Published 4 years ago.
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By making informed decisions on carbon credit selection, sustainability-minded companies can go beyond simply being carbon neutral — to inspire customers and employees alike with life-changing impacts.
What difference can carbon offsetting make for the planet, its people and your
organization’s sustainability objectives? The answer is — a lot. But choice
matters: Depending on which carbon credits you select, you may simply be
compensating for your carbon footprint or — on the other end of the spectrum —
helping drive development in vulnerable communities around the world.
For companies that are new to carbon offsetting, the range of carbon credits
available for purchase can seem challenging to navigate. To ensure that the
credits you purchase are from highest-quality projects, here are some practical
questions to consider:
Is the project's technology compatible with a decarbonized world — for
example, not simply switching from one fossil fuel to another?
Did the project follow safeguards to mitigate any unintended negative
Have the developers engaged local stakeholders, and reflected their concerns
and objectives in the project design?
Are the project's claims around sustainable development or the Sustainable
(SDGs) measured, monitored and independently verified?
What is the economic value created by the specific project?
When projects follow these sorts of best practices, their impact can go beyond
cutting carbon to delivering meaningful benefits for communities and ecosystems.
This is we at what Gold Standard call Climate+
that make a positive impact for the climate, plus the broader
But just how much impact? To respond to an increasing need to quantify the
impact of investments made in sustainability efforts, Gold Standard commissioned
an independent research study several years back to calculate the economic
value of Gold Standard carbon
issued from a variety of project types. A more recent study by Vivid
Economics revisits these calculations with the latest data available and
better geographic specificity, in a new report — Valuating the benefits of
improved cooking solutions: Impact data in high
— released this month. The study concludes that for every carbon credit from a
for example, $267 in shared value is created. For biogas, the average value
created is $464 per credit. The report breaks down the details of contributions
for health, ecosystem conservation, poverty reduction and of course,
These figures help organizations better understand the full impact of their
carbon credit purchases. More than this, by delving into the benefit profiles of
different project types, companies can choose projects that are not only
high-impact, but align with their own sustainability objectives — from gender
equality and clean water access to biodiversity conservation — as well as
help meet net-positive goals.
By making an informed decision on carbon credit selection to support more
ambitious projects, sustainability-minded companies can go beyond simply being
carbon neutral. They can inspire customers and employees alike with
life-changing impact — backed with quantified, verified data.
Published Jun 21, 2019 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST
Sarah Leugers is Communications Director for Gold Standard.
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.