Many of us understand that we need to reduce our carbon footprints. In many areas, no
expertise in the understanding of emission impacts is required to make such changes. For
example, we know that a single-use plastic bottle of water results in greater environmental
harm than the same volume of water from the tap. No PhD required. Easy.
However, in terms of our personal transport, this can be a bit more complicated especially as
many of us may not have the benefits of living in or near a metropolitan area that boasts a
robust public transport system. For those who fall outside that type of infrastructure,
individually owned or business-provided cars are not just the default position but often are
the preferred solution.
Individual vehicles provide an enormous amount of personal freedom. The on-demand travel
allows efficient use of our time, whether a busy professional or a full-time caregiver jostling
family-related support and volunteer work. Some of us encompass both of these titles,
making personal transport an even more important efficiency tool.
The downside of this freedom is the environmental impact of the 39.2 million licensed
vehicles on the road in the UK. Given that the average vehicle in the UK produces 180g
of CO2e per km/111 g per mile, this can quickly add up to a lot of greenhouse gas (GHG)
The Environmental Impact
The start-to-end lifetime of any vehicle embodies a complex carbon footprint that includes
elements of the following;
Metals and ores; mined and extracted
Plastics and rubbers; fossil fuel-derived
Acrylics; fossil fuel-derived
Nylons, Polyester fabric fibres; fossil fuel-derived
Natural Fibres; pesticides, fertilisers, soil depletion
Leather; tanning chemicals
Colours; artificial and natural sources
Each element, from individual screws to fabric stitching, require enormous amounts of water
and energy to produce. Once manufactured, these parts must be packaged and transported,
which also requires water and energy.
Again, further energy and resources are required at the assembly point.
At all points in the process, waste is created. Managing, disposing or recycling waste has its
own environmental impact.
All this is before you slip behind the wheel.
And once the vehicle is in your possession, there are further environmental impacts;
Maintenance; annual testing, repairs, replacement parts
Energy: fossil fuel or electric (and is the electricity from fossil fuels or renewables?)
Rubber particle wear from the tyres; this disperses into the environment and is never recovered
An exponentially more complicated arena than swapping a single-use plastic bottle for a
It’s an incredibly intricate and labyrinthine process to attempt to estimate all of these pieces
into a single carbon footprint number; however, very good estimates do exist;
Depending on your vehicle (or fleet of vehicles) and how it’s used, the impacts vary, but one
thing is certain; vehicle transport plays a large role in our emissions.
Piece of the Carbon Pie
Personal vehicles represent about 14% of the individual carbon footprint for the average UK
household. Globally, passenger cars represent 41% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Data supports that as our population increases, the number of personal vehicles and their
associated emissions also increases.
This means that for each of us choosing or needing to drive a personal vehicle, we are
contributing a sizable amount to greenhouse gas emissions.
The impacts extend beyond the end-to-end creation and usage of the vehicle itself.
Vehicles are the main cause of noise pollution, negatively impacting wildlife by limiting their
ability to communicate over distances, impacting their geographic radius, and contributing to
air, water, and soil pollution, which impacts their overall health.
It’s also rather unpleasant for humans as well.
Vehicles are a leading source of air pollution and harmful air particles that increase
respiratory illnesses, particularly those suffering from asthma or other lung-related diseases
as well as those with diminished immunity.
However, even with these impacts, it is unlikely that many of us will be able to give up our
The positive news is that if you need to use a vehicle for personal or professional life, there
are easy and fast solutions to offset vehicle emissions; high-value carbon credits. It doesn’t
have to be complicated or laborious. It can be done within a matter of minutes.
With a few simple steps, we can reduce, by 14% or more, our contribution to emissions. It’s
easier than implementing a new behaviour change, such as remembering to take a reusable
water bottle to the office.
This is because investing in voluntary carbon credits and offsetting can be done quickly and
at one time. Changing a daily habit takes much longer to implement due to the daily friction
involved in overcoming the muscle (or mental) memory of an old habit. And whilst we all
need to give up single-use packaged products, such as bottled water, cutting our vehicle
emissions produces an accelerated leap in reducing our contribution to global warming.
Other solutions exist as well. Trading down to a lower carbon vehicle such as an EV or going
from a car to a motorbike. However, these options are not the right fit for each individual and
offsetting should still be done, regardless of vehicle type.
Who Should Offset
Anyone, whether you are driving a personal vehicle, have a company with a fleet of vehicles
or are the individual tasked with creating your company’s carbon reduction plan.
There are so many changes we’d each like to make to improve upon the negative
environmental impacts of our modern lifestyle. Solar panels. Water butts. Reducing meat
consumption. The list goes on and on.
Yet, many of these changes can require significant financial outlay, time, or require changing
a deeply embedded personal habit, changes that are just not going to happen overnight.
Yet, in the space of a few minutes, we can quickly offset the impact of our vehicle.
Peace of Mind
You’ll know this is one thing you can tick off your “Make the World Better” list. Think of how
differently and more positively you’ll think about your car once you’ve offset the emissions.
Be a trailblazer. Be ahead of the game. Offsetting and addressing unavoidable emissions, if
done properly, is something to be proud of.
Replace a legacy of stealing from the future with one of being a steward of the future.
Net-Hero takes a complicated issue and removes the guesswork, linking your high-quality,
voluntary carbon credits to specific projects.
You’ll be helping to support several areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development
Production, and Climate Action.
Net-Hero uses BeZero as our carbon rating provider. The BeZero Carbon Rating provides
users with a risk-based assessment for understanding and interrogating carbon credit
performance of any type in any sector and country.
Boots on the Ground; our staff personally visit and assess projects to ensure they have a
real environmental impact. No greenwashing.
By carbon offsetting with Net-Hero carbon credits, with every drive, you’ll feel confident that
you’ve balanced the environmental impact of your vehicle by capturing carbon and driving
positive environmental value, preserving biodiversity and enhancing quality of life around the
Check out a sample of the multiple projects were funding at present here.
All our projects are registered and verified by (Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard),
meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
These goals not only offset carbon, but depending on the project they reduce poverty,
hunger, and inequalities.