How to Offset Your Carbon Footprint

In the context of climate strategies and climate action measures, the term carbon offsetting, also known as carbon compensation, is often used. There are already numerous businesses worldwide that offset their carbon emissions. At this point we would like to explain what this scheme actually means, how it works and how you can achieve carbon neutrality with Planetly by means of suitable climate action projects.

How does carbon offsetting work?

After the analysis of your carbon emissions in the first step, we at Planetly offer you the opportunity to balance your determined carbon footprint through various climate action projects. This means that every ton of emissions that your business emits is absorbed from the atmosphere elsewhere by a project that supports climate action projects. The projects are financially supported by you and contribute to a long-term reduction of global carbon emissions. In the ideal case, this creates a balance between emitted and compensated emissions.

How Carbon Offsetting Works

All certificates are always issued in the amount of one tonne of CO2e, meaning if a company emits 10,000 t CO2e per year, it must buy 10,000 carbon compensation certificates to be considered carbon neutral.

What are climate action projects?

There is a wide range of climate action projects that help to reduce emissions or absorb them from the atmosphere, for example:

  • Forestry & Conservation: Projects that engage in afforestation, the avoidance of deforestation, the action and recultivation of wetlands or sustainable land management.
  • Renewable Energy: This category includes solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy and geothermal projects.
  • Community Projects: This category includes projects around improved cookstove technology and access to clean water.
  • Waste-to-Energy /Industry: Projects around biogas from landfill, industry and biomass.

Annual volume of voluntary carbon offset market transactions worldwide

Volume of voluntary carbon offset market transactions worldwide


How is the impact of the projects ensured?

International rules determine where climate action projects can take place, but the majority of them are found in developing countries. The reduction in CO2 emissions achieved in this way has several advantages. It is often a cost-effective way to reduce global emissions and promotes the establishment of sustainable energy production and supports the local economic development at an early stage. Often such projects directly contribute to sustainable development in the regions, creating jobs and helping to adapt to the effects of climate change.

It is therefore a good opportunity for companies to address environmental and social development challenges simultaneously through the carbon compensation scheme. And that’s one of the several reasons, why more and more companies are including the carbon compensation in their sustainability strategies.

Of course, both you and us want to avoid investing money in projects that do not really lead to a long-term and serious reduction of greenhouse gases. For this reason, strict criteria have been established and defined in corresponding standards. All projects that we will offer to you are certified by these standards. These include the official standard for emission certificates, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which requires projects to be approved by the UN Climate Secretariat, the Gold Standard, which provides the most stringent requirements, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBA).

Market share of offsetting standards in Germany

Market share offsetting standards in Germany

Source: Bundesumweltamt

In addition, the projects are monitored by independent auditors who document and analyse the exact emission savings. This monitoring is important and must be as transparent as possible in order to track exactly where the money is going.

At Planetly, we only work with projects that are certified according to leading internationally recognised standards. Furthermore, we do not support projects whose positive benefits lead to negative side effects. These side effects can affect both the environment and the people living in the project regions. This can be avoided by one of the strictest certification standards with which we also work: Through clear requirements, the Gold Standard ensures that all environmental aspects and social factors are taken into account.

For a meaningful selection of projects, it is equally important whether the project would have also been realised without the financing through the compensation project. If the project is financially viable even without the money from the buyers of the certificates, the certificate buyer will not avoid or save emissions. The project would also have been carried out without this financing and would have saved greenhouse gases anyway. Our selected projects would therefore not be financially feasible without the purchase of offsets. This principle is known as additionality.

How can my company become carbon neutral with Planetly?

Carbon offsetting is an important method of helping companies on their way towards carbon neutrality and by doing so, reducing their negative impact on the environment. On the one hand, this process encourages companies to address their internal carbon footprint, on the other hand, the financial support for projects puts a price on emissions, which can influence the company’s management. Nevertheless, the reduction of greenhouse gases should always be the first step, but that might not always be 100% technically possible. Any remaining emissions can be offset and therefore we offer you the right platform: You can select projects that suit you and your business and by doing so support climate action projects around the world with your contribution.

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