Criteria for Voluntary Carbon Offset Purchases: SDGs

January 17, 2021

Criteria for Carbon Offsets

Carbon offsets can feel overwhelming, whether you’ve been around them for years or you are just starting out. There are numerous projects available with many nuances between them, and some voluntary corporate buyers don’t know where to start. This series is intended to provide a framework for thinking about 4 different criteria among voluntary offsets.

3. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Many offset projects not only reduce or sequester emissions but also contribute to the livelihood, economic growth, education and general well-being of ecosystems and local communities.  At Bluesource, we discuss these co-benefits in terms of the United Nations Sustainable 17 Development Goals. Each goal includes specific targets. 

As United Nations SDGs become more important for companies, voluntary buyers are increasingly considering which SDGs to support from within their offset purchases. The buyer can then communicate compelling and relatable stories about the types of offsets that they are buying and the types of co-benefits that these projects support. In the same way, offsets can impact a company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ES&G) objectives beyond simple greenhouse gas reductions. Projects that support multiple SDGs and have many co-benefits tend to be popular among buyers and can command a price premium.

As a buyer considers offsets, he or she may also want to decide if there are specific SDGs that his or her company hopes to support.

This article is contributed by

Lizzie Aldrich
As Vice President of Business Development, Lizzie identifies and acquires new clients in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and renewable natural gas markets. She also leads the voluntary offset sales efforts where she identifies buyers, develops marketing materials, and negotiates sales agreements.

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