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"Offsetting" your "Carbon Footprint"

At planetinsualtion.com our approach to Greenhouse gasses (GHG) and global warming works on a number of levels. One of these is to allow our customers the possibility to offset greenhouse gas emissions with their purchase

What is Carbon gas offsetting?

You can pay a third party to fund projects which act to reduce the amount of carbon being produced in the atmosphere, so offsetting the amount you have produced. These entities generally encourage consumers and small companies to offset their entire personal or business GHG footprints, or to offset specific activities

What is my carbon footprint and how do I calculate it?

In simple terms it's the amount of C0 that you and your family create per year. It is easy to calculate your own figure

Carbon Offsetters

There has been a proliferation of companies offering this offset service. The price per tonne of C0 that they offset varies between 3.00 and 14 per ton of gas.

Carbon Offsetters offer different prices, is cheaper better?

At first glance it might seem that you could offset more carbon per if you went with an offsetter offering a lower price. However, like anything you often get what you pay for. Some of the less well known offsetters who are cheaper are less transparent and less rigorous in their methods of achieving their carbon reduction quotas. There is also questions of the sustainability of some of the projects they offer. Below we discuss in a little more detail what is important when choosing a carbon offsetter.

Why Planetinsulation has chosen climatecare ?

At planet insulation we have chosen climatecare as our carbon offsetter as it ranked top within individual surveys based on a number of very important criteria. 1 tonne of Carbon offset costs 7.50. There projects are very sustainable transparent and appear to have impact on a number of levels not just in reducing the carbon emissions.

The retail offsets market

The number of entities in the market continues to grow and dozens of the participants offer widely differing consumer messages as well as prices. Many smaller and newer entrants offer little information about where the money is being spent or what criteria are used to select the reductions they sell to customers. While price offsets vary between 3 and 14 per ton the average is about 6. Low offset prices are a double edged sword as the quality can be poor and questionable.

What is the perfect offset project?

Once you consider all the criteria that make a perfect project it is clear why good projects incur higher costs than less than perfect ones. A perfect offset project would be characterised by specific qualities:

Additionality

A project needs to demonstrate addtionality, i.e that the money from funding creates a project in addition to what would have been created without that money. And so creates a reduction in GHG's specifically as a result of that money.

This boils down to the following question .

All things being equal, would a project have happened in the absence of the retail offset market. If it would have happened anyway then the project is not additional. If it wouldn't have happened then it is additional. Within this there are a number of stricter additionally tests that apply.

Baseline Determination

Once you confirm additionality you need to set a baseline level to see what the emissions would have been in the absence of these projects. Thus you can establish the value of the project.

Benefit Quantification

Quantifying the benefits would also take into account uncertainties surrounding the calculations of emissions reduced as well as potential GHG increases elsewhere resulting from the project

Permanence

The offset would not be subject to future reversals such as could occur in reforestation project after a forest fire.

Ownership

The ownership of a project should be made very clear so that the same offets are not sold multiple times

Monitoring and verification

The offset project needs to verified and monitored over time

Registration

Offset registration guards against offset being sold multiple times

Our choice of climatecare.org

The choice of climatecare.org as provider was arrived at following its high ranking based on the following 7 criteria

  1. Providers' prioritisation of offset quality
  2. Buyers' ( planetinsualtion.co.uk) ability to transparently evaluate the offset quality
  3. Transparency in provider operations and offset selection
  4. Providers understanding of technical aspects of offset quality
  5. Priority assigned by the provider to educating consumers about global warming and global warming policy
  6. Ancillary environmental and sustainable developments of the offset portfolio
  7. Use of third party protocols and certification

The choice of Climate Care was base on an independent report created for Clean Air Cool Planet. A copy of the in depth report can be seen here.

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