How does it all work?

CARBON OFFSETTING EXPLAINED

Carbon offsetting is one way your business can start it’s carbon neutral journey, become net zero or even climate positive. However, we know choosing offsets as part of your company’s climate action can feel complicated. Here at Climagap we want to make it easy to use carbon offsets. Here we aim to explain what carbon offsets work so that you can feel confident that carbon offsetting is the right choice for you and your business.

Why should I offset?

In order to avoid climate disaster, countries have agreed to try to limit climate change to 1.5C. In order to do this we need to significantly reduce carbon emissions.


Depending on where you live in the world, and which sector your business operates in, you may need to limit your carbon footprint more or less in order to be aligned with the 1.5C target. While your company may want to mitigate your impact; for example by carpooling, switching to energy efficient lighting, recycling waste, or using sustainable suppliers it is still difficult to become completely climate neutral – and this may be particularly difficult in the short term. Carbon offsetting is a way your company can support the 1.5C target on residual carbon emissions while your company’s mitigation strategy and practices are taking effect.

 

What is my Carbon Footprint?

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It is almost impossible in today’s world to be a company without a carbon footprint. A carbon footprint refers to the total amount of carbon used by your enterprise. Everything we do; from zoom calls to packaging, and from light bulbs to purchases of electronic products like laptops, uses carbon and therefore has a carbon footprint. The total amount of carbon used as part of your company’s business makes up your company’s carbon footprint. You can learn more about your company’s carbon footprint by using our carbon footprint calculator.

What does it mean to be carbon neutral?

Carbon neutral means that the total amount of carbon emitted by your company is offset so that your company has no impact on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This can also be referred to as being Net Zero. Being a zero emissions company means that your business has developed strategies so that you do not emit any carbon. As mentioned above this is almost impossible in today’s world. Your company may also choose to be carbon positive, which would mean offsetting more than your company’s carbon footprint. You could also develop a strategy of how to reach net zero and just offset some of your company’s carbon footprint today with a view to how you may become net zero over the next 5 or 10 years. This means you have started your company’s carbon neutral journey.

 

What is a Carbon Offset?

A carbon offset is a way of taking a pre-defined amount of carbon out of the atmosphere by either investing in renewable energy to make clean energy more affordable to forego carbon that otherwise would have been emitted, or by investing in carbon sinks and reforestation that take carbon directly out of the atmosphere.

Carbon offsetting was created as a political tool back in 1997 under the UN’s framework for climate change (The UNFCCC). Back then they created a way for countries to offset through a regulated market. But it also created a way for companies and individuals to voluntarily offset; this market operates under something called the Voluntary Offset Mechanism.

 

How do I Carbon Offset?

To carbon offset your carbon footprint you have to buy a carbon credit that will then be retired. Carbon credits are developed by different private organisations. In order to be legitimate they should be certified by either Verra or Gold Standard. Both Verra and Gold Standard are accreditation bodies that only certify projects that have gone through rigorous due diligence processes that meet international and national standards. 

 

Climagap only offers carbon credits from projects that are Verra or Gold Standard certified. Each project is issued with a certain number of carbon credits that can be used to offset a company’s carbon footprint. The amount of total credits issued to each project are finite. The project developers then sell those carbon credits to third-party (like Climagap) that will offer them to you in the market.

Some projects do more than just take carbon out of the atmosphere. They may also create jobs, provide education or support local habitats. To what extent a project offered through Climagap has a social or environmental impact over and above the climate impact, will be identified on the project page.

 

What happens when I buy a Carbon Credit?

When you purchase a Carbon Credit through Climagap our team will quickly move forward and retire the carbon credit for you. This is a regulatory process through which your name, and the amount of Carbon Credit you purchased from a specific project, will be registered with the issuing body (e.g. Verra or Gold Standard). Once carbon credits from a specific project have been retired it cannot be re-sold or re-issued. Your company will forever have taken that amount of carbon out of the atmosphere.

 

Ready to start offsetting today? 

Check out our list of offset projects to get started and learn more about how we can help you share the good news.