Offsetting dilemmas – start of a case study (us!)

Should we / should we not?

We’re fully bought into getting to Net Zero.  Which means reduce, reduce, reduce and offset what’s left.


Surely there is benefit in starting offsetting our emissions already though?  We also concur.  But not to grandstand about being carbon neutral / positive. With no premises and a small team our footprint is relatively small so no big deal.  Also we preach caution on green claims and legislation is catching up from the offsetting perspective. So the motivation is to do something positive outside business as usual, learn and share the learning.

Offsets or Credits?

Having committed to “we should”, next is what should we?  First off a technical point, The terms carbon credits and carbon offsets are used loosely, so to tighten things up:

  • Carbon offset: A removal of GHGs from the atmosphere.
  • Carbon credit: A reduction in GHGs released into the atmosphere.

And that’s dilemma number one.  Carbon offsets are acceptable en route to Net Zero.  Carbon credits are not, but clearly if they’re well managed are still a good thing.  Carbon credits are acceptable for anyone seeking to claim carbon neutrality.

So as this particular exercise is not part of our Net Zero planning or reporting, we remain open minded to either option.

Home or away?

There has been recent bad press about some of the schemes available (example).  Not good news as it undermines trust in emerging standards.  The gut feel here was that investing in something more local would give us higher confidence.


The planet doesn’t care where it happens.  The wider sustainability impacts of investments over seas such as supporting people out of poverty, education etc. are likely to be much bigger.

So, we have decided to go Home and Away.

Next steps

We have been doing a bit of homework and have pretty much settled on what we will spend the money on.   Full disclosure – we’re not investing much and don’t expect any kudos, it’s more R&D for us.

Watch this space to see how we get on – we’ll try and give a warts and all perspective once the i’s are dotted, and again when the t’s are crossed.





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