The future of carbon offsetting: an interview with Dan from Fenix Carbon

At Inktrap, we are really focusing on reducing the impact that we have on the environment. Because we produce digital products, rather than physical ones, it can sometimes be hard to know what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.

We are already taking action to help reduce our carbon emissions, but we wanted to know more about what this means, and how we can do more. So, we spoke to Dan from Fenix Carbon, a carbon offsetting platform, to find out more, here’s what we learnt.

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is the process of compensating for the emissions that are produced by you, your company or a process. There are two types of carbon offsets: avoidance and removal. It is important to try and do a mixture of both of these things.

Removal means removing carbon from the atmosphere via carbon capture - this could be by a machine or by planting trees.

Avoidance means stopping the release of carbon into the atmosphere. This could be by using renewable energy such as solar panels or wind farms.

What is a carbon credit?

A carbon credit is a certificate that represents the reduction of one tonne of carbon from the atmosphere, these credits are issued by carbon standards, for example, Verra. Carbon credits were created as a way to try to accurately ensure that as a buyer, you know the tonnes that you have offset are fully verified and certified by a recognised independent body. These credits can either be traded or ‘retired’. Retiring a credit means taking it out of circulation so that no one else can buy it - that way you can be sure you have actually offset.

What does Fenix Carbon do?

Fenix Carbon is a carbon offset marketplace which is connecting carbon offsetting project developers, such as wind farm owners to buyers such as businesses who want to offset their carbon emissions. Fenix differs from many other carbon offsetting platforms because it aims to be transparent about the breakdown of what you have bought, the fee that Fenix takes and how much goes to the project developer. This is important because the carbon offsetting market is unregulated, so everything is based on trust.

What does it mean for a project to be certified and eligible to use credits?

Certified projects mean that the project has been through a due diligence process and has been verified as offsetting as much carbon as they claim to. If a project has not been certified, you have to blindly trust that they are offsetting the tonnage that they say they are. You also cannot claim carbon credits from a project that has not been certified.

How can my business become carbon-neutral?

To be certified carbon neutral, you have to go through an accredited process, for example, PAS2060, conducted by an approved carbon consultancy or carbon accountancy - they will not accept anything other than compliant carbon credits, which is why supporting and buying into projects that are certified is really important.

How do I choose a project that’s right for my business?

There is no ‘right’ project to choose, they all help to reduce carbon emissions and they are all helping the planet which is the most important thing! Some companies choose projects based on price, as credits from different projects cost different amounts of money. However, there are some projects which do more than just offset carbon, for example, some projects - such as forestry-based ones - may have community benefits such as paying indigenous people to maintain and look after forests, and sometimes making it possible for them to legally title land that is rightfully theirs. Many projects also provide employment for local people.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a person or company looking to reduce their impact on the environment?

Carbon offsets should not be the first, and certainly should not be the only thing that you do to reduce your impact on the environment, they should be the final push to offset any carbon that you absolutely can’t reduce anymore.

Food waste is a huge contributor to environmental damage. On a personal level, using things like Olio and Too good to go can make a difference in helping combat food waste. Eating plant-based foods also makes a huge difference to your carbon footprint. On a business level, introducing schemes to encourage more plant-based eating is a great way to get your team involved in reducing their own carbon footprint, and that of the business.

Learn more about Fenix Carbon to start your carbon offsetting journey.

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