Carbon offsets and CSR.

Prior to establishing Adventure for Life, I was working on a CSR Amazing Race team building activity where the client had a company plant 176 trees after the event. One of the guest mused “I wonder if that will offset all our helicopter joy flights?”

It was a snide comment but the guest certainly had a point.

Most corporate team building activities with a CSR component fall flat because they are extremely hard to get right. Corporate Choirs work hard to get a credible sound but their busking for charity doesn’t crack the $100 mark. Half that delicious food for a soup kitchen goes uneaten, and that fleet of bikes donated to a ¬†charity doesn’t last 3 months because there’s no follow up mechanical work. I’m a bike collector for Bikes 4 Humanity and recently picked up a fleet of unridable bikes from a Charity Bike Build. They ended up going to Africa where mechanics got them back on the road for low cost transportation in Namibia.

Sorry folks but that’s the reality of one-off charity events. The logistical costs are high and the actual benefits are quite low.

Cold hard cash donated to existing and reputable charities is going to go much further than a one off bike building program with amateur (although enthusiastic and altruistic mechanics). A musical trivia night where the company donates $1000 to the winning team’s charity is way more effective than a choir. A simple Friday charity beer club where employee’s $5 beers get matched dollar for dollar by the company is a simple way to provide an ongoing cash flow to a charity of choice.

One off events can be fun, but in terms of providing long term benefits to people in need, they are not effective.