In keeping with NASA, Earth’s common floor temperature has risen by about 2 levels Fahrenheit (1 diploma Celsius) because the late nineteenth century, with a lot of the warming occurring inside the previous 40 years.
This fast rise in temperatures has had numerous damaging results on the setting, 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 critical reason for concern for folks all around the globe. However there’s nonetheless time to take local weather motion. If the rise on the earth’s temperatures is stored beneath 1.5 levels Celsius, this will permit us to scale back projected losses and restrict the injury.
Many people and companies are actually taking rapid measures to fight local weather change. One in every of these measures is buying “carbon offsets”.
Under, 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 because the mid-Twentieth century because of human exercise. Carbon dioxide, together with different gases like methane, traps warmth close to the Earth’s floor. This phenomenon is called the “greenhouse impact”, and it is without doubt one of the essential drivers of worldwide warming.
Whereas many industrial processes emit important quantities of carbon dioxide, so do day-to-day actions. In keeping with the CO₂ Human Emissions Undertaking, some human sources of carbon dioxide emissions embody cement manufacturing, deforestation, and burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and pure gasoline).
The complete quantity of greenhouse gases generated by an individual or group’s actions is named their “carbon footprint”. Some examples of frequent actions that contribute to your carbon footprint are consuming meat, utilizing electrical energy and warmth, and touring (by airplane, practice, automotive, and many others.).
What are carbon offsets?
Carbon offsets are a approach of mitigating your organization’s environmental influence. 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, bought, and traded.
The concept is that by buying carbon credit (for instance, within the type of a donation to an environmental venture), you possibly can assist with carbon emissions discount or carbon elimination, countering your preliminary carbon-producing exercise and making it «carbon impartial».
On the whole, there are two varieties of carbon offsets: voluntary and compliance. Voluntary offsets are bought by selection to assist the setting, 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 Buying and selling System).
Whereas carbon offsets are an effective way to assist the setting, 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 can assist mitigate the influence 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 particular enterprise exercise.
You’ll then must buy carbon credit: for instance, by donating a hard and fast sum of money to a nonprofit environmental venture. The quantity of your donation ought to correspond to the quantity of carbon emissions created by the preliminary exercise. On this approach, you’ll have “offset” your personal emissions to web zero.
Precisely calculating carbon emissions could be troublesome. 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 provides built-in performance (such because the GreenPerk program and GreenPerk API instrument) to assist firms perceive, decrease, and offset their carbon emissions.
How does shopping for carbon offsets work?
Once you buy offsets, you’ll sometimes pay a hard and fast quantity primarily based 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 initiatives you’ve chosen.
In case you select TravelPerk and choose into the GreenPerk program, you’ll be charged for every journey you are taking at a worth of €10 per ton of CO₂e (or the equal in your native forex).
What varieties of emission discount initiatives are on the market?
The purpose of carbon offset initiatives is to counteract greenhouse gasoline emissions — both by reducing future international emissions, or decreasing present CO₂e ranges within the environment. Totally different initiatives have completely different methodologies to scale back emissions.
Some common varieties of local weather answer initiatives embody forestry (reforestation and tree planting [afforestation]), methane seize, renewable vitality initiatives (similar to wind farms or hydroelectric energy crops), and direct carbon seize.
Carbon offset initiatives might happen wherever on the earth. For instance, the initiatives we’ve chosen for GreenPerk are positioned in Thailand, Cambodia, and Turkey.
How to decide on a carbon offset venture to assist
It’s essential to be selective in regards to the carbon offset initiatives you assist. Above all, the offset packages you select ought to make a tangible, measurable influence on CO₂e emissions. You also needs to take care to decide on dependable initiatives which are correctly supervised and effectively run.
Not solely are all GreenPerk initiatives VERRA (Verified Carbon Commonplace) accepted, they’re additionally hand-selected by our sustainability crew. We select initiatives primarily based on the UN’s Sustainable Improvement Targets, and purpose for emissions accuracy, permanence, and social profit to native communities. Study extra in regards to the initiatives.
As firms grow to be more and more targeted on reaching net-zero targets, a terrific place to begin is with enterprise journey. Nevertheless, understanding the influence of enterprise journey could also be simpler mentioned than achieved. Companies face many challenges in measuring CO₂e emissions from journey, together with the necessity to develop a constant methodology, and difficulties in aggregating information from a number of sources.
For that reason, at TravelPerk, we’ve developed two completely different options to make it simpler for our prospects to drive down their emissions by means of information. Right here’s what we constructed:
All TravelPerk customers and shoppers can now perceive their enterprise journey footprint. They’ll choose in to offset the carbon emissions of all of their enterprise journeys by investing in VERRA-accredited initiatives 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 information insights, construct a sustainable journey coverage and monitor its progress, and see precisely what facets of your enterprise journey are leaving the very best carbon footprint. GreenPerk API’s calculations adjust to the requirements set by the World Sources Institute’s Greenhouse Fuel (GHG) Protocol.
So how do these initiatives work in follow? Listed here are a couple of 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 airplane. With GreenPerk API, Firm X determines that they’ll 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 practice as an alternative of a flight.
You may also get extra granular than that. For instance, Firm Y often books journeys between London and New York. By taking a look at 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%.
To be taught extra about the right way to scale back your carbon footprint, take a look at TravelPerk’s final information.