Becoming Carbon Negative
The first step for any business is to improve their sustainability by reducing emissions as much as possible, but there will always be some degree of unavoidable emissions, which is where carbon offsetting comes in
When done in conjunction with efforts to reduce your carbon emissions at source, carbon offsetting is an important and valuable part of tackling the climate emergency. Essentially, carbon offsetting means buying carbon credits that are equivalent to your carbon impact (e.g. your carbon footprint). This is basically balancing the books. If you have a remaining carbon footprint of 3 tonnes of CO2, you would have to purchase the equivalent amount in a carbon offsetting project to ensure 3 tonnes of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere elsewhere.
To become carbon neutral, a business would offset the equivalent of their carbon footprint. To become carbon negative is to go one step further, meaning a business prevents a larger amount of CO2 from entering the atmosphere than the amount than they produced.
Most important, our approach to offsetting only uses the highest standard of independently verified carbon offsetting projects, such as those verified under the Gold Standard for the Global Goals, the Verified Carbon Standard, and national verification regimes run by governments.
As you’ll see, we support climate projects that not only prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere, but also lead to a range of other positive benefits and contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Fighting back with forestry - Ntakata Mountains forest protection in Tanzania
Our forests are one of the best defences we have against climate change. They remove CO2 from the atmosphere and support biodiversity, but they’re under threat, with the United Nations estimating that 420 million hectares (1 billion acres) of forest have been lost since 1990.
If we have any chance of combating climate change, we need to protect and improve the forests we have. That’s why we’ve partnered with Carbon Tanzania to support their forest conservation project in Ntakata Mountains in Tanzania.
Carbon Tanzania’s approach allows the local community to earn revenues from protecting forest that would otherwise be destroyed, which in turn supports biodiversity and other social benefits.
The project protects 216,994 hectares of forest in the Greater Manhale ecosystem of Western Tanzania, which is home to endangered species such as the eastern chimpanzee. Since it started in 2017, it’s prevented 5 million trees from being cut down, avoiding 1,286,000 tonnes of CO2.
The project also supports multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including through investments in infrastructure and healthcare, creating jobs and access to education, and improving gender equality.
Carbon Tanzania’s forest-based carbon credits are internationally certified, regularly verified, and have demonstrated that they also result in measurable social and biodiversity benefits. Ntakata Mountains is verified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) standard.
Harnessing solar power - Solar cooking for refugee families in Chad
The war in Darfur has led to more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing to Chad. To stay alive, they’re left with no option but to burn wood to cook on open fires, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Not only is this bad for the planet, but women and children are regularly harassed and abducted travelling long distances to collect the wood.
To combat this, the Fair Climate Fund distributes solar CooKits, which use a simple design to harness the plentiful sunshine to cook. This removes the need to burn wood, which reduces the amount of CO2 that’s emitted. Not only does this reduce the impact on the planet, but also leads to a significant improvement in women's safety and a healthy smoke-free way of cooking.
To date more than 7000 solar CooKits have been distributed, which have helped over 15,000 refugees and reduced 52,000 tonnes of CO2. For us this is the power of climate finance in action. Money being directed to those most in need, who otherwise wouldn't have received help, leading to multiple positive benefits alongside a substantial reduction in CO2.
The Fair Climate Fund’s project is verified under the Gold Standard for the Global Goals, which is one of the leading international standards for certifying carbon offset projects.
This is part of our sustainable wine series about the process behind Terra, Europe's first Carbon Negative wine, which is now available to buy in the UK here.
We do everything from carbon footprint assessments and calculations, to assisting with sustainability strategies, setting net zero targets, environmental comms, content & marketing and providing employee sustainability memberships. Basically, we are experts in helping businesses combat climate change and becoming more sustainable.