Carbon Offsets and Mission Driven Business

I have been meaning to write about carbon offsets (again) but haven’t gotten around to it yet. This post over on seemed like a good enough reason.

About a year ago I was at a Passover Seder talking to some folks about my new (At the time) Bi-Coastal lifestyle. I lamented to them that i was upset by the growing size of my carbon footprint. I continued that I had found a company that plants trees to offset carbon dioxide pollution and that I had bought some to offset mine. Later, my father pointed out that the eyes of the folks I was talking to “glazed over”.

Well glaze over no more! Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and a series of major national press hits have brought the concept of carbon footprint and carbon offsetting to the fore of American’s minds (or am I living in a LOHAS bubble?)

Since that seder last year, I have purchased carbon offsets for more air travel from and I am looking into buying some carbon credits through DriveNeutral, an organization the purchases them from would be polluters on the Chicago Carbon Exchange.

But back to the blog post that inspired this one. Ted over at TerraPass writes not only about what the company does, but what kind of company it is: a Mission Driven company. I liked his explanation:
A mission-driven business is an organization for which the pursuit of growth and revenue naturally produces mission-related benefits.


Mission-driven businesses are also profit-driven businesses. And being profit-driven brings a whole set of advantages that we took into consideration when we started TerraPass. In fact, we consulted with many nonprofit leaders who advised that we set up in a for-profit structure. Profit aligns us with our customers rather than with grant makers. Our focus is on delivering a great product, which means building trust, credibility, and quality. Profit allows us to hire and motivate great employees. Profit pushes us to keep our costs down. Profit allows us to attract investors and lenders, so that we can grow our business and — most importantly — fulfill our mission.

I think this “mission driven” philosophy describes what we are doing here at CivicActions pretty well too!