When we talk about different means of offsetting the carbon footprint, we first need to understand the scale of the enterprise aiming to decarbonize. It can be as small as individuals, small and medium enterprises, and even large-scale businesses with carbon-intensive production facilities. There are different ways to enable the journey towards decarbonization for each of these categories mentioned previously.
Unfortunately, we need to keep in mind that no single action will lead us to carbon neutrality; we need to find the best mix and match of existing tools to maximize our utility of existing means.
Bill Gates starts his book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” with the latter statement: “There are two numbers you need to know about climate change. The first is 51 billion. The other is zero. Fifty-one billion is how many tons of greenhouse gases the world typically adds to the atmosphere every year. – Zero is what we need to aim for.”
Our article aims to familiarise you with such tools depending on the scales of your enterprise: For GHG intensive industries. Regulatory cap-and-trade schemes exist for companies with intensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such emission targeting regulatory measures can be found around the globe: in the European Union, United States (California and RGGI), Canada (Alberta and Quebec), and emerging systems, including China, Korea, and South America. The most popular among those mechanisms is the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), given the rigid carbon targets EU members have set to achieve. EU ETS creates a financial incentive for the biggest emitters to cut back their emissions by the cap set that determines the maximum total amount of GHG companies can emit per year and requires monitoring these emissions. Large-scale manufacturing, agriculture, transport, waste, and power generation facilities are subject to such regulatory measures. For medium and small enterprises. Voluntary carbon markets exist to support small and mid-scale enterprises in their ambition to become carbon neutral. There are a number of certified companies around the globe offering Offset Projects for such businesses, making sure the client’s vision and mission are in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Among Carbon Offset projects, the most popular and notable ones are related to revitalizing nature and reforestation. Our company, Rooted, offers a similar scheme for small and mid-scale enterprises to offset their carbon footprint. One of such products to help you offset your carbon footprint are the Rooted bonds. As a result of you investing in such bonds, we plant trees in Spain, Zaragoza, to ensure your net emission balance is zero. As the bond matures the investor generates a return on investment from the sales of harvest. For individuals. Similarly, if you are an individual who is concerned about your carbon footprint – you can choose to purchase individual bonds from Rooted to offset those emissions somewhere else. You can even invest in our Birth Certificate Bonds as a gift to your kids to contribute to global efforts that aim to establish a cleaner and more sustainable future. Another example of personal carbon offsetting mechanisms can be the extra fee you pay when you are about to plan for your travel itinerary. Many international and local airlines and other types of mobility platforms offer you an option to pay a marginal fee to contribute to different environmental projects globally.
Carbon Offset Guide (n.d.). Allowances. Retrieved from: https://www.offsetguide.org/understanding-carbon-offsets/other-instruments-for-claiming-emission-reductions/allowances/#:~:text=Carbon%20allowances%20are%20issued%20by,by%20the%20mandated%20%27cap
European Commission (n.d.). Eu Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/eu-action/eu-emissions-trading-system-eu-ets_en
Gates, B. (2021). How to avoid a climate disaster: the solutions we have and the breakthroughs we need. First large print edition. New York: Random House Large Print.
Favasuli, S. & Sebastian, V. ( 2022). Voluntary carbon markets: how they work, how they’re priced and who’s involved. S&P Global .Retrieved from: https://www.spglobal.com/commodity-insights/en/market-insights/blogs/energy-transition/061021-voluntary-carbon-markets-pricing-participants-trading-corsia-credits