Carbon Offsets 101

What is a Carbon Offset?

A carbon offset, which represents the reduction, destruction, or capture of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or an equivalent greenhouse gas emission, can be purchased by an individual or an organization to negate a carbon dioxide equivalent emission. Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

 

Sample Carbon Offset Project Types

Reforestation

Tree plantings and sustainable forestry practices increase the natural storage of carbon. 

Landfill Gas Capture

As decomposing material releases methane gas into the air, the gas is captured and destroyed.

Alternative Energy

Investment in alternative energy technology decreases reliance on traditional emission-heavy methods.

Methane Reduction

Methane gas emissions from other sources, such as coal mining are captured and eliminated.

Industrial Process

Investment in new or alternative manufacturing processes with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Certification

Since greenhouse gas emissions affect every community, carbon offset projects can vary in location and scientific methodology.  Each project must follow strict guidelines established by internationally recognized standards in order to be officially registered.

Every carbon offset project GreenPrint invests in must meet  standard industry requirements, in addition to meeting these 6 qualifications:

 Quantifiable

We must be able to account for every metric ton of CO2e that is captured, destroyed, or prevented.

 Verifiable

We must be able to prove CO2e reduction has occurred as a result of the project activity.

 Auditable

We must be able to review validation reports delivered by third-party verifiers.

 Registered

Each project must be publicly registered and carbon offsets must be serialized and retired on a third-party registry.

 Permanent

The project’s environmental impact must be durable and lasting.

 Additional

The project’s reduction of emissions must be dependent on the funding of carbon offsets.

Standards

Every carbon offset project GreenPrint invests in, is third-party certified using internationally recognized standards developed, managed, and maintained by the following organizations

Registries

Once a project has been issued carbon offsets, those offsets are tracked via unique serial numbers validating those offsets can only used once to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. The following public registries maintain carbon offset serial numbers and track them from creation to retirement: