Carbon Offset

Carbon Offset Management


Background:

Carbon offsets are a tool used to balance out, or mitigate, the environmental impact of any carbon emissions that are absolutely necessary to a business.  The carbon offset feature allows you to track any carbon offsets purchased by your organization as part of a wider carbon reduction initiative. Carbon footprint reduction (with an ideal zero carbon footprint target), because of its drastic impact on climate change is typically at the core of all Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.


Tool:

Carbon and More allows you to record your carbon credits in an accessible journal.  Each record specifies:
- The carbon volume offset, in tonnes;
- The type of credit purchased (carbon sequestration, renewable energy, etc.);
- The power category of the offset (wind, solar, etc.).

Carbon and More's offset tracking allows you to automatically calculate your true carbon footprint and, combined with other features such as carbon emissions tracking, to create a clear picture of whether your organization has reached carbon neutrality.


Guide

The purchase of carbon credits is a controversial topic in environmental circles, from groups concerned that purchasable offsets provide a disincentive to reduce one's own carbon emissions.  But used selectively, to complement efforts to restructure one's own emissions, buying offsets and financially supporting green energy generation projects furthers the long-term shift within the broader power generation system to cleaner power and lower carbon emissions.


References
- David Suzuki Foundation: http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/climate-change-basics/carbon-offsets/


Tips

Purchase offsets with additionality in mind
- Sticking to the concept of "additionality" is a strong core value for purchasing a carbon offset: would the offset project be business as usual, or would it have never happened otherwise?  Additionality makes sure your offset purchase is actually a net benefit for the environment.

Consult the experts
- Organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute have prepared guides to purchasing carbon offsets, which are easy to consult.  The carbon offset market is unregulated, and good research matters when shopping for good projects to support.
- Several organizations also rate offsets according to independent standards, such as VCS, The Gold Standard, and Green-e.

Buy local
- Supporting local wind, solar, or biogeneration projects both encourages a diverse spread of green energy projects and has a more direct impact on whether the power you specifically use is produced with the minimum carbon emissions.




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