From offsetting to contribution: A credible way of using carbon credits

Our new contribution white paper shares a three-step methodology to help you make the purchase of carbon credits a catalyst for emission reductions and positive impact globally.

Illustration of renewables energy
Renaud BettinVP Climate Action & Sales Enablement
28 November 2022

In this white paper, you’ll learn:

  • Why the historical use of carbon credits hinders our climate action and becomes a handicap for companies
  • How contribution is different from offsetting practices
  • How a systematic contribution strategy can benefit your organization's climate strategy
  • Three simple steps you can take to mitigate risk and turn contribution into an opportunity


25 years. That’s how long the much celebrated carbon offset schemes have been around.

Officially introduced in 1997 as part of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, they were seen as the most promising symbol for a greener, fairer world.

There have certainly been changes, but they haven't been particularly clean. With the exception of the Covid crisis and its 5.8% reduction in global emissions in 2020, emissions have increased by more than 70% in 30 years, with levels rising from 38 GtCO2e to 65 GtCO2e.

In 2021, the voluntary carbon finance market reached a record value of nearly $2 billion, with 500 million carbon credits sold. This previously limited market, with its controversial reputation, seems to be finally taking off. In the wake of 2,500 companies committing to Net Zero and in the face of miraculous forecasts of market growth, the players are getting organized. On the supply side, the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) is looking to address the credibility of carbon credit projects. Demand-side, meanwhile, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), is striving to bring more coherence to the claims made as a result of buying carbon credits. 

For 25 years, the carbon finance market, which has the potential to play a key role in achieving global carbon neutrality, has failed to generate strong stakeholder support – and make a real difference. Whether voluntary or regulated, the use of carbon credits has always been met with suspicion, criticism, and controversy. That’s because it’s resulted in the cancellation of emissions.

The contribution approach doesn’t question carbon credits as such, but it defines a new method to use this indispensable tool. One that breaks with the idea of offsetting emissions and opens up the field of actions contributing to global climate targets. 

This white paper introduces a simple method that conveys a collaborative and supportive vision of climate action. And brings back the integrity and moral use of carbon credits.




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