Additional certifications account for the quantifiable impacts of a carbon offset, outside of the emissions reduction. It’s a familiar principle: the more certifications associated with an offset, the more value it holds.
Popular examples of additional certifications include but are not limited to:
Each certification assures the buyer that their offset has more value and impact than a standard offset. These industry leaders have generated meaningful climate action in various industries, countries, and ecosystems. On top of the one-tonne reduction in emissions, an additionally certified offset creates opportunities for the environment and the community. Most importantly, additional certifications and standards provide further credibility to the carbon offset sold.
Adopted at the United Nations Conference in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals build on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, and the new plan emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. To learn more about The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), visit the United Nations SDG guide.
To contextualize, we can dissect the impact of two urban development projects. Based in Dallas, Texas, Project A builds homes for an underprivileged community. Project B, quite similarly, builds homes for underdeveloped communities in Paraíba, Brazil. The only difference is that Project B includes an excavated well system in each residence to allow access to clean drinking water. So, while Project A & B share similar end goals of housing those in need, the side effects of Project B’s operations make it eligible to receive certification for SDGs 6 and 11 (Clean Water and Sanitation & Sustainable Cities and Communities).
The SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich, and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs, including health, education, and social protection, all while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
The link between climate change and the SDGs is clear. Tackling climate change is essential to achieving the SDGs, and taking action on the SDGs will help build resilience to climate change and its lasting impacts. Specific offsetting methodologies contribute environmentally in more ways than one. So, certified carbon offsets can contribute to several of the SDGs.
In the carbon markets, the more benefits a carbon offset has, the more valuable it is. These benefits, in the form of additional certifications, offer assurances to the buyer that their purchase is having a positive impact on not just climate change mitigation but also sustainable development.
The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is an international carbon offsetting scheme for the aviation sector. CORSIA offsets will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (climate action), among others.
As the aviation industry grows, so does its impact on climate change. In 2016, international aviation was responsible for about 2% of global CO2 emissions and could grow to 3-4% by 2050 without action. The CORSIA offsetting scheme tackles this growth in emissions by providing a financial incentive for sustainable development projects that will help offset the aviation industry's carbon emissions. These projects could range from mangrove restoration to solar panel installation to reforestation.
Not all offsets are created equal, so additional certifications provide more assurances to the buyer that their purchase has a positive impact. The carbon markets value these benefits, as they offer a way to achieve not just climate change goals but also sustainable development objectives. They recognize strategies that build economic growth and address social needs. It is necessary to leverage the link between climate change and additional certifications to become a planet-positive economy.
To learn more about how you can help in that fight, feel free to visit our website.