree sequestration (carbon absorbing) period during maturity.
How can you offset my carbon footprint for such a low cost?
The average cost for an individual to purchase a Tonne of CO2 through VCS, VER or CER programmes is USD 14.
However, our ability to buy large volumes of carbon credits across different carbon markets around the world, means that we are able to purchase credits cheaper and pass that saving onto our members.
Further, in some cases, offsetting projects run for several years, with not all of their credits being bought each year. This sometimes provides us with an opportunity to buy small quantities of cheaper credits from them.
Can I visit the projects that Carbon Neutral America™ has invested in?
Due to the higher impact, the majority of the projects that we fund are in developing countries around the world. As a result, it might be tricky to pay them a visit.
However, if there is a project you are particularly interested in, we are more than happy to put you in contact with the relevant organisers to see if they can get you there.