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What Is Carbon Offsetting?

Featuring 32 riders performing stunning tricks as they rip across the rugged terrain of North America and Europe, Burton’s latest documentary One World is an epic celebration of snowboarding.

Being a leader in sustainable brands and an organization whose clients depend on a healthy, healthy environment to follow their passions, Burton knew that making a good film was not enough. It also wanted to mitigate the environmental impact of the snowmobile, flights, trips, and other emissions associated with producing the film. As a recognized B Corporation, the company has a track record of supporting climate policies and reducing the effects of its productions and operations.

For One World, Burton worked with Bank of the West to reduce the carbon footprint of the production by purchasing carbon offsets, an approach that is widely used to help companies and other businesses work to offset their environmental impact. Burton and the bank teamed up to help sequester 563 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide through the foundation of an initiative to protect forests along the Alaskan coastline. It’s equivalent to taking cars from the roads for one year.

Emily Foster, Burton’s environmental impact manager, says that the firm’s approach in this case was a mix of idealism and practicality.

“We hope for the day when everyone can travel the world and pursue their passions powered entirely with clean energy, however, we’re still not there as a nation,” Foster explains. “For emissions that we cannot eliminate now, we invest in high-quality carbon credits that cut greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard ecosystems. Although carbon offsets aren’t the answer, we do use them as a tool to keep us accountable and to take action when low-carbon options develop.”

Carbon offsets, as Foster suggests is not the best solution–but they are useful as the world transitions out of fossil fuels. It’s not possible to just turn off the lights and go away from fossil fuels in a matter of hours. So, in the meantime carbon offsets are an important element of the puzzle in a world where forward-thinking and environmentally responsible players work towards an environmentally sustainable future.

We’ll look at a deeper understanding an examination of carbon offsets: what they are, the reasons they matter, arguments for their use, as well as some of the criticisms that are made against carbon offsets.

What Is Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon offsets are a method whereby funds are redirected to projects that reduce global emissions. People or companies often purchase carbon offsets, instead of reducing their carbon footprints, when they believe that emissions are unavoidable, or sometimes they do both to make their emissions reduction efforts increase.

Visit to learn more about carbon offsetting.

Carbon offset projects include efficient cook-stoves in rural villages, biogas production from organic matter, and a variety of projects that are aimed at decreasing the deforestation rate or regenerating damaged forests.

The process of certifying a project as being eligible to offset carbon isn’t simple. Carbonbay is engaged in guiding project through the Byzantine maze of regulations that have been put in to the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to make sure that not only are the emission reductions legitimate as well as that there’s an existing source of funding for a project like this. That usually means that they are a departure from business-as-usual and have little chances of success without credits. Credits for emission reduction allow projects to get compensation for every metric tons of carbon emissions avoided. They can be accredited through CDM or other reputable standards that include The Gold Standard, and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

“Carbon offsetting … assists environmental projects who are unable to obtain funding on their own.”

The Pros of Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting has benefits at both ends of the process It assists environmental projects that aren’t able to get funding on their own and it also provides businesses with a better chances to lower the carbon emissions of their operations.

A lot of companies aren’t able to reduce their carbon footprint as they’d like to. In certain cases, this is because their footprint is already small (e.g. software companies) however they would like to expand. Other industries, like heavy equipment or ocean shipping, simply don’t have alternatives that are low carbon to serve their markets currently. Through helping fund environmental projects that cut emissions, businesses can make more up for the emissions they cannot eliminate themselves.

While most offset purchases are voluntary however, there are certain jurisdictions where they are needed to conform to local regulations and standards to stay clear of penalties. Another advantage of this system of carbon offset: It offers regulators a way to enforce environmental laws.

Other businesses use offsets in order to credibly claim that all or a portion of their operations are “carbon neutral” or even “carbon negative.” Additionally, offsets provide an avenue for them to keep track of their own carbon footprint. Many people are now more comfortable doing business with these companies.

Carbon offsetting can be a valuable resource to projects that usually trap carbon in the form of forest growth , or other mechanisms or reduce emission, for example, renewable energy generation or energy appliances. Focusing on projects that are less likely to receive other forms of funding, such as a first-of-its-kind in the region in which they are located They can be a great alternative to conventional finance methods.

Once a project that is successful is achieved by offsetting, and proven its viability, it is generally more straightforward for similar follow-on projects to get funding from different sources.

Studies have proven offsetting to be a viable method to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Carbon Offsetting: The Cons of Carbon Offsetting

A variety of criticisms have been directed at carbon offsets, too. Some are philosophical in nature, objecting to the idea that rich businesses can buy their way out of the carbon market, instead of taking on more direct responsibility for their emissions. Others claim that they weaken the pressure for more collective action, such as the carbon tax. Do offsets let polluters out of the loop too easily?

Other sources point to more practical issues:

Some forests protected by offsets have later been found to have burned , or cleared of wood. This may or may not be deliberate on the part of those receiving the credits.
Are the credits truly necessary are they really necessary, or would the task be completed without the credits?
Are carbon measurements reliable, and can the entities that keep track of their accuracy be trusted to provide the right accounting?
How do you deal with fraud?
Is global warming happening too quickly for carbon offsets to help?

There are some very valid questions to be asked here. While no system is perfect but many of these concerns have been identified to be addressed both carbon standards and procedures evolve.

Carbon offsets are not designed to substitute for direct action, but rather as a supplement or, in certain cases, the only choice. For instance, the airline industry, for example, uses many offsets, since there’s no way that commercial aircraft can fly today without fossil fuels. Under a global scheme known as CORSIA the airlines will be able to stop the emission levels for 2019/2020 and commit to offset any growth in emissions after 2021.

In the case of forests that disappear following the qualification as offsets issue was addressed in the most recent VCS standard, which allows for payment to be made to carbon sequestration in forests that has been completed, such as over the last decade. To reduce risk, a proportion of the funds paid out in credits are allocated to “pooled buffers” to help cover unexpected losses, similar to the insurance policies.

The way we measure is also changing. Renewable energy projects are easy to measure, since it is only necessary to examine the meter. Land-use projects like forestry might be more difficult and require more sophisticated models and the use of technologies such as GPS satellite imagery drones are becoming useful to provide a better view of the amount of carbon is remaining stored.

How You Can Track and Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon offset is a common practice across businesses. But banks are working with tech companies to help make consumers more involved. For example, Swedish fintech startup Doconomy, has partnered together with Finnish Aland Bank to help regular people understand the carbon impact on the majority of purchases.

The Aland Index calculates the carbon footprint of each item purchased by consumers using more than 200 parameters. Paula DiPerna, who was instrumental in establishing the world’s first cap and trade program in the year 2003 calls the index “a game-changing tool” which converts the intangibles into dollars. Consumers then can use this value to offset the carbon footprint created by the item, making purchases carbon neutral.

As per Helena Mueller, head of Aland Index Solutions and co-founder of Doconomy, “the index was designed to create a common language for the climate for all personal financial management, by setting a credible international standard and also to give the world a voice every purchase and in every point of sale.”

Customers have access to the index via the DO app. It’s available only in Sweden and Denmark, however Bank of the West teamed up in partnership with Doconomy and Doconomy to offer it in the US in conjunction with the 1 percent contribution to accounts. Planet account. With the mobile banking app you can use you can use Aland Index is applied to transactions in order to calculate the carbon footprint of purchases made with the percent of credit card. Planet debit card.

“The carbon footprint will be presented as kilo and/or pounds emitted as well as with the social cost of carbon, i.e. the true cost of a product or service when the negative impact of climate change are accounted for,” declares Mueller. “The bank that is, in this case, Bank of the West, has then the choice to aid their customers to understand the carbon footprint by transaction by day or week, month and even the year.”

Armed with this information the individual consumer can take charge of their environmental footprint. In the end, it’s impossible to change what you can’t measure.