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Carbon Offsetting FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below. For any other enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us


What is Carbon Offsetting

What is carbon offsetting and how does it work?

Carbon offsetting is the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by funding projects that remove or reduce the same amount of emissions elsewhere.

Carbon offsetting works by allowing individuals or organisations to compensate their own emissions by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, biodiversity or conservation projects that avoid or reduce CO2.

When you invest in carbon credits, you invest in much more than the climate. Carbon offsets are aligned and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, whereby SDG 13 (Climate action) is the central focus point within projects. However, many offsetting projects also align to other development goals, such as No Poverty (SDG 1), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7) & Life on Land (SDG 15). More and more companies adopt the SDGs within their policy and strategy implementation, including when investing in carbon credits.

What type of carbon credits are there?

The two main types are carbon reduction or avoidance, and carbon removal.

Carbon reduction are projects where emissions are being reduced or avoided. Examples are renewable energy, cookstoves, REDD+ forestry projects or regenerative agriculture.

Carbon removal involves directly removing CO2 (or other greenhouse gasses) from the atmosphere. This can be done with projects focusing on reforestation or afforestation, with soil carbon or ecosystem restoration. Also landfill gas capturing is a carbon removal solution.

You can find examples of our projects here.

What is the difference between carbon credits and carbon offsets
Carbon credits and carbon offsets are similar in that they both allow individuals and organisations to offset their emissions by funding emissions reductions elsewhere, but carbon credits are often used in compliance carbon markets. More generally, carbon credits represent a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, whereas carbon offsets are defined through greenhouse gas removal

Is carbon offsetting greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe the promoted activities of an organisation when they are deceptively used to persuade the public that their products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly. Carbon offsetting can sometimes be seen as greenwashing, where companies make environmental claims that are not supported by their actual practices. To prevent carbon offsetting from being greenwashing, it’s important to choose offset providers that have credible certifications and have transparent processes for project selection and verification, including using third-party standards and verification processes.

To help ensure that your carbon offset purchases are contributing to real emissions reductions and supporting sustainable development, rather than being used for greenwashing purposes:

  • Choose offset providers that are accredited by reputable organizations such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS), or the Gold Standard.
  • Ensure that the offset provider provides detailed information on the projects they support, including the location, type of project, and expected emissions reductions.
  • Make sure that the projects are independently verified by a third-party organization to ensure that they are actually reducing emissions.
  • Be wary of offset providers that make exaggerated or unrealistic claims about the impact of their projects.
  • Consider other sustainability initiatives beyond carbon offsetting, such as reducing your own emissions, investing in renewable energy, and supporting sustainable development projects.

Buying Carbon Offsets

How much does carbon offsetting cost?
The cost of carbon offsetting varies depending on the project and the amount of emissions being offset.

Where do I Buy Carbon Offsets?

Carbon offsets can be purchased from trustworthy companies that specialise in offsetting, like Anthesis. The money from the purchase of carbon offsets goes to fund projects that reduce emissions, such as renewable energy, reforestation, and energy efficiency.

Why are prices so different?

The difference in prices of carbon offsets can be due to various factors such as project type, location, and provider.

The credibility of offsetting

How can I ensure the integrity of my investment?

To ensure the integrity of an offset investment, it is important to look for offset providers with credible certifications and verify that the projects they fund are independently verified. To ensure that the money invested is being used effectively, it is important to choose reputable offset providers and projects that have credible certifications and are independently verified. In our extended quality criteria we explain more about our high standards.

What are the standards in place to ensure successful projects?
Standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards provide guidelines to ensure the success of offset projects.

What’s the difference between the voluntary carbon market and the compliance carbon market?

The voluntary carbon market allows individuals and organisations to offset their emissions voluntarily, while the compliance carbon market requires emissions reductions from certain industries. The compliance market is used by companies and governments that by law have to account for their GHG emissions. It is regulated by mandatory national, regional or international carbon reduction regimes.

Is “Carbon Price” the Same as “Social Cost of Carbon”?
The “carbon price” refers to the price placed on carbon emissions through a carbon pricing system, while the “social cost of carbon” refers to the estimated economic harm caused by each ton of carbon emissions.

What steps can businesses take to lower the cost of offsetting?

Businesses can lower the cost of offsetting by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, reducing their overall emissions and choosing cost-effective offset projects.

Climate-related FAQs

What are Greenhouse Gases?

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.

If there are so many GHGs, why do we talk about a “carbon” footprint?

Carbon footprint is used as a shorthand to refer to the total greenhouse gas emissions, although it specifically refers to emissions of carbon dioxide.
How do you calculate my carbon footprint?
Carbon footprint is calculated by measuring the amount of greenhouse gases an organisation produces through activities like transportation, energy use and waste production.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 global goals established by the United Nations to achieve a sustainable future for all. By funding projects that reduce emissions, carbon offsetting helps address climate change, which is linked to multiple SDGs such as SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy). Additionally, many carbon offset projects also support other SDGs by creating jobs and improving local economies (SDG 8), promoting sustainable agriculture (SDG 2), and conserving biodiversity (SDG 14).

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