As awareness of the harm being caused by climate change has grown, more organizations have recognized the need to take responsibility for their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Carbon offsetting is a globally accepted way to tackle unavoidable emissions and can play an important role in any company’s carbon management strategy. But are traditional carbon offsets the best choice?
What Are Traditional Carbon Offsets?
Carbon offsets were developed as a way for businesses, organizations and individuals to neutralize their unavoidable emissions – that is, the carbon footprint that remains after all reasonable steps have been taken to reduce emissions to a minimum.
The basic principle is simple: Projects are developed around the world to avoid or absorb emissions. For every verified tonne (metric ton) of carbon equivalent that is cut, the project is awarded a certificate of emissions reduction, also referred to as an offset or credit, which can be sold.
When an offset is purchased by a company or individual, it is retired on a public registry so it can’t be sold more than once. The revenue from selling offsets pays back the original investment in the project.
All offset projects are subject to rigorous measurement and verification procedures to ensure that the carbon reductions are genuine and permanent. Traditional carbon offsets have made a valuable contribution towards tackling climate change – but could they do more?
Why Should Your Carbon Offset Projects Do More Than Just Reducing GHG Emissions?
As well as reducing emissions, carbon offset projects can deliver a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits to improve the lives of local people, particularly among less well-off communities in developing countries who are most threatened by the impacts of climate change.
No matter where carbon reduction takes place globally, it has the same effect (i.e. reducing the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere), so your investment in carbon offsets can also be a powerful tool for sustainable development, or a way to make a positive impact in your local area.
In both developed and developing countries, progressive carbon offset projects deliver co-benefits such as reducing poverty and improving health, protecting the environment and biodiversity, improving the economic sustainability of farms and rural industries, creating jobs, supplying affordable renewable energy and restoring important wildlife habitats.
Researchers measuring the economic benefits of offsetting projects estimate that a progressive offset project can deliver more than $110 of health benefits, over $90 of livelihood impacts and up to $3 of employment impacts for every tonne of CO2 offset.
While bringing benefits to the host communities, these impacts can also help you achieve corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and enhance your company’s reputation as a sustainability leader.
How Do NativeEnergy’s Help BuildTM Programs Differ from Traditional Offsetting Projects?
The Help Build carbon offset program maximizes the impact of your investment. As well as supporting progressive offset projects – simultaneously delivering emissions reductions alongside community benefits – the program only funds projects that would otherwise not be built.
Unlike buying traditional offsets, which come from existing projects and represent emissions reductions that have already been made, an investment in Help Build provides the funding for a project in advance. Without this investment, many community-based offset schemes would not happen.
NativeEnergy’s Help Build offsets undergo the same detailed verification and certification processes as traditional offsets, so you can be sure the carbon emissions reductions are guaranteed. You also benefit from knowing that your offset purchase is funding brand new projects that help communities thrive and grow.