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Carbon offsetting enables business to meet ambitious climate goals, puts a price on carbon to incentivize further action, and provides critical finance to accelerate the world’s transition to a low-carbon future. Carbon offsets are an internationally recognized way to take responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions.
What is carbon offsetting?
In simple terms, offsetting one tonne of carbon means there will be one less tonne of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there would otherwise have been.
To offset emissions a company must purchase the equivalent volume of carbon credits (independently verified emissions reductions) to compensate for the emissions they cannot avoid. The purchase of these carbon credits enables carbon finance to go to projects which are avoiding and reducing emissions elsewhere in the world, and ensures they are financially viable and sustainable.
Every carbon credit we sell represents one tonne of emissions reductions that has been delivered by a project, and is independently audited to internationally agreed standards. They are all certified by third parties and go through a rigorous system of checks and balances to prove they are real, measurable, permanent, additional, independently verified and unique.
How do carbon offsets reduce climate change?
To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as set out in the Paris Agreement, we need to halve emissions by 2030. This means we need to take immediate action while also putting plans in place to decarbonise over the next decade. Business carbon offsetting is a vital tool to help tackle climate change as it allows you to take action for carbon emissions your company produces today, while you transition to a lower carbon future. While carbon offsetting alone will not solve climate change, it is an important tool on the way to Net Zero.
HOW DOES CARBON OFFSETTING WORK?
Offsetting carbon emissions is a continuous process starting with measuring your carbon footprint, setting a strategy to decarbonise your organization and offsetting emissions you can’t reduce. Offsetting means you can take action now to reduce global emissions while low or zero emission approaches are developed for your company.
Carbon offsets are just one tool to tackle climate change and should not be considered as a stand-alone action. After measuring a carbon footprint, organizations and individuals should reduce their emissions as much as possible, as well as taking responsibility for what remains, by buying carbon credits.
how it works
Learn how carbon offsetting works and the essential role business has to play.Watch Now
How do carbon offset projects reduce emissions?
- Protect forests – funding management and monitoring schemes that protect this natural source of carbon sequestration.
- Fund renewable energy – displacing fossil fuels from regional and national grids, by funding clean renewable sources such as wind and solar.
- Tackle household emissions – tackling sources of emissions in households and communities, these projects cut emissions through increasing energy efficiency or reducing use of fossil fuels.
- Planting trees and land restoration – sequestering carbon from the atmosphere storing it in trees and soil. Stabilising soils also reduces the risk of erosion and flooding while an increased forest area aids biodiversity.
How are carbon offsets measured?
Every carbon offset is measured in a unit of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (tCO2e) so whether a project is avoiding methane emissions, reducing carbon emissions from deforestation, or planting new trees to sequester carbon, the units are always in tCO2e.
Carbon offset projects measure their annual emission reductions in tCO2e against a baseline level of annual emissions which is calculated using an approved standard methodology. The project’s baseline or business-as-usual emission calculations must be validated by a third-party auditor before the project can start issuing carbon credits.
Once it is registered, the project measures and reports their emission reductions in a publicly available monitoring report that is again verified by a third-party auditor. And then once they are verified, the total number emission reductions from the project can be issued as the same number of carbon credits in tCO2e.
How can an organization offset their carbon footprint?
The steps below outline how to offset your carbon footprint.
- Define and measure your carbon footprint
- Set goals to reduce carbon footprint and deliver internal reductions
- Go beyond internal reductions to compensate for remaining unavoidable emissions
- Select high quality carbon credits verified under a recognized global standard
- Carbon offset certificate shows the tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions offset
- Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced using carbon finance
- Communicate your climate action and engage your teams, customers and stakeholders
- Continue to reduce your CO2 emissions
Choosing to offset carbon through Climate Impact Partners means you’ll support high quality carbon reduction projects that deliver value for the environment, local communities and your business.
Examples of carbon offsetting projects
Carbon offset programs can include a variety of carbon projects to meet your corporate objectives. Climate reduction projects can range from nature-based solutions, improved household technology to renewable energy solutions.
Some projects prevent carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, such as those that replace devices using fossil fuels with cleaner technology (clean cooking).These are often known as carbon reduction or avoidance projects.
Other projects take CO2 out of the atmosphere, such as planting trees which sequester carbon as they grow. These are known as removals projects.
The positive impacts delivered by emission reduction projects are not limited to the climate. Many projects also deliver positive outcomes for local communities, economies, health, and the natural world, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Funding emission reduction projects by purchasing carbon credits helps provide necessary finance to sustain the project.
We deliver some of the largest carbon offsetting programs in the world and have supported over 600 projects in more than 56 countries. Explore some of our carbon projects.
View our immersive 360-degree video tour below to see an example cookstove project in action.
Carbon Project 360 Video Tour
Drag your mouse to move around inside the video to learn about the Aqua Clara clean water project.Watch & Explore Now
High Quality Carbon Offsets
We only work with projects that meet independent industry standards and pass our own additional due diligence and quality requirements. All our projects are independently validated and verified to meet recognized third-party standards, but our commitment to quality goes much further.
Our comprehensive network of project partners gives us access to carbon finance projects around the world. All projects must pass additionality tests, demonstrating how they are delivering emission reductions beyond ‘business as usual’ and in a way that would not be possible without carbon finance. And our extensive due diligence program ensures the quality of every project.
These measures allow us to provide clients with an impactful customized solution that meets the specific interests and goals of their corporation.
COMPREHENSIVE CARBON OFFSETTING PROGRAMS FOR CLIENTS
High-quality carbon credits are just one part of a successful carbon offsetting program.
- Carbon Neutrality: Our CarbonNeutral® certification provides our clients with a pragmatic framework for carbon neutrality. First developed in 2002 and updated annually to reflect best practice, it is used by companies including HP, Sky, Logitech, and UPS.
- Net Zero: As businesses increasingly set net zero targets we work with them to develop programs which take action now and invest for emission reductions in the future.
- Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs): We work with clients to source EACs from all over the world to meet their targets for renewable energy procurement.
- Trusted Partnership: We work closely with you to ensure all your communications are accurate and in line with best practice. Our role is to protect and enhance your reputation and give you the confidence to talk in a clear and inspiring way about your climate action.
Through webinars, briefing papers and roundtable discussions, we keep our clients up to date with the latest industry and policy developments so that their programs can deliver the greatest impact.
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More Than Climate Benefits
Through carbon offsets, companies can deliver on many UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate Impact Partners uses a robust framework to evaluate carbon finance projects against the indicators established by the UN to measure progress toward 17 SDGs.
Compare how different project types tackle different SDGs on our nature-based solutions, health and livelihoods projects and sustainable infrastructure projects pages.
Carbon Offsets Frequently Asked Questions
Working with Climate Impact Partners ensures that your carbon offsetting program supports projects that are robust and verified to the highest international standards including the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard, ACR and the UK Woodland Carbon Code.
Climate Impact Partners is a founding member of the voluntary carbon market’s industry association, ICROA and we are on the Board of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).
Our work has played an important role in the development of the voluntary carbon market and our project principles have widely influenced the debate about what counts as a valid carbon offset. We continue to campaign for high standards.
Offsetting carbon emissions is an interim measure as you work to reduce your own direct emissions. Organizations use CO2 offsets in different ways. You can use it to help compensate for:
- Your residual carbon footprint after all other means of cutting emissions have been exhausted.
- Emissions from a particular product, service, building, project or event.
- Emissions from your supply chain.
It is a cost effective way to meet multiple social impact, environmental and business targets.
Our team will help your organization go Carbon Neutral today, demonstrating full responsibility for your current carbon footprint, and work with you to develop your long term plan to be net zero. We work with project partners around the globe to create and scale carbon finance projects in locations that matter to your organization.
As a leading carbon offsetting company, we deliver some of the largest carbon offset programs in the world.
We are experts in the voluntary carbon market, and have been working with clients and project partners to meet ambitious climate goals and deliver positive impact since 1997.
Together with the world’s leading companies and quality project partners we will reduce 1 billion tonnes of CO2 to transform the global economy, improve health and livelihoods and restore a thriving planet.
An award-winning profit with purpose Certified B Corporation, we’re recognized for setting the highest standards in our sector.
500+ clients around the world
100+ million tonnes of emissions have been reduced by Climate Impact Partners
42% of companies in the Fortune Global 500 have now delivered a significant climate milestone or are publicly committed to do so by 2030
1 billion We will deliver one billion tonnes of emission reductions
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