Whether you are new to offsetting or you have invested in carbon offsets many times, you need to know that your offset provider has planned and scheduled its projects to maximize benefit and efficiency for your offset investment.
How can the planning and execution of a progressive offset project help maximize your offset investment?
How Long Does It Take to Develop an Offset Project?
Most carbon offsets are sold year-by-year from projects that are already built and operating. The annual revenue helps project investors recover their investment and support the market for carbon projects.
The problem with that approach is that many smaller, community-based projects can’t get funded if they have to wait for year-by-year offset revenues.
With Help Build™ carbon offsets, investors buy a project’s long-term carbon reductions upfront. This provides critical financing that makes the project happen, but it takes longer to develop and build, resulting in carbon savings further down the line.
What Is The Development Timeline?
For each new carbon reduction project, the NativeEnergy supply team conducts an extensive check, calculates the emissions that will be reduced, evaluates financial additionality, and establishes a relationship with the project via site visits and meetings with project participants.
The project design document is assessed by an accredited third-party validator. Only when the project has been formally approved by the validator, in accordance with the standard, is it publicly listed on a carbon registry website.
NativeEnergy establishes a timeline for each stage of the project’s development to ensure the project is built in the most efficient way and carbon offsets can be realized in a timely and sustainable manner.
Why Is Project Duration Important?
Knowing how long a project will run helps you to maximize emission efficiency within that time.
Currently, there is plenty of ‘low-hanging fruit’; relatively cheap and simple projects to reduce or avoid carbon emissions that need investment from companies who wish to offset. This abundance of affordable projects means that the cost per ton of carbon is still low.
In five or ten years’ time, when the low-cost projects have all been implemented, the cost per ton of carbon offset may rise considerably as projects become more complex and expensive to build.
Projects that need upfront funding in order to get off the ground, such as NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ projects, are financed at today’s prices, but deliver future emissions reductions over a defined period.
By investing upfront in an offset project that will run for many years, an organization can protect itself against the rising cost of carbon. Planning ahead for future carbon offsets makes good financial sense.
Planning Your Offset Reporting and Communications
To gain positive exposure from communicating your carbon offsets, it’s important to understand when they will happen and how that relates to your own emissions.
Investment in future carbon reductions may be perceived as ‘delayed’ offsets. For example, funding a wind project, such as the Greensburg Wind Farm in Greensburg, Kansas, takes several years to establish itself.
A project that is yet to be built and will begin operating in three years’ time might not be considered to be offsetting carbon that is emitted in the current year, but if the project can’t otherwise happen, the climate loses unless we embrace that kind of offsetting action.
The Greensburg project came on the heels of a devastating tornado in 2007. Once the parameters were established to rebuild Greensburg as “the greenest town in America”, the project began garnering national attention as a success story in 2010.
A clear, honest marketing strategy will boost your brand exposure and reputation, so be clear about the quantity of offsets purchased and the time period they cover.
Progressive offsets offer additional opportunities to enhance your reputation. A great marketing strategy will also focus on the social and environmental benefits of the project.
NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ projects finance community-scale carbon reduction schemes that would not otherwise happen.
Each project is carefully designed and planned to meet the needs of organizations accounting for future emissions, and to maximize the value of offset investments.