What is a Carbon Credit?
Carbon credit (or “carbon offsets”) are certificates generated by projects or activities that reduce, avoid, or destroy greenhouse gases. For every metric tonne (2,204 lbs) a project or set of activities reduces, one carbon credit is generated. Project owners, such as solar and wind energy developers, or protectors of endangered forestlands can sell these certificates to you (an individual) or a company to earn revenues to keep expanding their projects into the future. When you purchase carbon offsets, you are funding the reduction, elimination, or total avoidance of 2,204 lbs of carbon. If you buy as many carbon credits, as you have tonnes of carbon footprint from your personal life, or company, you are considered to be “carbon neutral,” or balancing your emissions with an equal amount of emissions reduction.
What is a Carbon Offset Project?
A carbon offset project can be defined as any project, or set of deliberate activities that reduce the amount of greenhouse gas (mainly Carbon Dioxide) in the atmosphere. Offset projects must submit to at least three rounds of auditing by regulatory bodies, from methodology development, to specific project design, to monitoring of results. Only after an offset project has had its methodology and project design approved can it get monitored to earn credits. At regular intervals a third-party auditor will assess the project, monitor results and, depending on how many metric tonnes the project has reduced, that’s how many credits the project is awarded. Carbon offset projects get approved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions below a business-as-usual scenario. If a project can quantifiably and repeatably produce less greenhouse gases than the current alternative, it will be eligible to earn carbon credits. For example, replacing a coal plant with a planned life of 30 years with a solar farm after year 5 would avoid 25 years of coal emissions. The difference is how many carbon credits the project would likely earn. Alternatively, taking land that is desertified and degraded, and planting millions of trees to bring it back to life and sequester carbon would pull more emissions out of the air than without planting millions of trees. Similarly, the difference between the baseline and new scenarios will determine how many credits should be awarded.
Where are Carbon Credit Capital’s Carbon Offset Projects?
We host projects around the world, from here in the US, to Asia. We officially host projects in Alabama, China, India, Panama, and Brazil. We also have access, through various partnerships, to projects around the world in Africa, Europe, Australia and everywhere in between. For more information about specific projects, please visit our projects page.
What do I get when I buy carbon credits?
Within a few minutes of your purchase, we will send you a certificate verifying your purchase and detailing how much greenhouse gas you have destroyed. Additionally, we periodically group purchases and make “retirements” of credits. “Retiring” a carbon credit means that when it is purchased it is taken off the market forever—never to be traded or swapped again. This way, only the purchaser of the carbon credit can ever claim to have reduced emissions. They cannot, for example, claim they’ve reduced emissions and then re-sell the credit. On a regular basis we retire credits for clients and/or individual customers. Each credit has its own serial number, and can be tracked on a variety of different registries where projects, and all of their individual credits are listed publicly. You will be able to see notes on each retirement in each registry around the world.
How do I know my money is actually going towards reducing emissions?
The key is in the retirement process described just above. Once a credit is retired, and listed as retired on a public carbon credit database, a transaction record is generated on the site. However many credits are associated with the purchase will have their serial numbers identified and then cancelled out of existence. You will know your money has gone into the projects in the exact amount you have specified because you will have paid a certain amount for all credits together, and you will be able to see whether the same number of carbon credits were in fact retired on your behalf. If the number of credits you purchase from us equals the number of credits retired on a registry, you will know the entirety of your purchase was honored.
How do I calculate my carbon footprint?
There are a number of reputable carbon footprint calculators out there. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have the best. You can calculate home energy, emissions from car travel, events, and more. Be careful, however, as not all calculators are equal. Make sure you try at least two or three out before deciding you have arrived at a reasonable final number.
For more advanced calculations, contact us! We offer carbon footprint calculation services of all types for businesses of all sizes. We are happy to walk you through the process step-by-step personally.
How can I reduce my emissions by myself?
Follow our guide for reducing carbon emissions in your daily life, where we show you what sorts of impacts various actions have when trying to reduce emissions. Learn how to live a less wasteful and more positively impactful life in everything from home energy (lighting, heating, cooling, electronics), to your diet, to the waste you produce, and the goods and services you buy. You can, of course, always purchase carbon offsets for those emissions you are not able to reduce by yourself.
What does it cost to calculate the carbon footprint of my products or services?
The costs of our LCA services vary, however, we ensure that you will never pay the exorbitant cost of calculation charged by other firms like ours. We realize that very few companies have the internal bandwidth, nor the budget to pay $10,000’s for one product emissions report, and we further realize that if companies spend that much money on calculations, they wont have anything left to take action. Therefore, we will waive the costs of calculation for clients and partners who agree to build carbon pricing into their goods and services and join the Carbon Neutral Checkout program. If companies pass the cost of offsets along to their customers, they are able to get both calculations completed, and carbon offsets purchased for entire product lines.
What sort of data do I need in order to launch a carbon neutral product?
This is up to you. We operate in a voluntary market, so if you want to only calculate energy emissions, we will accommodate you. If you want to calculate emissions from processing, manufacture, trucking, raw materials, packaging, waste production, and the like, we can accommodate these requests as well. In order to claim full product carbon neutrality, we need to analyze information from raw materials, energy and fuel use in manufacture, processing, packaging, and intermediate transport. We are happy to help you compile this data if you don’t have it by reaching out to suppliers, or pulling emissions factors from our proprietary database.
What standards do you use for carbon footprint calculation?