Energy & Emissions
Four Cs of Climate Action: 3. Choose Quality Offsets
Offsets allow you to support reductions in global warming pollution that occur outside your company. Since climate change is a global phenomenon, paying for reduced emissions anywhere in the world helps solve the problem.
Make offset purchases part of your climate plan
To avoid criticisms that your company hasn't done enough to cut its own emissions and is just trying to buy its way out of the problem, offsets should be part of a complete Climate Action Plan that follows the Four Cs hierarchy and includes an emissions inventory and a reduction target.
Purchase offsets annually
While efficiency improvements and on-site renewable power result in long-term emissions reductions (and are often profitable or cost-neutral investments), carbon offsets must be purchased every year.
Buy offsets that have been verified
Another important consideration is offset quality. Because standards and guidelines within the offsets market are still developing, some offsets may not represent actual emissions reductions.
Until uniform standards are established, your company should buy only from suppliers who have verified that their offsets meet rigorous criteria.
A note on CarbonOffsetList.org: Unfortunately we no longer maintain a current list of EDF-reviewed carbon offset projects. We encourage you to review our suggested offset criteria and apply them in your own research. Climate Action Reserve is also a resource for verified projects.