FAQ (What does it all mean & how does it all work?)

What is Offsetting?

the action or process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising from industrial or other human activity, by participating in schemes designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (lexico.com)

A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere (wikipedia)

Carbon offsets are a form of trade. When you buy an offset, you fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The projects might restore forests, update power plants and factories or increase the energy efficiency of buildings and transportation.

ICROA (International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance) estimates that every tonne of CO2 that is offset, delivers an average of $664 worth of socio-economic and environmental co-benefits.

Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality... refers to balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the transition to the "post-carbon economy"). (wikipedia)

Carbon neutrality begins with reduction. It's a concentrated effort to produce less waste and use more renewable energy. After reduction has reached its limit, or its comfortable threshold, carbon offsets can make up for the rest.

How does Terra Neutra's offsetting work?

We have a range of offsetting products to help you make an impact against climate change. At present these are tailored around an individual’s average UK footprint, though we intend to engage with you so that you can make the most impactful changes.

The 1st step in the offset process is to choose the most suitable product for your family or your households. Then add this to your cart and pay through the options available.

Some of our products allow you to subscribe to them, meaning that you can spread the costs over monthly payments and ensure that your ongoing impact is offset (but don’t offset the previous year!).

Once we have received your order, we will start the process of “retiring” your offset through our ICROA-accredited partners. They ensure that industry protocols are followed and that the offsets can’t be reused elsewhere.

You will receive an acknowledgement of your order, along with a Terra Neutra certificate, depending on the product. 

NB: Depending on which carbon offset project we are using, it may take up to 12 months to retire the offset product you've purchased.

Annual Carbon Footprint Calculations

We base our annual carbon footprint on the World Wildlife Fund's carbon footprint calculator

Offset Your Pet Footprint

We've used this article in Forbes magazine as the basis for our Pet Offset. According to research conducted by the University of Columbia and Sweden's Lund University, a Jack Russell emits 600 kgCOe, a Labrador 1.6 tCOe and a St. Bernard 2.3 tCOe. So we've gone for a round 1 tCO2e as an average.

We can arrange for customised offset certificates where you wish to gift offsets. Purchase a product via the standard process and add the name/s of the person/people you wish to gift the offsets to in the 'Order Notes' text box of the shopping cart.

What offset projects are Terra Neutra working with?

We work with three amazing projects, including the Low Smoke Cookstove project in Darfur, Sudan which won Best Carbon Offsetting Project in the Environmental Finance 10th Annual Voluntary Carbon Market Awards. You can read more about projects here.

Our flight packages

In order to provide our flight offset products, we’ve calculated the average emissions for a return flight of each of the three different flight types: Domestic, Short-haul/European, Long-haul. We use the same methodology as the GHG Protocol, which is an internationally renowned and recognised methodology.

We source our emissions factors from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (UK BEIS), which were previously published by DEFRA and DECC. For flight distances we have taken the average distances of a return trip for each of the flight types. These are presented as a packaged product, with no onward requirement to the consumer to input further details such as duration & distance. Our pricing is proportionate to the 1tCO2e product we offer.

I'm using a green energy provider - what difference does this make?

The fact you are here and reading this means that you want to do something about your footprint, and some of you will already be buying green from your utility supplier, thereby using renewable electricity and potentially offsetting your gas consumption.

Using renewable energy can reduce your footprint by anything between 0.5 and 5 tCO2. In the future we hope to incorporate this into your footprint as smoothly as possible, but for now you can manually enter the amount you want to offset using the figures below and our “Tonne of Carbon” product:

Consumption Gas Electricity Gas & Elec
Low 1.5 0.6 2.1
Medium 2.3 0.9 3.2
High 3.3 1.3 4.6

So, for a household of 2 adults and 2 children, using a medium level of renewable electricity, you would calculate: (2 x 13.5) + (2*6.75) – 1 = 39.5 tCO2, so you can add 39 or 40 “Tonnes of Carbon”. Please write us a note if you want us provide you with a bespoke certificate for this transaction.

If you’re interested in switching to a green energy provider, check out big clean switch who help you compare the market and make the switch.