Offsetting

DEFINITION: The mechanism for claiming a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a process or product through the removal of, or preventing the release of, GHG emissions in a process unrelated to the life cycle of the product being assessed.

See also: Greenhouse gas (GHG)

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The changes will be a balm to airlines, whose profits have tumbled in recent months, but a disappointment to many green groups

CORSIA: UN agrees to airlines' Covid-19 pleas on offsetting scheme

The UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has agreed to change some facets its global carbon offsetting scheme, after airlines requested more leeway to weather the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky has repeatedly said that is views offsetting as part of a wider patchwork of solutions to decarbonisation, rather than a silver bullet

Director's (carbon) cut: Sky goes carbon-neutral across all original shows

Broadcaster Sky has achieved carbon-neutral certification across the entirety of its original programme portfolio, after offsetting all emissions generated by the 41 shows it produced in 2019.

The Airport claims it has been working since the recent Heathrow court ruling to examine how the expansion can be deliver in line with the Paris Agreement

Luton Airport to become 'most sustainable airport' by 2040

London Luton Airport has revealed an intention to become the UK's "most sustainable airport" by 2040, claiming that a planned expansion can be delivered in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

Zalando has committed to placing solar panels and low-carbon technology on all its new and existing fulfilment centres by 2023

Zalando unveils science-based targets, commits suppliers to set carbon goals

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edie Explains: Carbon offsetting

What is carbon offsetting in the terms of a businesses’ carbon emissions strategy? How does the carbon offset process and its market work? And, at what point should a business turn to carbon offsetting?

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edie launches new business guide on carbon offsetting

edie has today (26 May) published a new explains guide, focusing on how businesses should approach the use of carbon offsetting to assist a carbon reduction strategy.

The companies studied have all made recent commitments to combatting climate change, with some badging their new strategies as net-zero

Oil and gas giants overstating net-zero ambitions, study finds

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From Engagement Week and Net-Zero Week, to the Mission Possible 2020 report and more #SustyTalks – edie will bring you a jam-packed programme of exclusive online content in May

Engagement, Net-Zero & Mission Possible: edie gears up for bumper month of online content and events

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The report states that the global transition would impact every economy, while severely changing business models and societal habits

McKinsey: Reaching 1.5C a ‘daunting’ and unparalleled transition for all sectors

The global transition to limiting global temperature increases to 1.5C by 2050 has been labelled as a "daunting task", that would require unprecedented levels of decarbonisation for key sectors, with the world currently on course to exceed its carbon budget by 2031.

The company has developed a Life Cycle Assessment tool with third-party experts to evaluate the carbon impact of every process across the value chain

Allbirds running shoe made from renewable materials to feature 'carbon count' label

B Corp Allbirds has debuted a new running shoe made from renewable and natural materials and is the first product from the company to feature a physical "carbon count" label, detailing the lifecycle emissions of the product to consumers.

According to the Guardian, Shell has a carbon footprint of more than 31 billion tonnes since 1965

Royal Dutch Shell commits to net-zero emissions by 2050

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LG Solar is currently giving away cherry trees to customers to help them capture carbon at home

LG's solar arm targets carbon neutrality by 2030

LG Electronics' solar division has unveiled a new strategy of measures that will enable the business to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Pernod Ricard is currently one-year into a new 10-year strategy, of which a key pillar is “nurturing terroir”- broadly defined as the environmental factors that affect crops

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Pictured: Tree Saplings planted under an offset scheme. Image: Philip Halling/ cc-by-sa/2.0 / geograph.org.uk/p/4122268

UK Government urged to launch 'office for carbon removal' in crackdown on offsetting greenwash

The UK Government should open a national 'office for carbon removal' in order to verify that carbon offsets purchased by businesses in the drive for compliance with its net-zero target have a tangible climate impact.

Image: Relux/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Chanel sets 1.5C science-based targets, pledges 100% renewable energy

Luxury fashion and fragrance giant Chanel has committed to halve its carbon emissions by 2030, under a new 1.5C-aligned set of sustainability targets.

Under the commitment, all new sites will need to be carbon-neutral from the outset, including the Koodaideri iron ore mine in East Pilbara, Australia (pictured). Image: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto sets 2050 net-zero goal - but excludes Scope 3 emissions

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has set a commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations by 2050, backed with a $1bn investment pot.

In 2019, Heathrow had around 80 million passengers board flights at the airport 

Heathrow commits to becoming zero-carbon airport by mid-2030s

Heathrow Airport has announced its intention to become a zero-carbon airport by the mid-2030s, after reaching carbon-neutral status for its buildings and infrastructure today (21 February).

The commitment covers emissions related to preparations for, and the operations of, the tournament. Image: FIFA/ Al Sadd SC

FIFA vows to deliver carbon-neutral 2022 World Cup

FIFA and the State of Qatar have jointly launched a sustainability strategy for the 2022 World Cup, headlined by a commitment to deliver carbon-neutrality across the event's operations.

Burberry has set a targeted 30% absolute reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030. Image: Mparweo/Wikipedia

Burberry introduces carbon 'insetting' fund

Luxury fashion firm Burberry will create a "regeneration fund" to support a new portfolio of "carbon insetting projects" that aim to deliver regenerative agriculture practices across its supply chain - a move that will see its Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show at London Fashion Week become carbon-neutral.

Since 2005, Delta has reduced its absolute GHG footprint by 11% from 46 million metric tonnes to 41 million metric tonnes. Image Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines commits $1bn to become carbon neutral

US-based Delta Air Lines has committed $1bn over the next decade to mitigate emissions from its business to become carbon neutral, with the company pledging to minimise its reliance on the carbon offset market.

Sky will target a 50% absolute reduction in emissions by 2030

Dissecting the challenge: How Sky is approaching its net-zero target

EXCLUSIVE: Sky is facing the daunting task of engaging with 11,000 companies and 24 million customers as part of its new commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. The group's head of responsible business Fiona Ball outlines how Sky is "dissecting" this target to manage the transformation.

The company has faced criticism from green groups but is keen to move forward. Image: Ryanair

Ryanair: 'We're reviewing everything around environmental sustainability'

EXCLUSIVE: Amid increasing pressure from the general public, policymakers and investors, Ryanair's first director of sustainability has said the airline is reviewing its environmental targets and processes.

ClimateCare’s chief executive Vaughan Lindsay was speaking on day one of the Sustainability Leaders Forum

edie's publisher Faversham House expands ClimateCare partnership to offset event travel emissions

edie's publishing company Faversham House has announced an expansion to its partnership with ClimateCare to offset all carbon emissions from speaker and delegate travel across all its events throughout 2020.

A “Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road-Map” has also been released today, noting that alternative and sustainable fuels could account for one third of the UK’s demand for aviation fuel by 2050

UK aviation launches net-zero commitment for 2050, but won't cap growth

Key members of the UK aviation industry, including Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and London City Airport are among a coalition that has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the sector by 2050, to assist with the UK's overall net-zero strategy.

It is the first major awards season event to tout carbon neutrality. Image: Stuart Chalmers, CC BY 2.0

Bafta delivers its first carbon-neutral ceremony

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The company's carbon-neutral strategy revolves around energy efficiency, renewables and offsetting. Image: EY 

EY targets carbon neutrality by end of 2020

Professional services giant EY has pledged to become a carbon-neutral business by the end of the year, through investments in decarbonising its operations and in carbon offsetting schemes.

Some businesses are now looking outside of their own operations to become 'carbon-negative' rather than 'net-zero'

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Net-zero emissions has been scientifically heralded as a necessity to reverse the worst impacts of climate change. But a flurry of recent business commitments to become 'carbon-negative' and 'resource-positive' raises a critical question: does achieving 'net-zero' actually constitute business leadership?

In 2019, Heathrow had around 80 million passengers board flights at the airport 

Heathrow Airport launches flight offsetting tool for passengers

Passengers on flights to and from Heathrow Airport now have the option to offset the emissions of their journeys, after Heathrow.com announced a new partnership with the CHOOOSE 'climate streaming service' offsetting platform.

Pictured: AstraZeneca's R&D hub in China 

Ambition Zero Carbon: AstraZeneca targets carbon-negativity by 2030

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has pledged to become carbon-negative across its entire value chain by 2030, with an interim ambition of reaching net-zero operational carbon emissions from operations by 2025.

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Of the 42 Citizens' Assembly members, 90% said Oxford City Council should target net-zero before the national deadline. Image: David Iliff CC BY-SA 3.0

Oxford City Council targets net-zero by end of 2020

Oxford City Council has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within its own operations by the end of 2020, after residents on the local authority's Citizens' Assembly on Climate Change requested such a move.

Zalando avoided 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018

Zalando commits to onsite solar and green building certification across fulfilment centres

Online fashion platform Zalando has committed to placing solar panels and low-carbon technology on all its new and existing fulfilment centres by 2023, as the company pushes ahead with its net-zero commitment.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself

Election debates and net-zero campaigns: The top 10 sustainability stories of November 2019

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edie is inviting businesses to make new business commitments

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edie's month of net-zero content moves into its final week, meaning businesses have more time to upload new pledges and gain insight and inspiration from the themed content being published this week.

The challenge calls for businesses to invest in “nature-based solutions” such as enhancing biodiversity and reforestation to act as carbon sinks

Gucci boss calls on business leaders to deliver net-zero supply chains

Gucci chief executive Marco Bizzarri has called on business leaders to sign up to a Carbon Neutral Challenge that sees businesses deliver greenhouse gas emissions reductions across their entire value chain in order to achieve net-zero emissions.

EasyJet will also look to champion carbon capture technologies and sustainable aviation fuels in order to decarbonise its flights and operations. Image: EasyJet

EasyJet to offset all flight emissions, pushes for electric aircraft vision

EasyJet has become the first airline to operate net-zero flights, after agreeing to offset all emissions from fuel starting today (19 November) and will continue to work on rolling out electric aircraft in the future.

Eurostar has pledged to plant a tree for every train service that it operates across its routes

From plastics to rewilding: How Eurostar is gaining a competitive edge in the era of eco-travel

EXCLUSIVE: With flight shaming placing the profitability of the aviation sector at risk, international high-speed rail service Eurostar believes a legacy of action on carbon, plastics and now rewilding will help build customer trust.

Pictured: Tree Saplings planted under an offset scheme. Image: Philip Halling/ cc-by-sa/2.0 / geograph.org.uk/p/4122268

Greenwash or necessity: What role does carbon offsetting play in reaching net-zero?

Several NGOs offering carbon offsetting have reported a fourfold increase in investment over the past two years - but with concerns around greenwashing persisting, where should businesses be positioning offsetting in their net-zero strategies?

Qantas’ offsetting approach is currently the largest in the aviation industry, accounting for around 10% of customer flights. Image: Qantas

Qantas to double flight offsets as part of net-zero 2050 commitment

Australian airline group Qantas will invest $50m in sustainable fuel over the next decade and offset growth in emissions from international and domestic flights in order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Airlines UK believes that sustainable aviation fuels can cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2050

UK airline industry calls on Government to spur sector to net-zero

The industry body for UK airlines believes that a renewed partnership with the Government can help the sector achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as long as investment opportunities into green technologies are created.

PMI workers at a factory in Bologna. Image: PMI

Philip Morris to make all its factories carbon neutral by 2030

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has announced its intention to make all of its factories carbon neutral by 2030, after its Klaipeda factory in Lithuania reached the status.

To assist with UK forestry restoration, Shell is also launching a partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland

Shell commits £10m to offset emissions from customer fuel purchases in UK

Shell will spend £10m over the next year to offset the emissions from customers' fuel purchases at more than 1,000 service stations in the UK, following a successful trial in the Netherlands.

Pictured: SAP's installation at the V&A museum 

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: British Airways' future of flying and Plastics Clouds

Episode 72 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast features an exclusive interview with British Airways' chief executive Alex Cruz on the future of flying, algae plane concepts and how the data-driven Plastics Cloud is combatting ocean plastic pollution.

In total, Kering's 2018 offsets will cover 2.4 million tonnes of CO2e

Refashioned approach: Kering goes carbon-neutral

The luxury fashion group behind brands such as Cartier, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent has confirmed plans to offset its entire 2018 greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, including its supply chain emissions.

Gucci’s carbon-neutral strategy stretches from its supply chain to its fashion shows. Image: Gucci/Kering

Gucci goes carbon neutral in attempt to tackle climate crisis

As the fashion industry continues to address its role in the climate crisis, Italy's most valuable luxury brand has said it has become an entirely carbon-neutral company.

OVO Energy has a long history of minimising the carbon impact of its products through renewable energy procurement 

OVO Energy moves to lower climate impact of its marketing

Independent energy provider OVO Energy has unveiled a string of new measures to reduce the resource and carbon impact of its marketing, including an offsetting scheme and a "no-flights" policy.

The commitment covers all shipments to and from customers, for whole devices as well as replacement parts and accessories. Image: Alphabet Inc. 

Google targets carbon-neutral hardware deliveries

Tech giant Google has unveiled a new string of sustainability pledges for its hardware, including a commitment to make all customer shipments carbon-neutral by 2020.

edie spoke to ITV's senior manager of Social Purpose Julia Giannini. Image: ITV

More than TV: Can ITV place climate change at the core of its business purpose?

EXCLUSIVE: Following 18 months of radical internal transformation, edie asks how media company ITV is ready to revitalise years of strong CSR work to make environmental stewardship, health and wellbeing and societal change the core purpose of its business model.

ITV had told edie that roadmaps for these targets will be published next year. Image: James West Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/jameswest/ 

ITV commits to 1.5C science-based target after reaching carbon-neutral status

Months after it became a carbon-neutral business, broadcaster ITV has unveiled a plethora of new sustainability pledges, including committing to a 1.5C science-based target, purchasing 100% renewables and removing all single-use plastics in operations, productions and the supply chain.