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Offsetters is a Vancouver-based organization that aims to guide people and organizations seeking to reduce their climate impact. It was established through the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Offsetters aim to provide greenhouse gas management solutions. Their platform is "Less Talk, More Action". Their social objective is to contribute the most to fight global warming and to help sustainable development in the local communities surrounding their projects. Around 80% of their funds received in 2006 were directly invested into projects.
In 2005, two professors from the University of British Columbia decided that many of the companies that offer offsets have huge overhead costs/profit margins and very little of the funds generated from offset purchases were used in the projects. They also found that many obtained offsets from questionable sources that may not provide real reductions in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. They founded Offsetters because they wanted more of what citizens invested to go directly into credible offset projects. Offsetters was originally conceived as a not-for-profit organization, but the mandate changed somewhat when it was bought out by Ledcor Group of Companies in 2010.
Offsetters invest in projects that take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere or stop them from being emitted in the first place. All of the purchases for offsets are invested into carbon offset projects. By installing energy efficient heating systems on a large scale their projects offset the emissions from the client's activities, helping them to become climate neutral.
In order to stabilize the Earth's climate, Offsetters believe a reduction in global emissions by more than 70% is needed. The projects that are initiated and promoted by Offsetters aim to reduce greenhouse gas by 70% or more, and should sustain themselves once started.
High Quality Carbon Offset Projects
Offsetters defines high quality carbon offset projects by 5 principles:
- Projects that reduce total greenhouse gas emissions in the world: Only supporting projects that lead to real reductions in total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
- Projects that meet or exceed standards in Canada: Projects that exceed environmental and social standards in Canada are highly credible by Offsetters standards. Some offset projects (e.g., pig farms in Latin America) would fail Canadian standards in animal care and water pollution prevention.
- Projects that provide lasting environmental benefit: This means that energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy are favoured over tree planting. Greenhouse gas savings can be measured and created in energy efficiency and renewable projects.
- Projects that are socially beneficial: Projects that bring social benefits as well as environmental gains help make sure that there will be a social desire to sustain them in the long run.
- Interview with Eclipse One Tonne Challenge
- Interview with Associated Press
- Interview with the Globe and Mail
- Verification and Validation of Offsets
- David Suzuki Foundation on Carbon Neutrality
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