Before we explain the different carbon offsetting standards, it is important to understand what Carbon Offsetting is and what the Carbon offsetting standards are.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a way of financing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction/avoidance or sequestration equivalent to the residual emissions of an organisation, business, or territory beyond its value chain. This is done by purchasing carbon credits.
What are the Carbon Offsetting Standards?
Carbon offsetting standards are guidelines that businesses and individuals can use to measure, report, and reduce their carbon footprints. There are many different types of carbon offsetting standards available, but they all have the same goal: to help businesses and individuals reduce their impact on the environment. Some carbon offsetting standards are voluntary, while others are mandatory.
At Carbon Neutral Britain we use three of the largest and most regulated offsetting standards in the world - these standards ensure all measurements and tonnes of CO₂e are accurate, and verified.
The first standard we use is The United Nations - Certified Emission Reductions (CER) programmes.
(The most recognised and widely used standard in the world, overseen by the United Nations. Purchased CERs are issued from climate-friendly projects reducing emissions, called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. CDM projects take place in developing countries and must also contribute to their sustainable development. Each project goes through a strict and thorough vetting process. Widely acclaimed as the most regulated carbon standard, it is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardised emissions offset instrument (in tonnes of CO₂e), available to be sold on carbon markets around the world.
The second standard we use is Verra - Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
The Verified Carbon Standard is the largest voluntary-only Carbon Offset program in the world, developed and run by the non-profit Verra. Focussing on Greenhouse Gas reduction attributes only, projects are not required to have additional environmental or social benefits. The standard was developed in 2006 by the Climate Group and International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) to provide real, quantifiable, additional and permanent projects-based emission reductions. Credits are managed to a very high standard through registries to register, transfer and retire Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs).
The Third Standard we use is the Gold Standard - Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs)
The Gold Standard is also a voluntary carbon offset program focused on progressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring that project’s benefit their local communities. The Gold Standard can be applied to voluntary offset projects and to Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. The Gold Standard CDM was launched in 2003 after a two-year period of consultation with stakeholders, governments, non-governmental organizations, and private sector specialists from over 40 countries.
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