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How to Offset Your Emissions

Carbon offsets are rapidly increasing in importance. The carbon emissions of the world are rising in alarming proportions and offsetting carbon emissions can be a potent method to aid in fighting global warming and climate change.

The benefits of carbon offsets do not only include carbon emission reduction, but based on the type of offset project they may bring many benefits to the entire environmental. In addition to local environmental, social and ecological benefits.

What is what is a Carbon Offset?

A carbon offset permits both companies and individuals to reduce carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits to offset carbon emissions in projects to reduce carbon emissions. These projects can be accomplished through:

Reforestation, e.g. planting new trees
Reduced the need for deforestation. REDD (Reducing emissions due to Deforestation as well as Forest Degradation)
Sustainable and improved management of forests and through REDD+
Renewables, for instance wind turbines and solar PV
Retention of gas from landfills, or methane
Clean cookstove projects
Access to clean water
And much more

Each carbon credit equals the reduction in carbon emissions of one tonnes of CO2.

The Offsetting Process

The process of offsetting carbon emissions your carbon emissions requires you to purchase carbon credits, then reserving the credits for the organization. To be able to claim carbon credits to credible, it has to be:

In addition, you must ensure that the reduction in carbon emissions is permanent and real
Verified – providing assurance on the authenticity and reliability of the credit
Transparent and provides proof of offset

To meet the requirements of these standards Carbon offsets are that are available through diverse verification schemes, which include:

Gold Standard
Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
Plan Vivo
UN Clean Development Mechanism

How to Reduce Your Emissions

The process of offset carbon emissions begins by knowing how much carbon you want to offset, and the rationale for offsetting.

If your aim is to help society, you might decide to establish an offset budget, then match it to a certain amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to tonnes and the carbon credits will be purchased and then retired. This will be the evidence you require should you decide to prove the amount of carbon that your organization offsets, or on the number of trees established, and you might decide to include to fill out your year-end CSR report.

This approach, however, will not allow the claim of carbon neutrality or emissions net-zero carbon. This requires the highest degree of confidence.

Net Zero Carbon and Carbon Neutrality

If your aim is to claim carbon neutrality as well as net zero Carbon projects it is necessary to begin with a thorough analysis. Carbon footprint assessments should be conducted in accordance with recognized footprint standards. Standards for carbon measurement that are well-known and respected include:

ISO 14067:2018
PAS 2050
World Resources Institute GHG Protocol for Products
EN 1504
EN 15978
UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Framework Definition

We can provide advice on the appropriate carbon measurement standards and also conduct evaluations. The compliance with these standards ensures the required level of accuracy for carbon calculations. The assessment could also be backed by assurances from an external or third-party audit.

After the carbon content is determined, and to the level of assurance that is appropriate the carbon credits can be purchased and then retired on your behalf. Retirement of a carbon credit assures that nobody else will be able to purchase the credit.

What are the financial and Societal benefits of offsetting?

The Gold Standard, one of the major carbon verification and registration schemes, has conducted research on the larger advantages from carbon credit. Their research suggests that there are other economic benefits associated with carbon credits and that they are able to contribute to the various UN sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have benefits on wellbeing, biodiversity, as well as employment.

Their study suggests that a reduction in carbon emissions by 1 tonne CO2 through using the Gold Standard, has a larger financial benefit in terms of:

Biogas = $465
Filters for water equal $118
Cookstoves = $267
Wind = $11
Afforestation / Reforestation = $177 benefit

All of these values are over the cost of one carbon credit.

What is the cost of Carbon Offset credits Cost?

The price of a carbon credit exchange varies significantly as does the marketplace of based on supply and demand. As such, prices is subject to alter at any time. As an approximate guideline carbon credits can be obtained from offset schemes that have been verified starting at under PS5 (USD / EUR) one tonne of CO2. Projects within that range are usually renewable energy projects located in Asia and are most likely older in their vintages. It is not advised to only use offset credits generated by renewable sources. Other offset projects can provide more value and provide greater benefits.

There’s plenty of options in the PS8-15 range ((USD / EUR) 1 ton CO2. In this price range, it is possible to be able to select the countries or regions where offsets occur and also the projects of different types, like renewables, forestry, cookstoves…etc. The higher-end credits are likely to have PS15-25 TCO2e and more.

Some of the most costly offsets are usually forest-based credits that are in high demand and offer a variety of other advantages.

How Much Carbon Do I Really Have to offset?

This can be established by the carbon assessment. To provide general guidelines, consider the carbon emissions from different activities:

Average emissions for a territorial area from one person in the UK equals 6.5 tonnes of CO2
1 person in the USA is 16.5 tonnes of CO2
1 person living in the EU equals 6.4 tonnes of CO2
Flight return to New York to London, economy = 1.7 tonnes CO2
Business class same flight = 5 tonnes of CO2
Building construction Carbon embodied, per m2 Gross Interior Area (GIA) is 0.5 or 1.0 tonnes CO2e/m2 The GIA
A 1,000-m2 building is between 500 and 1,000 tonnes of CO2
A 10,000 m2 building = 5,000 – 10,000 tonnes of CO2
Office space energy consumption for 100 employees equals 50 to 100 tonnes of CO2

These numbers are intended to be used as an approximate guidelines only.