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Climate compensation - how does it actually work?

We are clarifying some of the most common questions regarding carbon offsetting and how we help restaurants to incorporate this into their climate mitigation strategy.

March 5, 2019

Today we answer some common questions about carbon offsetting and how we at Klimato are helping restaurants to incorporate this as part of their climate mitigation strategy. We respond to some common criticism around carbon offsetting as a means to “buy oneself free of responsibility” and instead propose carbon offsetting as an important part of a proactive climate mitigation strategy. In addition, we introduce some Do's & Don'ts that we have encountered in our work on this. Here we go!

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting refers to investments in projects with climate benefits that individuals or organisations may make in order to compensate for emissions from other activities. For example, air travel, meat consumption, transport and energy consumption. A common misconception around carbon offsetting is that it implies that the organisation or individual has reduced their own emissions. That is however NOT the case, nor should it be communicated like that. We therefore advocate a careful calculation of the carbon footprint within the organisation to find areas of improvement in connection with carbon offsetting. A good way to get started is by calculating one’s emissions and start reporting and tracking the emissions from the organisation before engaging in carbon offsetting. Read more about climate reporting here!

How can one compensate for climate change?

The climate benefit arises when investments enable the realisation of projects that enable energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, tree planting and forest conservation. The projects are often located in countries with less developed energy systems - as this increases the climate benefit.

One of the projects that we are currently helping Bastard Burgers to invest in is a biomass power plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh in East India. The power plant buys renewable agricultural waste from the local region and uses it as fuel. In total, this leads to a reduction of 29.000 tonnes of CO2e emissions each year.

Do's & Don'ts

To ensure feasibility and additionality, external verification and good transparency is a necessity. The myriad of different certifications that exist can create a bit of a jungle when it comes to which projects actually adhere to the highest standards. We have therefore chosen to only assist investments in projects which are executed in accordance with the clean development mechanism (CDM) and hold the Gold Standard. The CDM projects meet the Kyoto Protocol's criteria for continuously quantifying climate benefits. The control is handled by independent authorised public accountants who report on the projects to the UN. The Gold standard means that the project is carried out with additional requirements for sustainability and the local environment. This certification is approved and trusted by more than 80 international environmental organisations, including WWF International and Greenpeace International. This ensures that the projects are not running the risk of disrupting the conditions of the local population where the projects are carried out.

In short: Carbon offsetting can be a good way to complement an active climate strategy where the goal is to reduce its climate impact. However, it is important to review our own climate villains within the organisation in connection with climate compensation. Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. Investing where climate benefits are high is a good way to embrace a global solution!  

Compensate for unavoidable emissions with Klimato

We at Klimato can help you design a climate mitigation strategy with high climate benefits for your restaurant business. As part of our solution we help restaurants compensate for unavoidable emissions through Gold Standard projects via our third-party carbon offsetting partners. Read more about our solution or contact us to find our more.

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