As a World we have some ambitious goals for reducing our carbon emissions but until businesses are able to cut things right back they can also implement carbon offsetting.
At it's core the idea of offsetting carbon means that a business can take some accountability for the emissions that it sends into the atmosphere by putting finance into projects that are directly taking carbon out of the atmosphere (or preventing anticipated emissions).
It's a simple principle but there's a lot of factors that add to the complexity of putting this into action. To start with there's a huge variety within the type of project that can qualify for receiving payments for capturing carbon; some are nature based, some are technically advanced. And they're not all considered equal. The price per ton of captured carbon can vary to the extreme; starting as low as $5 or $10 and escalating up to over $600!
And alongside this there's a whole host of schemes and marketplaces that are involved in some kind of offsetting programme, each with its own guidelines and procedures.
Due to its broad reach I've found it a difficult subject to get a clear, crisp sense of who can get involved and how.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brennan Spellacy, cofounder & CEO of 'Patch'.
'Patch' is on online carbon marketplace that also develops software for readily integrating carbon offsetting within e-commerce transactions.
The was a fantastic opportunity to get and insider understanding of what it looks like to put carbon offsetting into action.
'Patch' operates within the voluntary carbon market and we learn why at the foundation of this, it's consumers who are really driving things forward.
Use the time stamps below to get a sense of what's included:
00:00 - Introduction
02:09 - Start of Interview
02:45 - What is Carbon Offsetting?
06:45 - How Technical is the Platform?
09:14 - Who is the Typical Buyer?
11:32 - Why do Companies Start Paying to Offset?
16:40 - Do You Need to Know Your Carbon Footprint?