Carbon Insetting – New Approach Linking Businesses and Ecosystems





New networks and projects are being created around the idea of Carbon Insetting. Most businesses are now aware of and a great many invest in carbon offsetting. This involves the purchase of credits from external carbon reduction projects, helping companies compensate for their own carbon footprint.  A broad distinction is made between easily accountable techno-projects and more complex to account for forest-projects. The techno projects are based around low carbon technologies like renewable power, clean cook stoves, and waste digesters.

These carbon offsetting projects can deliver on carbon, and the best ones can achieve the triple benefits of action on climate change, ecosystem protection and community funding…

However, what if a business could invest in carbon saving projects within their own value chain? They would thereby create shared value in the way that Porter and Kramer suggest – where they see investments being made for good that are closer to the businesses core work, rather than the traditional CSR approach of giving to (often random) good causes.

Of course finding carbon saving projects within a supply chain will not always be possible or desirable.  Much will depend on the strategy for action of a particular business.  But if such carbon reduction projects can be developed, within ‘the family’, then it was suggested back in 2009, that this ‘in-house’ carbon work could be set to take off.  As Richard Tipper at Ecometrica stated, we are looking at Carbon Insetting now in addition to offsetting.  You can watch Richard on Insetting in this short 101 Vision we produced at last years Plan Vivo stakeholder meeting:

through Carbon Insetting, a company is able to compensate for their own emissions in activities directly related to their business…by supporting their business partners…creating multiple benefits…

The potential benefits of the insetting approach are many.  The investment can give a company insight into its value chain that may not have existed before.  Greater intel on core operations can’t be a bad thing.  Relationships will be improved and strengthened as the participating organisations and people work together on a new project, one that involves action on climate change and most likely costs savings or income  for the people who are making the carbon reductions happen.

Where it is applied to equitable forest-projects and land based projects, such as those that are created under the Plan Vivo standard, insetting offers the chance for innovative companies to create more projects that not only reduce carbon emissions, but also benefit supplier communities, and protect ecosystems.

for local communities, carbon insetting not only allows them to benefit economically, but enables the protection of their ecosystems…central to maintaining long term livelihoods…

Organisations like Flow Cert, Adapt Together, Pur Projet, and businesses like Ben & Jerry’s, Vittel and Source are all becoming involved with carbon insetting projects.  Moves are also underway to develop new insetting projects within the Plan Vivo network.  Coffee companies in particular are actively developing Plan Vivo Carbon Insetting projects.

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Plan Vivo, the standard for community projects that deliver excellent ecosystem, climate & livelihood benefits, is hosting an event on the 10th of November in London. The event is to explore and surface Carbon Insetting…

This is the chance for CSR and Sustainability managers and consultants to begin to explore the potential for their own business.  The event will bring the existing knowledge network together to demonstrate the opportunities, benefits and challenges when developing Insetting projects.

Talks will be presented by a number of pioneering companies in Carbon Insetting Initiatives…

Tristan Lecomte, Co-founder and President of Pure Projet will be there to share his knowledge of social and environmental compliance of supply chains and Insetting. Pure Projet has helped several large companies incorporate climate issues into their day-to-day business activities through Insetting projects. Their work in supporting forests and local communities not only helps our biosphere, but ultimately leads to a better quality product. CLevel will be participating at the event and we hope to see you there as we all work to explore and develop this innovative approach to reducing carbon and protecting ecosystems…

10th of November in London