The amount of CO2 that humanity can still emit before exceeding the objective of +1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era. 

According to the IPCC, it is increasingly difficult for forests, oceans, and soils to absorb the CO2 produced by human activities. However, tools such as the regulatory method of Article 75 or the Carbon Footprint® exist to raise awareness of global warming and, for companies, to establish concrete action plans to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreements in terms of carbon neutrality before 2050. 

Carbon footprint report what is it?

The Carbon Footprint® is a measurement tool created by the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) to account for all direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions emitted by human activities (individuals, companies, communities, or administrations). The final result is in tons of CO2. Depending on their results, companies integrate this assessment into their CSR approach to set up an action plan to limit their negative impact on the environment.

Why do a carbon assessment?

Apart from the current climate emergency, there are several reasons for companies to do a carbon footprint and some of them represent real opportunities. First of all, it can be mandatory. Since the Grenelle II law, which was voted in 2010, French companies with more than 500 employees are obliged to establish a “Regulatory GHG balance”. This report includes the carbon footprint and the measures and actions planned in consequence to reduce it. Moreover, it may bring a consequent competitive advantage. Indeed, companies involved in sustainable development benefit from a better brand image. They attract talent, particularly among the younger generation, sensitive to these issues; and reflect a good brand image. Finally, many initiatives aimed at reducing GHG emissions are also more economical. If resources are better or even less used, it has a significant impact on the company’s costs.

Carbon offset

Once the carbon footprint is calculated, the company commits to two levels: the drastic reduction of its GHG emissions and the compensation of those left. To offset this residual footprint, the companies engage with innovative projects focused on climate protection. Those can take various forms.  For example, in Nigeria, the production and distribution of stoves to households reduces carbon pollution from current cooking methods. In Nicaragua, the planting of bamboo limits deforestation and lowers temperatures thanks to the plant’s ability to absorb CO2. Or in Brazil, a biodiversity project protects over 86,000 hectares and prevents deforestation.

All these projects benefit from the very demanding Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard labels. Both labels provide several international standards for GHG emissions reduction and absorption. However, their eligibility criteria for projects are different. The Gold Standard, developed by WWF and other international NGOs, applies to projects that meet certain principles such as additionality, which proves that the tons of CO2 offset is actually saved as a result of the supported project, or irreversibility, which shows that the CO2 reductions achieved are permanent and not temporary. Whereas for the Verified Carbon Standard, established by Verra, projects must comply with principles of consistency and allow for a valid comparison between the GHGs offset and the activity carried out, or of prudence by using assumptions and procedures that do not allow for overestimating GHG reductions or absorption.

By using the solutions proposed by NooS, a company not only offsets its residual carbon footprint and benefits from these demanding labels but also democratizes its CSR strategy by allowing its various stakeholders to choose the initiatives that make them tick.

Photography credit – Cover: Angela Benito via Unsplash