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Should I Use Carbon Offsetting Programmes?

The film features 32 snowboarders who perform amazing tricks while slicing through the rugged terrain of North America and Europe, Burton’s most recent documentary One World is an epic celebration of snowboarding.

As a top sustainable brand and one whose customers rely on a healthy, healthy environment to pursue their passions, Burton realized that just making a great film was not enough. They also wanted to minimize the impact on the environment of the many trips, snowmobile rides and other emissions that are associated in the production of the film. As a accredited B Corporation, the company is a proven leader in supporting climate policies and minimizing the environmental impacts of its products as well as operations.

To create One World, Burton worked together with Bank of the West to minimize the impact of the production on the climate by purchasing carbon offsets a method that is widely used to help businesses and other organizations work to mitigate their environmental footprints. Burton and Bank of the West collaborated to help sequester 563 tonnes of CO2 the foundation of a project to protect forests along the Alaskan coast. It’s equivalent to taking all vehicles from the road for a whole year.

Emily Foster, Burton’s environmental impact manager, says that the company’s decision-making in this instance was a mixture of idealistic thinking and practicality.

“We are looking forward to the day when people are able to travel around the globe and pursue their interests fueled solely with clean energy, however, we’re still not there as a species,” Foster explains. “For emissions that we cannot eliminate today, we put our money into carbon credits of the highest quality, validated and certified that help reduce greenhouse gases and safeguard ecosystems. Carbon offsets may not be the answer, we employ them to make ourselves accountable and be proactive while low-carbon alternatives emerge.”

Carbon offsets like Foster suggests the issue, aren’t a flawless solution but they are a useful option as the world moves towards a non-carbon future. It is impossible for us to turn off the lights and go away from fossil fuels immediately. Therefore, for the time being carbon offsets are an important part of the equation as environmentally conscious and forward-thinking players work towards the foundation for a sustainable future.

We’ll look at a deeper understanding review of carbon offsets, what they are, the reasons they’re important, arguments in support of their use, as well as some of the criticisms made against carbon offsets.

What is Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon offset is a method whereby funds are redirected to projects that reduce global emissions. People or companies often purchase carbon offsets rather than cutting their carbon footprints when emissions appear inevitable, or they combine both in order to make their efforts to reduce emissions extend.

Carbon offset projects consist of efficient stoves for cooking in villages, bio-gas generation from organic matter, as well as a wide range of projects that aim to reduce deforestation and regenerating forests that have been damaged.

The process of certifying projects to be eligible for carbon offsets isn’t an easy task. Carbonbay is engaged in guiding project through the Byzantine regulatory maze which have been implemented as part of the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to make sure that not only emissions reductions are legitimate and legal, but also that there’s no existing financing that could be used for projects of this kind. This usually means that the projects are different from normal business practices and have no chance of success without credits. Credits for emission reduction allow projects to be compensated for each metric tonne of carbon emissions sucked up. They are able to be accredited with CDM or other recognized standards which include The Gold Standard, and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

“Carbon offset … aids environmental projects that aren’t able to get funds by themselves.”

What are the Pros of Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offset can be beneficial at both ends It helps environmental projects that cannot get financing on their own and also gives businesses the chances to lower the carbon emissions of their operations.

A lot of companies aren’t able to reduce their emissions to the extent they’d like. In certain cases, this is due to the fact that their footprint is already tiny (e.g. software companies) however they would like to grow their business. Other industries, for instance, heavy equipment and ocean transportation, do not have alternatives that are low carbon to service their market currently. Through helping fund projects to reduce emissions, companies can make their way up for emissions they aren’t able to eliminate themselves.

Although the majority of offset purchases are not required but there are certain areas where offset purchases are required to conform to local regulations and standards to get rid of penalty. This is yet another advantage of using the offset method. It allows regulators to enforce environmental laws.

Others make use of offsets to demonstrate that the entirety or a portion of their operations are “carbon non-carbon” or “carbon positive.” They also provide an opportunity for these businesses to measure their own carbon footprint. The majority of people are now more comfortable doing business with these companies.

Carbon offset can be a valuable resource for projects that typically capture carbon through forest growth or other means, or eliminate emission, for example, green energy production or energy appliances. Through focusing on projects that tend to be less likely receive different types of financing for example, a unique one in a particular region They can be a great alternative to traditional financing mechanisms.

After a successful project has been realized through offset and proved to be viable it’s usually simpler for follow-on, similar projects to be able to draw funding from other sources.

Studies have proven offsetting to be a viable method to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Pros and Cons of Carbon Offsetting

A variety of criticisms have been directed at carbon offsets as well. They are often philosophical in nature and oppose the notion that corporations with wealth can buy their way out of the carbon market, instead of taking greater accountability for their carbon emissions. Some argue that offsets weaken the pressure for more aggressive collective action like carbon tax. Are offsets letting polluters get off the hook too easily?

Others point to more practical issues:

Certain forests that are protected by offsets were later discovered to have been burned or cut down. It could or might not be intentional on the part the people who received the credits.
Are the credit cards really needed and could the work be completed without the credits?
Are carbon measurements accurate? and can the organizations that monitor their accuracy be trusted to perform an accounting that is accurate?
What is the problem with fraud?
Is global warming taking place too quickly for carbon offsets to be beneficial?

There are some valid questions to be asked here. Although no system is perfect However, these concerns have been identified and will be addressed in the future as carbon standards and methods evolve.

Carbon offsets are not designed to replace directly taking action. They are instead as a complement or in some instances, the only alternative. The aviation industry, for instance makes use of a large number of offsets since there is no feasible method for commercial aircrafts to fly without fossil fuels. As part of an international program called CORSIA which will allow them to stop the emission levels for 2019 and 2020 and promise to offset any increase in emissions starting from 2021.

In the case of forests disappearing following the qualification as offsets issue was addressed in the most recent VCS standard, which permits payment to be made to carbon sequestration in forests that has already taken place, for instance over the past decade. To reduce risks, a certain percentage of credits that are paid are saved to be placed in “pooled buffers” to help cover unexpected loss, similar to the insurance policies.

The measurement process is also changing. The renewable power projects tend to be the easiest to quantify, as it is only necessary to take a look at the meters. The land-use and forest projects could be more difficult to measure However, the models are becoming more accurate and new technologies such as GPS satellite imagery, drones are becoming useful to provide a better image of the amount of carbon that remains stored.
How to track and offset Your carbon footprint

Carbon offset is a common practice in many businesses. Banks have partnered with tech companies to engage consumers in. For instance, Swedish fintech startup Doconomy has joined forces in Finland’s Aland Bank to help regular customers understand the carbon footprint 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 responsible for establishing the first world-wide trading system for cap-and trade in the year 2003 has called the index “a game changer” which converts the intangibles into the form of a dollar. Consumers then can use this value to offset the carbon emissions produced by the item, making the purchase carbon-neutral.

“The index was designed … in order to provide the world with a voice in every pocket and at every point of sale.”

Helena Mueller, the head of Aland Index Solutions and co-founder of Doconomy

As per Helena Mueller, head of Aland Index Solutions and co-founder of Doconomy, “the index was designed to create a common standard for climate-related issues in all aspects of personal finance management, establishing a reliable global standard as well as giving the world a voice every pocket and at every point of sale.”

Customers have access to the index via the DO application. It’s available only in Sweden however, Bank of the West teamed together with Doconomy for the purpose of bringing it into the US to be part of the 1 percent for the Planet account1,2. With the mobile banking application it is possible to use it is possible to use the Aland Index is applied to transactions in order to calculate the carbon footprint of transactions that are made using one percent of Planet debit card.

“The carbon footprint can be reported in kilo or pounds produced as well as Carbon’s social costs, i.e. the true cost of a product or service, after the negative effect of climate change are taken into account in,” states Mueller. “The bank is in this instance Bank of the West, is then able to assist their customers in understanding the carbon footprint for each transaction by the day and week, month and the entire year.”

Armed with this information individuals can control their environmental footprint. It’s true that you cannot alter what you don’t know about.

Find out more on the carbon.credit website.