Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Your business should measure and, where possible, avoid and reduce emissions. This can also help your business save energy and money in the longer term. However, there are emissions that cannot be avoided, and you may wish to balance the impact of such emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets.
Offsetting involves paying someone, somewhere else, to save emissions equivalent to those you have produced. These emissions savings - or 'carbon credits' - come from a variety of projects in a number of different countries. However, you should remember that offsetting alone will not necessarily make your company carbon neutral.
To help you choose good quality offsets make sure you use an offset provider that can:
If you intend to purchase carbon offsets, you should take the time to check that you are confident that the offsets represent real, independently verified emission reductions or offer other benefits - such as environmental or social - that you would like to support.
For information on getting involved in creating carbon offsets, rather than simply purchasing offsets, see the page in this guideline: International climate change projects and the carbon offset market
Many businesses want to become carbon neutral - ie to reduce or offset their emissions so that their total net emissions are zero. The business benefits of this include:
Under the government's definition, becoming carbon neutral involves three stages:
The British Standards Institute (BSI) has also developed a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2060 on carbon neutrality.
Purchasing carbon offsets
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