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What is carbon offsetting?

Your Carbon Management Plan Questions Answered

Carbon offsetting enables businesses and entities to balance out their greenhouse gas emissions by funding projects that are proven to decrease or absorb an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. The aim is to neutralise or even reverse one’s carbon footprint, ensuring that the amount of emissions produced is equal to or less than the amount reduced or captured. A single carbon credit represents the offset of one tonne of carbon emissions. This practice supports several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are 17 objectives designed to enhance global well-being and environmental health by 2030.

How does carbon offsetting work?

  • Assess Your Carbon Impact: Begin by calculating the greenhouse gases produced by your daily operations, including energy use, travel, and business processes.

  • Select Projects for Offsetting: Opt for carbon offset initiatives that are dedicated to reducing or capturing emissions. Options may encompass Global Forest Initiatives, Clean Water Boreholes, and Small-Scale Renewable Energy Projects.

  • Contribute to Carbon Offsets: Buy carbon credits that match your emission levels. The proceeds from these purchases help fund the selected initiatives.

  • Ensure Verification and Certification: It’s essential to verify that the carbon offset projects are legitimate and lead to genuine emission reductions. Many projects are certified by independent standards like the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard, which register the projects publicly for transparency and accountability.

Important considerations for carbon offsetting

While carbon offsetting is a valuable component of a broader climate change strategy, it should not replace direct efforts to cut emissions. The primary focus should be on reducing emissions at the source by enhancing energy efficiency, adopting renewable energy, and fostering sustainable practices for a holistic carbon management approach.

Carbon offsetting and climate change

Carbon offsets also allow businesses to contribute to global climate action, especially in regions where reducing emissions is challenging. By aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, companies can affirm their commitment to societal responsibilities within their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives. Achieving carbon neutrality can signal a firm’s dedication to addressing climate change while continuing to lower emissions.

Pricing and examples

As an indication of pricing 1 tonne of carbon emissions can be offset at a price of between £11 - £18. For example, an average new build home, dependant on design and specification, could reasonably be expected to fall between 30 and 80 tonnes of carbon emissions. Therefore, an offset purchase at 30 tonnes would cost circa £350, delivering a completed home with a carbon neutral construction status.

For additional details on carbon credits, pricing, or other related topics, consider scheduling a complimentary 30-minute consultation with no obligation today. Call us, book a meeting or request a call back!


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