Whether you’re considering carbon offsetting for the firsttime, or the ninety-first time, one of the key questions to address is “How do I know the carbon savings aregenuine?”This is an important issue on a number of levels: First ofall, no-one wants to pay for goods or services that are not what they claim tobe. Carbon emissions themselves are invisible, odorless and hard to measure, and offsetscan be even more difficult to conceptualize, so organizations often feel uneasyabout what their money is actually being spent on.Secondly, if your organization is committed to genuinecarbon reduction and regularly reports its goals and achievements, then beingable to back up those claims is of paramount importance. Inaccurate or fraudulentclaims risk being exposed, leading to adverse publicity, reduced investorconfidence and potential public hostility.
So how can you ensure the authenticity of the carbon offsetsyou buy?Three steps toguaranteed impactThe fundamentals of offsetting are covered elsewhere (link?) but it’s worthremembering what high-quality carbon offsets look like. Your provider shouldguarantee that the carbon savings are:· Real· Permanent· Additional· Not vulnerable to leakage· Validated and verified But don’t just take the offset providers word for it; thirdparties should also be part of the validation and verification process. NativeEnergy employs a three-stageapproach to auditing carbon reduction projects, to ensure that each of theabove criteria is met.
Stage 1: Nationally recognized carbon standardsFor each new carbon reduction project, the NativeEnergy supply team conducts anextensive check, calculates the emissions that will be reduced, evaluatesfinancial additionality, and establishes a relationship with the project viasite visits and meetings with project participants. All NativeEnergy projects must meet one of the nationally recognizedcarbon standards, like Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) or Climate ActionReserve (CAR), which are drawn up by independent third party bodies.Stage 2: Accredited third-party validationValidation is an assessment of the project design to makesure it both meets the requirements of the standard and correctly calculatesand monitors future greenhouse gas reductions through accepted methods. NativeEnergysends the project design document to an accredited validator of its choice, whothen examines the project details. Once the project has been formally approvedby the validator in accordance with the standard, it is publicly listed on acarbon registry website.
Stage 3: Accredited third-party verificationOnce a project is operating, the carbon reductions that itgenerates are verified. This time, an accredited third party reviews actualproject operation data to determine the number of tons of carbon emissions thatwere avoided and, as a result, are issued by the standard as offsets. NativeEnergyverifies performance after the first year of operation to make sure the projectis performing as planned and then again, several years later, to confirm thatany estimated offsets that have been sold are supported by proven reductions.This rigorous three-stage process assures youand your investors that NativeEnergy projectsare making a real impact on climate change mitigation. It provides independentconfirmation of your reported emissions reductions and guarantees that yourcarbon offsets are real and permanent