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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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

Bafta has invested in a string of initiatives to decarbonise and reduce the resource impact of its 2020 film awards ceremony, which took place in London this Sunday (2 January).

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'

Greenwashing 2.0? Defining what it means to be a 'net-zero' business

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.

Have your say on what the 'hot topics' in the UK's sustainability sphere could be in 2020

VOTE: What will be the defining sustainability issue of 2020?

With many of us heading back to the office for our first day at work in 2020 this week, edie has explored the environmental issues which could dominate sustainability conversations this year - and is giving you the chance to have your say.

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

With COP25 and Christmas now on the horizon, we take a look back at a November packed full of sustainability and energy news. This round-up includes all the highlights from edie's Net Zero November campaign and the build-up to the UK general election.

edie is inviting businesses to make new business commitments

Roadshows, pledges and innovations: edie's Net-Zero November enters final week

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.

Net-Zero November: edie launches net-zero for business guide

Organisations looking to understand the various issues surrounding the hot topic of net-zero, and how it can be applied to their businesses, now have access to a crucial new edie Explains guide, which breaks down everything you need-to-know on the topic.

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.

It is estimated that the number of flights at Heathrow Airport will increase from 480,000 currently to 760,000 each year by 2026

Heathrow's third runway 'masterplan' at odds with national net-zero aim, campaigners warn

Plans to re-route the M25, divert rivers and reposition car parks and buildings as part of the masterplan for Heathrow Airport's third runway approval have been described as "climate-wrecking" by concerned politicians and green groups.

<p>Some developers have already voluntarily adopted a net-gain approach to biodiversity, but the Government looks set to mandate it by law. Image: Berkley Group</p>

Natural Capital Committee: Biodiversity net-gain must not rely on offsetting

The UK Government's independent advisor on natural capital has criticised proposals put forward by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) that would require developers to pay for biodiversity offsets in other regions if their projects result in habitat loss.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

London's low-emission buses and Ralph Lauren's recycled plastic shirts: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

The UK's exclusion of international aviation and shipping figures from carbon budgets has been criticised by Transport & Environment and Greta Thunberg

UK's 'creative carbon accounting' breaches climate deal, say critics

The UK is breaching the Paris agreement on climate change by excluding international aviation and shipping figures from carbon budgets, according to a leading NGO.