Carbon Offsets and Social Media Tools

In the environmental conversation, you often hear about carbon offsets. It can be a controversial conversation – if you or a company achieves a “greener” image because of the purchase of offsets, is it really an improvement? Or, by having the carbon offset market, are we allowing market forces to encourage innovation and environmental improvements by creating financial incentives for companies to improve efficiencies and reduce emissions?

It’s certainly an interesting debate. In terms of individual purchase of carbon offsets, I believe that people should make as much reduction as possible first, and then purchase offsets for what remains. For a good review of offset programs, see the David Suzuki Foundation’s review.

In this blog post, which is admittedly much longer than a blog post is supposed to be, as part of my Social Media course, I am required to review social media tracking tools and grade comments. I have chosen to do this for Offsetters, a local carbon offset company, one of whose employees I was speaking to this week at Globe.

I first looked at Addictomatic. This tool allowed me to find many different conversations going on about Offsetters, on many different platforms, but it also came up with a lot of stuff that wasn’t actually what I was looking for. Twitalizer offered interesting information about the company’s Twitter activity, showing what they are active in and what they are influential about. HowSociable allowed me to see a general score on the social media influence of the company in lots of different platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn), but didn’t offer any more details than that without paying for the more advanced service.

Based on all of these tools, Offsetters has a strong presence in social media, but their circle of influence is still small. They seem to be doing strongest on Twitter, and have opportunities to grow in the social media market.

In looking for conversations about carbon offsets, I didn’t find any of these tools particularly helpful. In the end, Google led me to 10 conversations around carbon offsets. What this tells me about Offsetters is that there are many conversations going on about their topic of expertise, and they could benefit by participating in more of these conversations.

On Twitter






And again






On The Tyee












The Vancouver Sun











Going Green Today









Globe and Mail






















and again











The Environmental Leader









and again


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