How to Buy Carbon
Carbon credits are offered by many providers in Europe, North America and Australasia. Some are non-profit organizations while others are profit-making companies. Carbon Catalog lists 141 providers around the world. It is important to choose a provider whose ethos and management you are comfortable with.
Some questions to think about when choosing a provider:
- Do you prefer a non-profit or a commercial organization?
- Is the provider open about its management and ethos?
- Does the provider explain how your money is spent?
- What type of project does the provider support?
- How does the pricing compare? Is the difference justified?
Carbon is generally priced per metric tonne of carbon dioxide. The price can vary a great deal between providers, due to differences in project cost and administrative overheads.
Companies buying Carbon
For businesses or other organizations purchasing carbon, many providers offer a lower price per tonne than is published on their websites. In addition, large purchasers can generally choose which specific project their funds will be used to support.
Commercial purchasers of carbon should consider a broader approach to carbon management. Many providers can help companies reduce their carbon emissions from production and other facilities, before buying credits to cover the remainder.
Individuals buying Carbon
For individual purchasers of carbon (commonly termed carbon offsetting), many provider websites offer a carbon calculator which estimates the carbon dioxide emitted by flights, car journeys or other energy use. The website then allows the carbon to be purchased online using a credit card or PayPal.
In general, the money collected is allocated between the projects supported by the provider, and the individual cannot select which specific project their funds will go to support.