Carbon OffsettingCarbon offsetting solutions allow companies and to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to offset their own carbon footprints.
The more a business can do to reduce its carbon footprint the better for the planet, but sometimes that’s not possible. So, offsetting your carbon usage is a great way to bridge that gap and help reduce emissions.
Most carbon offsetting projects are usually based in developing countries and are usually designed to reduce future emissions.
These types of schemes involve the planting of trees which work by soaking up CO2 directly from the air through the planting of woods and forests.
These types of projects also create jobs, improve health and can help sustain community’s in rural areas.
In simple terms offsetting means buying carbon credits equivalent to your business or personal carbon impact.
This allows you to compensate for every tonne of CO2 you emit by ensuring there is one tonne less in the atmosphere.
Regardless of location one unit of CO2 is the same and has the same climate impact wherever it is emitted. So, the benefit is the same wherever it is reduced or avoided too.
How Does Carbon Offsetting Work
“Frequently carbon offsetting reduces emissions much faster than you can as company. Carbon offsetting projects help to combat global climate change as well as caring for local communities”
3 Steps to Carbon Offsetting
calculate your emissions
This is easy for a single transaction like a flight or journey, but more complicated for those business looking to offset company wide carbon.
You should explore other ways to reduce carbon on a more permanent basis first, before deciding if you should reduce your emissions further.
choose an offset project
Buy carbon credits equivalent to your business impact. This allows you to compensate for every tonne of CO2 you emit by ensuring there is one tonne less in the atmosphere. Regardless of location one unit of CO2 is the same and has the same climate impact wherever it is emitted. So, the benefit is the same wherever it is reduced or avoided too.
When to offset your carbon emissions
Some organisations choose to offset their entire carbon footprint, but others prefer to target the impact of a specific activity such as a flight or long journey. Others for example will offset their gas usage annually to support their sustainable business goals.
Many organisations are also providing products that are also available with carbon neutrality included as part of the overall price. This is where the price of the product includes the ability to offset the carbon that is used to generate the product or the carbon to deliver the product.
Some logistics companies are providing carbon neutrality for example on delivered products.
How to calculate your carbon footprint
This is relatively simple when it’s a single transaction approach, as several websites allow you calculate the emissions from say a single flight or journey and then pay the offset company to reduce emissions elsewhere in the world by the same amount. This would make the journey or flight carbon neutral.
For more complicated requirements a simple website calculator probably won’t work, and particularly for those organisations looking to offset more than just a single transaction.
A more robust method must be defined and often this is an ongoing monthly transaction as apposed to a single offset action.
The cost of carbon offsetting
The cost of carbon offsetting varies widely although the planting of trees is the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis. Offset schemes vary widely in terms of the cost, though a fairly typical fee would be around £8-£10 for each tonne of CO2 offset.
> So, a typical British family would pay around £60 to offset a year’s worth of gas and electricity use by the planting of approximately 160 trees a year.
> Whereas a small SME business (14,900 kWh/Year) with a carbon footprint of 6.14 tonnes would cost £370 to offset a year’s worth of electricity use by the planting of approximately 1,000 trees a year.
So for those companies that are looking to improve their carbon credentials and enhance their environmental outlook, you can see the low cost and high gain benefits of these types of schemes.
Offsetting your business carbon footprint is easier than you might think and Global climate experts agree that forests are an essential part of fighting climate change.
Planting trees to carbon offset
Planting trees is a great way to offset your company’s carbon emissions by investing in sustainable reforestation projects and invest in the most efficient action to mitigate climate change.
Through photosynthesis trees absorb and store pollutants such as carbon and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. By ensuring that the trees planted are native species you can help to preserve the environment and biodiversity.