FAQ

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Why Beyers Koffie decided to offset its gas emissions?

In 2011 Beyers Koffie evaluated for the first time its organizational carbon footprint. Which proved that gas emissions are the biggest contributor to their carbon footprint. Although Beyers Koffie invested already heavily in reducing its emissions (e.g. replacement of roaster by a new, energy efficient roaster), some emissions are inevitable. Instead of leaving this CO2 cost to society, Beyers Koffie decided to take its responsibility and offset the gas emissions by supporting Gold Standard projects in developing countries (e.g. improved woodstoves in Uganda). The offsetting is done in partnership with CO2logic, an organization specializing in the calculation, reduction and offsetting of carbon emissions. And the only offset company to be certified by Forum Ethibel.

What is carbon offsetting?

The principle of voluntarily offsetting greenhouse gas emissions essentially comprises three stages:

  1. Calculating. An organization or "CO2 emitter" carries out a carbon footprint study, according to recognized standards, in order to identify where the CO2 emissions and climate impact is coming from.

  2. Reducing. Using this initial assessment, the study and advisor can immediately provide ways of reducing future emissions. This reduction in emissions often goes hand in hand with cheaper energy bills given the large part that fossil fuels play in our carbon-dioxide emissions.

  3. Offsetting. Once the emissions have been worked out and mostly reduced, the emitter contributes by financing CO2 reductions from climate projects that equals their emissions from the carbon footprint. By doing so, they offset their past emissions for which reduction measures are too late. The carbon credits from the climate projects allow support to clean(er) technologies in developing countries (e.g. wind energy or efficient cookingstoves in Africa, etc.). 

This video explains carbon offsetting in less than 2 minutes.

Why OFFSETTING in developing countries?

The Kyoto protocol divided countries into two groups. On the one hand, the industrialized countries (Japan, Russia, Australia, EU, United States etc.) historically responsible for climate change. On the other hand, the developing and emerging countries, (in Africa, South America, India, China, etc.) which are not historically responsible for climate change but which increasingly are going to emit CO2 in the future. 

Carbon emissions are a worldwide problem and the place carbon emissions occur, here or in Africa, makes no difference to their influence on the climate. They therefore have to be reduced here and in those countries. Unlike the developing and emerging countries, here, in the industrialized countries we already have obligations regarding carbon emissions and businesses in our countries are now encouraged to increase their energy efficiency and use renewable energy.

We must therefore support the developing (and emerging) countries in changing quickly to the use of sustainable technologies (with a low carbon footprint) otherwise our carbon reductions here will not be sufficient if these rapidly growing countries emit increasing amounts which negatively affect our climate. For further information: www.unfccc.int

Why OFFSETTING IS NOT TAKING PLACE here?

See the previous answer, since in this area we already have obligations and therefore any voluntary effort which is not subtracted from the emissions nationally (and therefore not allocated to your entity) will be allocated to those entities which have obligations (the Regions and Federal Government in Belgium). There are no carbon credits/CO2 offsets (for voluntary use) issued in Belgium since each additional reduction is already counted by the public entities and allocating additional credits would mean counting the same reduction twice.

Only setting up the joint implementation mechanism or domestic offsetting projects (DOPs) would enable the risk of counting twice to be avoided, but in Belgium this mechanism has not (yet) been implemented by the public authorities.

Why is it important to offset?

Carbon offsetting is important as it allows:

  • everyone to become aware of their impact on the climate
  • everyone to take part in various ways and according to their means with no obligation (use of cars, heating at home, journeys by air, etc.)
  • to go further as an additional tool to the first two stages, the calculation and reduction of CO2. Thanks to carbon offsetting, we can possibly reach carbon neutrality.

Is OFFSETTING not simply to make us feel guilt-free?

If someone has to take a flight it is better to offset it than to do nothing. Your contribution is used to reduce tons of carbon in developing countries which match what you emit by flying. These reductions in these developing countries would not happen without your contribution.

This principle is also applicable for any other activity (production, driving, waste,…) that will happen anyway. Since 2007 we have observed that organizations going for CO2 Neutrality by offsetting their own CO2 emissions will reduce their emissions more rapidly than ‘non-offsetting’ organizations because they have internalized their CO2 emissions by putting a price on their own climate impact.

How much does carbon offsets cost?

It all depends on :

  1. The quality of the carbon offset projects (Gold Standard or Certified by the United Nations).

  2. The type of projects. A cookstove project will be more expensive as it is more people intensive and generates less quick big CO2 reductions. Compared to wind mill projects that are less people intensive and generate immediately big CO2 reductions.

What guarantee is there that the selected OFFSET projects will be successful?

Beyers Koffie works with CO2logic offering projects which are running and which are certified by Gold Standard. By working with CO2logic, Beyers Koffie is at 100% sure that the offset really happened. By supporting these sustainable projects it will allow others to be created.

Why does beyers only use OFFSET projects certified by Gold Standard ?

This international standard is recognized around the world and offers the greatest guarantee that the carbon offset is of high quality. For further information: www.cdmgoldstandard.org