UW-Eau Claire alumni create eco-friendly business

The Carbon Offset Company reduces the impact businesses and individuals have on the environment

Maddie Kasper

More stories from Maddie Kasper

Student Senate
September 27, 2022
Tree+planters+working+on+The+Carbon+Offset+Company+project+at+Plumas+National+Forest+in+California.

Tree planters working on The Carbon Offset Company project at Plumas National Forest in California.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 5.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere in 2020. The Carbon Offset Company gives businesses and individuals an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint.

The company was founded in September 2020 by UW-Eau Claire alumni Matt Kallstrom and Anthony Meshnick. Kallstrom, chief executive officer, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing in fall 2017. 

Meshnick, chief operating officer, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics in spring 2017.

Kallstrom said that he and Meshnick had been working in the corporate sector but found their work to be unfulfilling. They both are passionate about the environment and decided to create a business aimed at improving it.

“The environment is something that truly affects you no matter what you believe in, no matter what is in your bank account, no matter what your skin color is, it affects every single person,” Kallstrom said.

According to Kallstrom, the company plants trees in 48 locations across the United States and internationally to offset carbon emissions and aid in reforestation. The trees being planted are native to the project’s region to avoid introducing an invasive species.

Kallstrom said The Carbon Offset Company is designed to help businesses cater to eco-conscious customers with the least friction for the businesses.

The company has a Drive Carbon Neutral program in partnership with car dealerships to offset carbon emissions produced when driving. 

Kallstrom said this was the company’s solution to issues with other eco-friendly options like electric vehicles which are recharged by nonrenewable resources and account for a minimal percentage of the auto industry.

Eau Claire Ford is a local car dealership partnered with The Carbon Offset Company.

According to Kallstrom, the company is flexible and willing to work with businesses besides car dealerships. They are also partnered with Midwest Meals, a meal prep company based in Eau Claire.

Kallstrom said an individual subscription is offered so people, not just businesses, can limit their carbon footprint. The company calculated the average American’s yearly carbon emissions and offers the subscription at $5 a month.

“It gives the opportunity for people to subscribe to it and say at least from an average perspective I’m doing my part,” Kallstrom said.

Kallstrom said The Carbon Offset Company encourages people to change their lifestyles to be more sustainable, but options like the individual subscription are a step in the right direction. 

The Carbon Offset Company has a dashboard on their website measuring the effect their effort has on reducing carbon emissions.

As of Feb. 23, the dashboard reports 339,748 trees planted and 230.7 million pounds of carbon offset through partnerships with businesses and individuals. The company equates that amount of carbon to roughly 6.8 million days of phone usage or 339,749 hours of Netflix watched.

“Now is the time for business leaders to align with the planet, and we’re here to put our best foot forward and help them do that,” Kallstrom said.

 

Kasper can be reached at [email protected]