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Carbon offsets are not a silver bullet, but they are an important feature in decarbonising the global economy. Carbon offsets are a part of our Environment strategy and are a step on the path to achieving fully carbon-neutral business activities by 2030.
Carbon offsetting is the purchase of carbon credits, generally in an amount equivalent to the carbon emissions that a lifestyle or business has created. After making every effort to reduce emissions as much as possible, purchasing carbon credits is a way to be accountable for a climate impact and to take climate action that helps to reduce overall global emissions.
A carbon credit, sometimes called a carbon offset, represents the certified reduction or removal of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) from the atmosphere. To try and put this into context, one tonne of CO2 is the equivalent to the average monthly carbon footprint of someone living in Europe.
At BrandHK, we offer customers the ability to offset the emissions caused by the production and delivery of their order.
Offsets work as part of a wider strategy: when you have tried to reduce your emissions as much as possible, then offsets can be used as a way to fund other activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in the global economy. For offsets to have integrity, they must fund decarbonisation that is new and would not have happened otherwise. They must also be measurable so we know that they have had the offsetting effect intended.
Buying into tree-planting schemes makes for good marketing, but there are serious reputational risks for customers who opt for this approach.
At BrandHK we are using offsets as part of a wider strategy which will reduce emissions. These are detailed in our Environment strategy, but include giving customers the ability to choose lower-carbon products, improving our range of low-impact products and helping our suppliers to become less impactful.
We have selected Gold Standard as our offsets partner.
Gold Standard offers the most robust quality control of projects from all other options, and fully certify and monitor their projects. This gives us confidence that, when we buy an offset, it will deliver the impact and future reductions in emissions that it claims. This process also means there is no “double-counting” and that emissions reductions are real.
The Gold Standard certification process was developed through close collaboration between technical and policy experts from civil society, governments, multilateral organisations and the private sector. Gold Standard is endorsed by 80+ international NGOs and with more than 1,400 projects in 80 countries undergoing certification. The Gold Standard has become the global benchmark for the highest integrity and greatest impact in climate and development initiatives.
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