Climate change is happening now, and everyone is responsible for their emissions. Changing weather creates instability in ecosystems planet-wide. These effects will only worsen unless everyone chooses to do something about their carbon dioxide emissions.

Making the choice to go carbon neutral means protecting the natural wonders of the planet, from the waters of the ocean to the icy glaciers to the depths of the forests. Animals from the giant blue whale to tiny butterflies are dependent on our choices. Even everyday animals like birds and squirrels are affected by irregular temperatures and seasons.

Think of the majestic trees rising from the forest floor. Those trees support an astounding amount of biodiversity in the forest ecosystem. The forest is home to eighty percent of land plants and animals, including innumerable endangered species. Each tree is a world unto itself, with a community of animals, insects, and other plants making homes, finding dinner, and living in the boughs. The trees are connected to each other underground through networks of fungi that allow them to share water and nutrients.

Protecting forests saves species like tigers that are highly endangered in the wild with only 3,500 individuals left. While forest habitat is decreasing, places like Nepal and India have seen increases in tiger populations. Satellite data has helped direct preservation efforts for tigers in forests worldwide by monitoring forests and habitats for change. Tigers are just one species that depends on forest habitats.

Going carbon neutral means leaving a world our grandchildren can enjoy. Think about how future generations might play in the sunlight under the shade of large trees and experience the thrill of hiking through a forest for the first time. The children are the future, and the little ones are inheriting a world that could be very different from the one we know. Climate change disrupts the way people around the world are living, and the changes could be more extreme in the future.

Deforestation is directly linked to climate change. Cutting down forest land and burning trees emits CO2 that has been sequestered for decades or centuries back into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Alternatively, protecting and restoring forests captures CO2 from the atmosphere long-term. Incredible natural places will only survive if companies and individuals make the choice to change their practices by moving towards zero emissions.

Each person at a company has a voice, from the latest hire to the CEO. At Amazon, a group of now over 8,000 employees signed an open letter directed to Jeff Bezos and the board to take a strong stance on climate change. The letter challenged Amazon to do better than their proposed Shipment Zero plan to reach net zero for 50% of shipments by 2030. Companies are made of people who care for the future of the planet and they are ultimately the decision-makers who drive the commitments of their organizations with climate and environmental action.

Sustainability means considering the planet when planning business operations. In the long-term, financial stability is not enough, and leading companies are including the environment on which we all depend as part of their strategic planning. The easiest way to make a difference is by making carbon neutrality part of corporate sustainability commitments. Restoring forests is one of the most effective solutions to climate change. Forest carbon offsets take CO2 out of the atmosphere while protecting and restoring the world’s forests.

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