Is Carbon Offsetting considered greenwashing ?

CO2 neutrality is a journey and a path of continuous improvement. Today, for most sectors and industries, it is still a voluntary process on the part of the company that requires commitment at the highest level of management and in many cases internal coordination of all teams, sometimes considerable financial investment to transform processes or finance adaptation. 

It is therefore normal for companies to move forward gradually, usually starting with the offset of emissions in order to minimise their impact while putting in place their reduction plan. The CO2 Neutral label, through its 3 levels, aims to represent this progression as transparently as possible.

The Gold level of the CO2 Neutral label is aligned with climate science, and helps companies progress in their ambition towards a Net Zero journey. And for every level, the QR provides clear information about the company’s climate journey and level of ambition to the general public.

The third party validation by Vinçotte is another way for us to guarantee the robustness of the label, and ensure that the claim associated with it is indeed justified.

Our policy also states that a company, product or activity that is deemed to be counterproductive to sustainable development and transformation to a Net Zero society may be denied or have the CO2 Neutral label withdrawn. 

Furthermore, offsetting can only be done with certified climate projects (Gold Standard, VCS), ensuring maximum impact. Climate projects related to nuclear power, fuel switching, industrial gases, coal mine methane and large hydroelectric power plants are excluded. 

All companies should be encouraged to take action. The label is a way of inspiring them to be more ambitious, and it will continue to evolve in the future to meet the global challenge of climate change

How can carbon credits support a company’s overall climate strategy?

Investing in carbon credits is often a necessary step for achieving goals and commitments.

Carbon credits fund vital planet-saving activities, direct finance to areas that most need it and reduce emissions, right now. However, they are not a quick fix or license to continue practices that damage the environment.

Businesses must take a holistic approach and develop a broad sustainability strategy to guide their climate journey and embed it into all parts of their business.

Learn more about our approach to high-impact climate action.

Why are most climate projects located in developing countries?

Rising CO2 levels is an international problem; there are no borders in the atmosphere. So, it does not matter where the project you are buying carbon credits from is located.

Many of our projects operate in less economically developed countries, as there we are often able to create a bigger impact for the local community thanks to co-benefits and extra activities.

Discover our projects.

What makes a good climate action project?

High-quality carbon credits adhere to a strict set of standards. You can check this by ensuring the projects you invest in are registered with a third-party internationally-recognised verification standard, such as the Gold Standard, Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Social Carbon and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS), or standards verified by the UNFCCC.

These standards also highlight additional benefits beyond carbon – all CO2logic and South Pole projects contribute to at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This could be improving health, creating better education opportunities, improving wildlife conservation or even building sustainable communities.

What are carbon credits and how do they work?

Carbon credits are measurable, verifiable emission reductions from certified climate action projects. These projects reduce, remove or avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But they also bring a whole host of other positive benefits, for example: they empower communities, protect ecosystems, restore forests or reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Projects must adhere to a rigorous set of criteria to pass verification by third-party agencies and a review by a panel of experts at a leading carbon offset standard like Verra or Gold Standard.

After an organisation or an individual buys a carbon credit, the credit is permanently retired so it can’t be reused.

Learn more about carbon credits.

What is Carbon Offsetting?

Reducing emissions and decarbonising economies is urgently required, however time is running out and the technology to do so is not always available. That’s where carbon credits come in.

Companies and individuals can account for their unavoidable emissions by buying carbon credits from certified activities that support community development, protect ecosystems or install efficient technology to reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere.

What is the GHG Protocol?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is an international accounting tool for governments and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. It was established by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 1998 and first published in 2001. The protocol served as the foundation of several international standards, including ISO 14064-1. 

What is PAS 2060?

The Publicly Available Standard 2060 (PAS 2060) is the newest recommended standard for CO2 neutrality, launched by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in 2010. It offers a successful set of measures and requirements for organisations to make a verifiable and transparent declaration of their carbon neutrality. The standard makes it easier to compare company efforts and to overcome public cynicism about the term.

What are the Carbon Footprint Standards?

These standards are crucial in calculating the carbon footprint, because they give confidence in the credibility and transparency of carbon neutrality claims. Next to PEF and OEF, the most reliable and widely-used standards are ISO 14064, BSI: PAS 2050, GHG Protocol and Bilan Carbone®. In April 2013, the European Commission launched the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) in an attempt to harmonise the currently available carbon footprint standards.

Is the label aligned with Climate Science?

The Gold level ensures that the company sets ambitious targets aligned with Climate Science and in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative or equivalent. It is a clear incentive to all our clients to raise their ambition to the highest level and for all companies wishing to contribute to a low carbon society.