What is it?
Carbon offsets provide real reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing, absorbing or avoiding the release of carbon dioxide. Organizations generate offsets through the use of established project methodologies in sectors such as forestry, energy, industry, and agriculture. ITC works closely with project developers and landowners to provide 3rd party verification of carbon offset projects. Verification is a crucial step in the generation of carbon offsets as it secures your ability to sell or trade carbon credits in global carbon markets.
How does carbon offset work?
Offsetting carbon emissions is a continuous process starting with measuring your carbon footprint, setting a strategy to decarbonise your organization and offsetting emissions you can’t reduce. Offsetting means you can take action now to reduce global emissions while low or zero emission approaches are developed for your business.
Carbon offsets are just one tool to tackle climate change and should not be considered as a stand-alone action. After measuring a carbon footprint, organizations and individuals should reduce their emissions as much as possible, as well as taking responsibility for what remains, by buying carbon credits.
Steps to offset your carbon footprint
- Define and measure your carbon footprint
- Set goals to reduce carbon footprint and deliver internal reductions
- Go beyond internal reductions to compensate for remaining unavoidable emissions
- Select high quality carbon credits verified under a recognized global standard
- Carbon offset certificate shows the tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions offset
- Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced using carbon finance
- Communicate your climate action and engage your teams, customers and stakeholders
- Continue to reduce your CO2 emissions
Benefits of Verification with ITC
- Assure funders and buyers that your projects are making real climate mitigation impacts
- Work with knowledgeable staff with experience verifying a wide range of offset project types Provide independent confirmation of your carbon offset claim
- Receive support throughout the verification process and beyond
Verification Proces of ITC (ITC provides third-party verification)
- Client develops offset Project
- Desk Review: ITC conducts a desk review of all project documentation
Site Visit: ITC conducts site visit to assess your project’s compliance with the relevant standard
- Draft Report: ITC issues a draft report based on submitted materials and findings from the site visit
- Technical Review: A lead verifier who is not involved in the on-site audit will conduct an independent review of the evaluation
- Issue Verification: ITC makes a final decision and submits opinion to the applicable GHG program for registration and issuance of carbon offsets
- Client receives carbon credits
What is the difference between carbon offset validation and carbon offset verification?
Validation is the process of evaluating the design of a project’s plan for sequestering carbon dioxide or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Verification is the process of evaluating calculations of the actual amount of greenhouse gas emissions that have been avoided or sequestered through implementation of the project.
How long will the carbon offset verification process take?
A typical verification takes 3-6 months. The length of verification depends on the size and complexity of the project, the standards used, and project type. The duration is also affected by how well the project developer is prepared and on response time.
How much does Carbon Offset Verification cost?
Cost depends on factors such as project size, location, complexity, type, the standards used, and level of preparedness. Contact ITC for a customized quote.
How do I know when my carbon offset project is ready for validation and verification?
Projects can be validated and verified once they have a completed Project Design Document that complies with the relevant standard. ITC often recommends conducting an internal audit to make sure the document is complete and to save time down the road.
How do carbon offset projects reduce emissions?
Protect forests – funding management and monitoring schemes that protect this natural source of carbon sequestration
Fund renewable energy – displacing fossil fuels from regional and national grids, by funding clean renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Tackle household emissions – tackling sources of emissions in households and communities, these projects cut emissions through increasing energy efficiency or reducing use of fossil fuels
Planting trees and land restoration – sequestering carbon from the atmosphere storing it in trees and soil. Stabilising soils also reduces the risk of erosion and flooding while an increased forest area aids biodiversity.
How do carbon offsets reduce climate change?
To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as set out in the Paris Agreement, we need to halve emissions by 2030. This means we need to take immediate action while also putting plans in place to decarbonise over the next decade. Carbon offsetting is a vital tool to help tackle climate change as it allows you to take action for carbon emissions you produce today, while you transition to a lower carbon future. While carbon offsets alone will not solve climate change, it is an important tool on the way to Net Zero.