What does offsetting mean?
It’s a way for companies to compensate for their carbon footprint, by investing in social and environmental projects. Today it’s almost become standard for companies looking to be more sustainable. Let’s take a look at why.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, offsetting means “to pay for things that will reduce carbon dioxide to reduce the damage caused by the carbon dioxide that you produce”. For companies, the offsetting process begins by taking a close look at their operation, including the sourcing, production, logistic processes and shipping. They’re looking to optimize these areas and reduce the use of resources and the environmental impact.
There are many actions available to decrease the environmental impact of a manufacturing company’s activities, such as:
- changing to green energy
- choosing recycled materials
- reusing components
- reengineering parts to optimize materials
- redesigning packaging
But, and this is where we get back to offsetting, very often even the most efficient activity or process still has an impact on the environment. Offsetting lets the progressive company reduce that remaining carbon footprint.
There are many different kinds of offsetting projects available. The most common involves the protection of the environment and sustainable development. Other options involve the protection of the oceans and beaches or forests and commitment to reforestation projects.
The projects must serve to reduce the global carbon dioxide emissions in order to be eligible for offsetting. A carbon neutral product or solution will offset its remaining carbon footprint to reach that status.
Let’s take a look at Absorpole® as an example. It’s the first carbon neutral desiccant and it has a carbon footprint before offsetting 0.9 CO₂ kg/unit, a quantity validated by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Well, Absortech Group offsets 0.9 kg of carbon dioxide for every Absorpole® we sell, resulting in a net carbon footprint equal to zero.
Absortech has chosen to offset via Gold Standard certified projects through our Climate Partner Tricorona.
The first project we’re supporting via offsetting is a forest replanting project in Ethiopia, that will lead to a total carbon dioxide reduction of 189 027 tonnes thanks to the planting of over 1 million trees. But it will also help create new jobs and to protect the endangered fauna in the region. Our collaboration on this project is validated via a certificate issued by Tricorona.
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