Which is the best carbon offset scheme?

With so many carbon offset schemes out there it can be hard to know which to go for. In this article we summarise the best domestic and international schemes.

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With the replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) no longer applicable due to Brexit, the Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) is being replaced in 2024 by the Environmental Land Management System (ELMs).

Within this we may see provisions for domestic offsetting, where farmers can be rewarded for increasing sequestration on their land through active management such as tree planting. We would hope that a domestic system for this is set up, so that private businesses can access farmland for localised tree planting.

Best UK Carbon Offset Schemes

  • Type: Woodland restoration and biodiversity protection 
  • Third- party certification: Woodland Carbon Code
  • Location: Lynbreck
  • Est. Reductions: 3,688 metric tonnes CO2e
  • Cost: £10.80 per tonne of CO2
  • Type: Tree planting 
  • Third- party certification: Woodland Carbon Code
  • Location: Grizebeck
  • Est. Reductions: 7,000 metric tonnes CO2e
  • Cost: £6.50 per tonne of CO2e; businesses membership is £5 per employee per month

Best International Schemes

Best overall because of user-friendly calculators, third-party certification, and flexibility in purchasing offsets.

Best air travel because of STI’s extensive expertise in the sustainable travel industry and commitment to certified offset projects.

  • Type: Funding renewable energy infrastructures
  • Third- party certificationVerified Carbon Standard
  • Location: US
  • Est. Reduction339,000 metric tonnes CO2e 
  • Cost: n/a

Best B Corp because of the value in offering sustainable business services. It’s possible to request a quote tailored on a business’ goals and budget, thus making  the 3Degrees scheme a better option for businesses that are interested in large offsets and that want to take advantage of other available sustainability services.

  • Type: Agricultural Methane Capture/Combustion (digester)
  • Third- party certification: Climate Action Reserve (CAR)
  • Location: US
  • Est. Reduction: 19,402 metric tonnes CO2e
  • Cost: n/a

Hybrid Schemes

Cost£12.90 per tonne of CO2

NameLocationTypeCost per tonne CO2
Forest CarbonUKRestoration and Biodiversity£10.80
My Carbon PlanUKTree Planting£6.50
NativeEnergyTanzaniaReduction of Deforestation$15.50
3DegreesUSMethane CaptureCustom
STIUSRenewable Energy InfrastructureCustom
Adam Bastock
Author: Adam Bastock

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