Of all aspects of carbon neutrality, carbon offsetting remains the most controversial.
During the initial development of the global carbon-offset market, numerous concerns were raised, such as offset schemes that did not yield any actual carbon reductions or schemes that were sold multiple times.
Such issues have damaged public perceptions of offsetting in certain markets, such as the US. The industry continues to mature as standards and accreditations evolve and more capital flows through it.
If a company chooses to invest in offsets, it is important to provide an honest and transparent view of the plan that explains the extent of reliance on offsets over time. Furthermore, it is crucial to do the necessary due diligence on offsetting providers or projects, to select a credible and high quality offset and avoid potential risk.
Whatever the choice a firm seeks to make, it is crucial that this is independently verified and audited, to ensure a third party stamp of approval.
There are three further key considerations for firms:
- Relevance - Linking any offsets purchased back to a firm's overall strategy and core business.
- Registration - Registering offsets to avoid criticism of double counting or fraud.
- Repetition - Ensuring that this is not a one-off task.
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