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The pros and cons of carbon offsetting

If you are considering purchasing carbon offsets there are many aspects to take into consideration. The choice for carbon offsets can impact your company’s overall Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standing. We will go over carbon offsets’ pros and cons and what to take into consideration when contemplating buying carbon credits.

Things to consider prior to buying carbon credits

Business owners should first look at the motives for their decision to buy carbon credits. If your company is determined to please its customers or other stakeholders, and fulfill their needs by collaborating with carbon offset schemes that do not only neutralize emissions but also provide positive benefits for society as a whole will be beneficial.

This will publicly reveal the fact that your business isn’t just focusing on its environmental impact and also seeing the opportunity to improve the quality of life by the support of community initiatives. For instance, buying carbon credits through Malawi Cookstoves scheme. Malawi Cookstoves scheme not only is designed to cut emissions by reducing the amount of biomass combusted into fuel and enhancing the living standards as the exposure to harmful pollutants that are produced by cooking stoves that are not properly designed can be reduced.

If your business is not so concerned about the benefits to society that go along with the offset project it chooses and is primarily focused on achieving carbon neutral status, then seeking to buy accredited offsets at the lowest price is better.

Investments to offset

The amount of carbon emissions your company must offset, the investment required can be substantial even if you purchase the most affordable carbon offsets. You’ll need to find an appropriate rate of “buy-in” to ensure that you are able to buy enough carbon credits that offset the carbon emissions. It is important to establish your long-term budget, with the goal of remaining carbon neutralsince you’ll have to purchase offsets each year to offset the year’s emissions.

It is crucial that the budget you have allocated for carbon offsets doesn’t adversely affect the net zero strategy of your business. While you’re looking to acquire carbon offsets, make sure that you have substantial investment in low carbon technologies operations, operational adjustment as well as value chain engagement and so on. The idea of carbon neutrality shouldn’t outweigh your desire to be net zero, but instead make use of it as a means to be accountable for your carbon emissions while you attempt to completely eliminate these emissions.

The advantages and disadvantages of carbon offset

While carbon offset can provide companies with a fast and efficient method to reduce their carbon pollution, they also face a number of possibilities of risks that a company should be aware.

Greenwashing

There is a chance that the purchase of carbon offsets may be seen as a cover-up for an actual fact. Your company isn’t taking immediate steps to reduce the emissions it produces. In essence, you’re paying another person to take the burden of their own emissions. This does nothing to address the real issue because we’re creating too many greenhouse gases. Although purchasing carbon offsets will not reduce global warming or eliminate all emissions into the atmosphere offsets aim to neutralize the emissions and is more effective than if the action was not taken at all.

Accreditation and verification

When you purchase carbon offsets, it poses the question as to whether the offset scheme actually delivers the promised results. For instance, could the scheme show that the carbon savings won’t occur without the scheme? Can rainforest conservation in one area not causing the spread of deforestation to the next region? What is the consequence if the scheme that you purchase credits from suffers from devastating wildfires? What are the possibilities of offsets being purchased twice?

You can effectively handle this by ensuring that you are investing in approved offsetting scheme by certain third-party organizations. For instance carbon credits purchased via Climate Action Reserve, Verified Carbon Standard American Carbon Registry, Gold Standard for example, have been verified through an ISO recognized third-party verification company. Accredited carbon credits purchased from schemes like these will significantly reduce the chance of buying offsets from poor quality projects that could be subject to examination.

An opportunity to consider broader social and environmental issues

The offset of the projects chosen for investment could offer the opportunity to participate in larger social and environmental issues in addition to reduction or avoidance of greenhouse gases. For instance, afforestation plans are linked to a reduction in the erosion of soils, biodiversity loss and conservation of wildlife by creating habitat as well as economic growth by creating huge employment opportunities that result from transforming the barren landscape into a dense forests. It is the Verified Carbon Standard offers a range of deforestation and tree planting prevention programs for Brazil as well as Kenya.

One prime example of social benefits that offset schemes is drinking water projects that are clean in developing countries with lower economic growth. While they can generate carbon reductions, this scheme also significantly improves the standard of living of communitiesby offering them improved access to and use of water that is safe for drinking. Gold Standard Gold Standard offers such schemes in countries like Rwanda and Uganda where access to safe drinking water is a pressing issue.

The opportunity to learn how to set

To trade carbon credits is a way to look further to neutralize the company’s emissions, the term carbon insetting is an investment by the business in order to reduce its emissions projects within its supply chain.

If, for instance, your business purchases goods from a range of agricultural suppliers, other companies could work with the suppliers to implement trees-planting programs, agroforestry and so on. On their websites. Supporting and implementing these schemes within your supply chain boasts the benefit of neutralising your emissions within the realms of your operational/financial influence. This is seen as a positive thing by both customers and stakeholders since you’re making an effort to offset carbon emissions within your supply chain.

The verdict

The purchase of carbon offsets could bring enormous benefits when integrated into an overall environmental plan that is aimed at reaching net zero. The path to net zero is not an easy job and not an instant goal. Carbon offsets offer a chance to aid in tackling the climate crisis in the near term but they shouldn’t be considered as the only solution to the problem. The greatest concentration of efforts and aspirations should focus on the elimination of all emissions generated by a business activities Carbon offsets serve as a support method until you achieve the goal.