According to NASA, Earth’s common floor temperature has risen by about 2 levels Fahrenheit (1 diploma Celsius) for the reason that late nineteenth century, with a lot of the warming occurring inside the previous 40 years.
This fast rise in temperatures has had a lot of detrimental results on the surroundings, together with the disruption of ecosystems, shrinking ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic, rising sea ranges, and excessive climate occasions.
Anthropogenic local weather change is now a severe reason for concern for folks all world wide. However there’s nonetheless time to take local weather motion. If the rise on the planet’s temperatures is stored beneath 1.5 levels Celsius, this will likely enable us to scale back projected losses and restrict the injury.
Many people and companies are actually taking quick measures to fight local weather change. One in every of these measures is buying “carbon offsets”.
Beneath, we’ll discover what carbon offsets are, how they work, and how one can get began with carbon offsetting now. However first, let’s dive right into a associated idea: your carbon footprint.
Ranges of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in our environment have been rising dramatically for the reason that mid-Twentieth century on account of human exercise. Carbon dioxide, together with different gases like methane, traps warmth close to the Earth’s floor. This phenomenon is named the “greenhouse impact”, and it is without doubt one of the principal drivers of worldwide warming.
Whereas many industrial processes emit important quantities of carbon dioxide, so do day-to-day actions. Based on the CO₂ Human Emissions Project, some human sources of carbon dioxide emissions embody cement manufacturing, deforestation, and burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and pure gasoline).
The whole quantity of greenhouse gases generated by an individual or group’s actions known as their “carbon footprint”. Some examples of widespread actions that contribute to your carbon footprint are eating meat, utilizing electricity and heat, and touring (by aircraft, prepare, automobile, and many others.).
What are carbon offsets?
Carbon offsets are a method of mitigating your organization’s environmental affect. A carbon offset includes the commodification of 1 metric ton (tonne) of CO₂e emissions discount. It turns carbon discount right into a credit score that may be purchased, offered, and traded.
The concept is that by buying carbon credit (for instance, within the type of a donation to an environmental mission), you possibly can assist with carbon emissions discount or carbon removing, countering your preliminary carbon-producing exercise and making it “carbon impartial”.
Normally, there are two sorts of carbon offsets: voluntary and compliance. Voluntary offsets are bought by selection to assist the surroundings, whereas compliance offsets are used to fulfill authorized obligations in areas that use cap-and-trade techniques and carbon markets (just like the EU Emissions Trading System).
Whereas carbon offsets are an effective way to assist the surroundings, there are lots of different actions companies can take to fulfill their carbon discount targets. Firms can enhance the effectivity of their operations by first making extra eco-friendly selections (for instance, recycling and decreasing waste to keep away from sending it to landfills, selecting renewable vitality and bettering vitality effectivity, and utilizing extra environment friendly transport choices).
Nevertheless, even after optimizing for effectivity, you’ll nonetheless have a residual carbon footprint. Carbon offsets may help mitigate the affect of this footprint.
How does carbon offsetting work?
First, you’ll must calculate what number of metric tons of carbon dioxide are generated by a selected enterprise exercise.
You’ll then must buy carbon credit: for instance, by donating a set amount of cash to a nonprofit environmental mission. The quantity of your donation ought to correspond to the quantity of carbon emissions created by the preliminary exercise. On this method, you’ll have “offset” your personal emissions to web zero.
Precisely calculating carbon emissions might be tough. Fortunately, there are software program options on the market that may make the method simpler.
For instance, TravelPerk is an all-in-one enterprise journey platform the place you possibly can e book, handle, and report on enterprise journey. The platform gives built-in performance (such because the GreenPerk program and GreenPerk API device) to assist firms perceive, decrease, and offset their carbon emissions.
How does shopping for carbon offsets work?
If you buy offsets, you’ll usually pay a set quantity based mostly on a calculated worth for every metric ton of carbon dioxide equal you emit. This worth might rely on various factors associated to the kind of carbon offset tasks you’ve chosen.
In case you select TravelPerk and decide into the GreenPerk program, you’ll be charged for every journey you’re taking at a worth of €10 per ton of CO₂e (or the equal in your native foreign money).
What sorts of emission discount tasks are on the market?
The aim of carbon offset tasks is to counteract greenhouse gasoline emissions — both by reducing future international emissions, or decreasing present CO₂e ranges within the environment. Totally different tasks have completely different methodologies to scale back emissions.
Some widespread sorts of local weather resolution initiatives embody forestry (reforestation and tree planting [afforestation]), methane seize, renewable vitality tasks (corresponding to wind farms or hydroelectric energy vegetation), and direct carbon seize.
Carbon offset tasks might happen wherever on the planet. For instance, the projects we’ve selected for GreenPerk are located in Thailand, Cambodia, and Turkey.
How to decide on a carbon offset mission to help
It’s essential to be selective concerning the carbon offset tasks you help. Above all, the offset packages you select ought to make a tangible, measurable affect on CO₂e emissions. You must also take care to decide on dependable tasks which can be correctly supervised and effectively run.
Not solely are all GreenPerk tasks VERRA (Verified Carbon Commonplace) authorised, they’re additionally hand-selected by our sustainability workforce. We select tasks based mostly on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and intention for emissions accuracy, permanence, and social profit to native communities. Learn more about the projects.
As firms turn into more and more targeted on reaching net-zero targets, an important place to begin is with enterprise journey. Nevertheless, understanding the affect of enterprise journey could also be simpler mentioned than finished. Companies face many challenges in measuring CO₂e emissions from journey, together with the necessity to develop a constant methodology, and difficulties in aggregating knowledge from a number of sources.
For that reason, at TravelPerk, we’ve developed two completely different options to make it simpler for our clients to drive down their emissions by means of knowledge. Right here’s what we constructed:
All TravelPerk customers and shoppers can now perceive their enterprise journey footprint. They’ll decide in to offset the carbon emissions of all of their enterprise journeys by investing in VERRA-accredited tasks specializing in biogas seize, forestry, and renewable vitality.
An exterior, open-source API that companies can combine immediately into their very own platforms and workflows. You should use GreenPerk API to create net-zero methods by means of actionable knowledge insights, construct a sustainable journey coverage and monitor its progress, and see precisely what features of your enterprise journey are leaving the very best carbon footprint. GreenPerk API’s calculations adjust to the requirements set by the World Assets Institute’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
So how do these initiatives work in observe? Listed below are just a few sensible examples:
- Firm X has set an goal to scale back their travel-related carbon footprint.
- They log into the GreenPerk API dashboard and uncover that 10% of their enterprise journeys are between London and Paris, and 100% of these journeys are taken by aircraft. That involves be round ~0.9% of the price of their whole enterprise journey!
- With GreenPerk API, Firm X determines that they will scale back their carbon emissions by nearly 75% in the event that they implement a coverage that will get their enterprise vacationers to take the Eurostar prepare as an alternative of a flight.
You may as well get extra granular than that. For instance:
- Firm Y regularly books journeys between London and New York.
- By their dashboard, they uncover that vacationers flying with one airline emitted extra carbon than vacationers flying with one other airline.
- They’ll now begin reserving all their vacationers onto the extra carbon-efficient airline and scale back their carbon footprint by about 22%.