We all have our itches that need scratching from time to time. Maybe it’s a fast food indulgence that you only enjoy once a month. Or perhaps it’s visiting an animal shelter to get your puppy fix. For some, it might be one of those pumpkin spice lattes that materialize this time of year.
Anyway, I’ve got a weird itch – taxes. Yep, like income taxes, though I can happily scratch that itch with other flavors, like gift and estate, property or sales taxes. You see, I was a tax attorney in a former life, and ever since studying federal tax in law school, I’ve found something oddly enjoyable about figuring out how the tax code works. Every now and again, it’s nice to strap the tax-lawyer hat back on.
I get to do a bit of that in my current job, but my annual personal income tax return is the most regular date that I have with the tax code. Every year, I block off a Saturday to sit down and crank out our taxes. What others loathe doing each spring, I get an odd form of pleasure out of. As I said, it’s a weird itch.
Don’t worry though, I’m not crazy enough to actually do my taxes by hand. There are lots of software companies out there that have useful tax return offerings, and I’ve tried a couple, but for several years now I’ve been a regular user of TurboTax. And because of a recent bit of news, I’m pretty sure I’ll be permanently loyal to them.
TurboTax is owned by Intuit, and the parent company just made a pretty significant announcement
as a part of Climate Week last week. Simply put, this is as significant of a climate commitment as I’ve ever seen a corporation make.
To the credit of many corporations, we have begun to see “carbon neutral” pledges become more common. That’s a positive trend, but Intuit has blown that out of the water with their “50x by 30” pledge. From their press release: “[Intuit is] declaring a climate positive ‘50 times by 30’ target that will ensure Intuit surpasses carbon neutrality to make a positive impact on the planet by 2030. Using its 2018 carbon footprint metric as a baseline, Intuit commits to reducing carbon emissions by 50 times greater than its current carbon footprint.”
Now THAT’S a target! It tells me that Intuit is a company that understands the urgency of our climate crisis. We need immediate action on climate to make sure we don’t blow through our planetary carbon budget
. It’s not enough for every company to eventually
get to carbon neutrality. We need all of humanity to get there as soon as possible.
And getting there will require commitments like Intuit’s. By zeroing-out their carbon footprint and then going 50 times beyond that, Intuit is pledging to carry their own weight and then some. That’s the right signal to send, not just to the corporate world, but to all of us. To collectively rise to the challenge of our climate crisis, we must all do everything that we can. For many, that means becoming not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative.