- Fully Decarbonising Electricity Generation (making it zero carbon e.g. from renewable energy sources)
- Fully Decarbonising Transport (cars, trucks, aircraft, ships etc.)
- Stopping Deforestation (this currently contributes around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions)
- Planting lots more trees (trees sequester the carbon already in the atmosphere and store it away)
- Reduce emissions from farming / agriculture and significantly reducing the consumption of meat (especially red meat)
This has some truth to it and we should all try and reduce emissions as much as possible. However, it is not currently possible to reduce emissions to zero on a global level. There currently isn’t enough renewable (or zero carbon) electricity to meet the global energy demand. There isn’t currently anywhere near enough zero carbon forms of transport that can be practically used to meet the needs of international trade. No matter what you do to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint you are almost certainly going to still be responsible for some carbon emissions – not just from your direct energy usage, but indirectly from things you buy and services you use.
By supporting our carbon offsetting projects, you are supporting one of the fastest, easiest and effective solutions to combat climate change, through choosing to help fund teams working to reduce deforestation (which currently contributes around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions); and helping plant more trees to capture and store carbon that has already been emitted into the atmosphere.
In a Utopian world, every organisation would be able to reduce its carbon emissions to zero – and perhaps even be net positive (e.g. with sufficient access to on-site renewable power and export to the National Grid). In practice, this is far more difficult, not only down to capital investment needs, but also cultural barriers and supply chain decisions (particularly relating to transport/travel).
There are several further benefits for offsetting with projects outside your own organisation. Frequently these projects are more cost effective than reducing CO2 on-site (this can cost in excess of 10 x more depending on where your organisation is located). Also, frequently the projects are providing additional benefits which include things like local employment, health and education.
The vast majority of organisations claiming carbon neutrality are achieving this with at least some carbon offsetting. Global brands that offset include Microsoft, DHL, Marks & Spencer, Sky etc., whilst having programmes to reduce emissions they also support global carbon offsetting initiatives – recognising the importance of the global solution.
Carbon offsets are retired on international carbon registries – such as Markit, APX and Gold Standard these will either be retired in the name of Carbon Offsets Australia Pty Ltd or in the name of the client (as requested by the client). All Carbon Offsets Australia carbon retirements are audited as part of the CER process to check that we have retired enough carbon credits of the appropriate type and standards to meet all out annual carbon offset sales.