The Carbon Offset idea works like this. We all pollute, but when we do so we can help limit the damaging effects by either (1) offsetting our damage by doing good in other ways (for example if we have to drive a large car we can replace all our light bulbs with energy-saving flourescents), or (2) we can donate money to projects that help support renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation. For example, check out the not-for-profit organizations CarbonFund.org and The Clean Air Conservancy.

Here’s some ideas for those of us in the training and development field:

  1. Encourage the use of e-learning, which limits the carbon footprint of travel. And, make sure you build e-learning that is effective and engaging, so more folks will want to use e-learning.
  2. When calculating the "cost" of training, calculate carbon footprint costs as well. See for example, The Carbon Fund’s calculators or The Clean Air Conservancy’s calculators. Make these costs evident.
  3. Encourage your company to buy carbon offsets when utilizing training. It’s not just a good thing to do, but it may help your company attract business and recruit highly-educated employees.
  4. In your e-learning courses, provide an option for learners to calculate how many tons of carbon dioxide they would have utilized had they had to travel from their location to headquarters.

What other ideas can you think of?