As a society, we need to transition away from fossil fuels as fast as possible. This is the reason we at GoClimate spend so much time and energy trying to find the most efficient and high quality climate projects out there.
The demand, as well as the cost, for carbon credits in these projects have risen quite dramatically in the last 12 months. This is actually brilliant news for the climate, since it means climate projects can get more money for doing climate impact. Which in turn will lead to more climate projects being built.
The price increase is due to more people and companies being willing to support climate projects (thank you so much!), which also means that projects that pass the criteria for high quality climate projects can get more money for doing climate impact, which in turn means more climate projects will be built. The result being a faster transition to a sustainable society!
To be able to keep supporting these Gold Standard-certified projects of high quality, we will implement a price increase bringing the total cost per tonne to 7 USD from July 1st 2021.
We are implementing this increase to enable us to keep making as big of a difference for the planet as possible – with the hope that you will stay with us and keep building a sustainable future with us at GoClimate!
You do of course have the option of keeping your subscription fee exactly as it currently is, in which case it will still make a great difference in supporting the transition to a fossil free society. However, please note that this will mean that fewer tonnes are stopped from being released into the atmosphere elsewhere, and the monthly cost will no longer represent your full carbon footprint.
To opt out of the increase, please click here. Your monthly subscription will then remain the same amount until you’re ready to upgrade manually.
To keep offsetting your full carbon footprint as before, no need to do anything – just lean back and keep working on creating a better future together with us!
We are all part of the problem, so we can all be part of the solution! Since the causes of climate change are deeply rooted in our way of living, change needs to happen on all levels in society. From the governments setting the right direction, all the way to end consumers who choose what to purchase. In the middle, companies should align with the global goals, and provide products and services which are truly sustainable and don’t harm the planet.
What should companies actually do?
The first step is to understand how the company is contributing to climate change. The best way to do this is to analyze its operations and find out where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arise (in production, from energy consumption, or in the value chain?), and quantify the impact on the climate. GoClimate helps companies follow the international reporting standard to accurately measure the GHG emissions.
Once the company knows their climate impact, it is time to set a goal in line with the Paris Agreement to keep the increase of global temperature below 1,5°C. Knowing what emissions are caused in our base year (the first year we measure), we can set the ambition to reduce the emissions. At this point, we also know which part of the business is causing the most emissions, and GoClimate offers guidance on how to reduce these emissions in the most efficient way possible. Then, we can follow up on a yearly basis if the company is successful in reaching these goals.
A way to take responsibility for the emissions that cannot be abated immediately, is to offset the emissions. This is done by purchasing a corresponding amount of carbon credits from projects that avoid emissions elsewhere, or in some cases capture carbon from the atmosphere. GoClimate offers offsetting from high-quality projects certified by Gold Standard.
What are the benefits of doing this?
First and foremost, we do our part in ensuring a livable planet for ourselves and our children. As if this wasn’t enough, we simultaneously risk-proof our own business by understanding if we are currently a part of the problem, and how we can be part of the solution.
Some other positive effects are:
· Attracting more talent – employees care about the company they work for! This is true for new hires as well as for retention of the existing team.
· More customers – this gives an advantage over competitors, as sustainability becomes a key parameter when choosing suppliers and service providers
· Sustainability efforts also offer a marketing advantage
GoClimate is your partner
Reach out to us, and we can help you understand what this would look like for your company and offer support based on your needs. GoClimate will be there to answer any and all questions, and make this journey as smooth as possible for you. Get in touch by sending us an email at [email protected]
The 1.5°C Business Playbook helps organizations to set a 1.5°C aligned strategy and move to action. It focuses on simplicity and speed and is anchored in the latest science
Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
What equals one kilo of CO2? Is a tonne of CO2 a lot? And how do our personal lifestyle choices affect how much is released into the atmosphere? This can all be hard to grasp because we can’t really see or touch the emissions. Below, we have listed some examples of how much CO2 is linked to different objects, what the impact is and info we hope will serve as a helpful tool to get this under control.
[Reminder] Globally, we emit about 40 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. That number is so large that It feels impossible to understand. The info you may want to keep in mind going forward though, is that we need to reduce this number in half every decade to stay reasonably safe from climate change. That means, in 2030 we need to be down to 20 gt, in 2040 to 10 gt, and in 2050 to 5 gt.
The mindset to continuously half the emissions can and should be applied universally – by everyone. That includes governments, companies as well as us as individuals. It might seem like a big stretch, but let’s start with the low hanging fruit to start making an impact today – and it will just get easier from there!
Step one is to measure your carbon footprint. Countries are obliged to do this with data continuously tracked and updated by the UNFCCC. Some companies are obliged by national legislation to report their carbon footprint, while others do it on a voluntary basis. Individuals are currently not held accountable for their emissions, but judging by how rapidly our community is growing there are a lot of like minded people out there, seeing that they too can make a change and help contribute to meeting the targets needed for our planet’s well being.
The individual CO2 emissions of someone living in a western country is roughly 10 tonnes CO2. In some places it’s a little less, in the US and Australia it’s usually significantly higher (we will explain why in future posts). But this is a good general number to go by – 10 tonnes. Now, to start your own climate journey – go to our start page and calculate your personal footprint!
The strongest indicator of carbon emissions for an individual, is income level. That means that if you make 40 000 USD per year in Sweden or in South Africa, your emissions are likely more similar than between two people living in the same country but on different ends of the income spectrum. We still focus on economically wealthier countries in our business, as most of the consumption takes place in western countries and we therefore need to assume more responsibility.
Hopefully these examples will help you focus on what is important. Try following these guidelines:
The things that fall under 1 kg – don’t stress about it.
If it’s more than 1 kg and you do it regularly – be mindful about your habits.
Purchases around 100 kg – it is definitely worth looking for climate friendly alternatives. Could you possibly find it second hand?
1 tonne – is this really necessary? If there is no way to avoid it, offset the impact.
More than 3 tonnes – this should only be things which you cannot live without.
More than 100 tonnes – Is there anything you can do about this, even something small? Then you probably should!
The impact of 1 tonne of CO2 released into the atmosphere is terrifyingly easy to measure – it melts 3 square meters of arctic ice. So the impact of an average swede’s lifestyle is causing the disappearance of 30 m2 of arctic sea ice every year – that’s the size of 2,5 parking lots. Now let’s do something about that!
Curious to know more about your carbon footprint? Read the other posts in this series:
We have now offset another 25,000 ton CO2eq in a Gold Standard certified project! Thank you for taking part in this!
For the first time, we are investing in a project located in Brazil. Parabéns to us! The project is a Landfill to Gas Energy Project located in Uberlândia, in the state of Minas Gerais. Here, greenhouse gas emissions from two adjacent landfills are collected and converted into energy.
How does this work? As in most places in the world, the garbage that is generated by the local population is collected by garbage collectors and taken to a solid waste deposal site, also known as a landfill. In this case, this is done by a local company called Limpebrás Resíduos Ltda. The first of the Uberlândia landfills received waste from 1995 to 2010, and the second one started in 2010 with an expected 18 years of lifetime. Uberlândia I has during its operation received approximately 2,100,000 tonnes of domestic waste! This is being treated with significant care for the environment to prevent environmental damage, especially to avoid leachate into the ground.
But the contamination is not the only concern for landfills. The decomposing of organic waste in the landfill is also causing significant emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, CH4. Methane is a less common but stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, so the climate impact is about 25 times higher! This is why we in some places (like in Sweden) can collect separated organic waste and turn it into energy. However, this infrastructure is not yet available in all parts of the world. So, this project instead aims to collect the methane that is generated at the existing landfills, then combust it in a contained environment in order to produce energy for the local energy grid. The project will last for as long as the landfills release methane, which is until a few years after the landfill is full.
Some people call this renewable energy. We are not too happy with that definition, as garbage in itself is not a renewable resource. Project Drawdown calls this “a transitional strategy for a world that wastes too much” – which we agree with. “In a sustainable world, waste would be composted, recycled, or re-used; it would never be thrown away because it would be designed at the outset to have residual value, and systems would be in place to capture it”. GoClimate fully supports this statement, while recognizing that we are not there yet. As the waste is already at the landfill and causing these emissions as we speak, we’re on board to do what we can to stop them and turn it into energy, until the global waste management can catch up in terms of reduction and recycling. Given the climate urgency, this is not an either-or question, we need to do both!
Apart from the reduced emissions from collecting the methane, we are also helping to displace fossil fuels as we provide alternative energy to the network. The project is also creating more qualified job opportunities for the local population, and the monitoring of the project has not found any negative impact for the people who do ad-hoc recycling of the garbage. Finally, the project has also reduced the odor coming from the landfill. When the project was initiated, there were no landfill to gas projects in the country which did not receive additional financing from carbon credits, so we feel confident that this is a project with high additionality.
Many people feel small when it comes to climate issues. “I’m only one person, and the government is just not doing enough!” It is indeed very frustrating that we as individuals can’t just fix the problem completely ourselves. But the idea of democracy is that we actually do have a say in who decides for us, and we can choose those whose priorities are most in line with our own.
Given that in most democratic countries, elections for government only happens every 4-5 years, this is a major opportunity for citizens to vote for the candidate that can do the most good for the climate. Now, of course there are many different issues that are important to us in a presidential election. But make sure to take into consideration what the different candidates’ stance on climate policy is!
On November 3rd, 2020, citizens of the USA are allowed to vote for president. Unfortunately, the voter turnout is very low in the US – only 61,4 % compared to 87,2 % in Sweden. There are many different reasons for this, some being restrictions imposed on members of society, but IF YOU CAN, please vote and be the difference!
Politicians needpeople to vote for them, so they will prioritize issues and stances that they think are relevant to the people that actually turn up to vote. Imagine if only people who work in coal mines would vote – then it would be impossible for a politician to close down any coal mine. Rather, they would have an incentive to make the coal mine as great as possible, to keep the voters happy (assuming that they don’t want any change). When we have both coal miners and environmentalists voting, politicians have a strong incentive to close down the coal mine, but also to support coal miners in transitioning to better jobs, perhaps in renewable energy.
If we could get more environmentalists to vote, we could get more politicians to focus on issues like climate change. This would not eliminate other issues from their agenda, but we want them to focus on what is most urgent and try to find synergies between issues. As an example – if we prioritize air quality and implement measures that will provide cleaner air, people’s health will improve (numbers vary, but studies find that air pollution currently causes over 100 000 premature deaths per year in the US). This will reduce the burden on the health care system, and healthier people are more productive members of society. Win-win!
If you think it is hard to find the right information, NGOs like 350.org and Greenpeace assess politicians (in this case the candidates for the US presidential election) on how well they score on climate issues. This provides good guidance and based on this, you can read more to form your own opinion. You don’t have to agree with everything the NGO stands for to make use of their guidance.
We give you five relatively simple tips on what you can do to reduce your climate footprint.
1. Can you choose green electricity? Check if your provider has a green electricity plan for you! Either on their website or by calling them. This can reduce your emissions significantly! In the EU, your electricity provider is obliged to let you know the energy source (referred to as electricity disclosure).
How much do I need to reduce my climate footprint to contribute to the Paris Agreement and the important 1.5 degree goal?
According to the study 1.5 degree lifestyles (2018), globally, in the year 2030, we can emit maximally 2.5 tonnes CO2eq/person to have a chance of managing the decisive 1.5 degree target. In 2040, we will be able to emit maximally 1.4 tonnes CO2eq/person, and in 2050 – a maximum of only 0.7 tonnes CO2eq/person. Read more about this here.
Currently, the average American emits nearly 20 tonnes CO2eq per year. Source: http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-environmental-footprint-factsheet
Working hard to stop climate change and making the world a better place is great everyday life. But even heroes need holidays, to recharge the batteries and enjoy the small things around us. Stopping to smell a flower, having a cup of coffee in no rush at all, maybe even turning off the phone. Taking a break from the digital world can be so refreshing! And when you do that, what better way to spend time than with a book? We at GoClimate have a diverse taste in books, but we decided to present some related to climate change.
(Two years ago we did another blog post about this, find it HERE)
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Gosh. The Indian novelist wrote his first non-fictional book in 20 years on the topic of climate change, highlighting the cultural shift that is needed to address this issue. Climate chance is not too unrealistic to be portrayed in popculture anymore.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural Story by Elizabeth Kolbert (US). This book has been very praised for how it narrates the story of the process we are currently living in, and how humans are the protagonists in this.
What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action by Per Espen Stoknes. This is perhaps the most facts-y book on the list, where the Norwegian Psychologist identifies psychological barriers to climate action, and addresses them with concrete strategies. Now that we know what we know, how do we handle that? He also gave a TED talk on the topic!
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate and On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein (Canada). This Changes everything was published in 2016, presenting a strong argument for the links between climate change and the current free market economy. This book has had a monumental impact on the climate movement, and its sequel is explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safron Foer. This American author has previously produced both fiction and the arguably best book on veganism: Eating Animals. The book is a peculiar and personal take on climate change and our diets, and worth it because the writing and randomly connected thoughts are so poignant.
Oryx and Crake and The year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (Canada). Known for an extensive body of literature (for example, The Handmaid’s Tale), Atwood is building the Maddaddam Trilogy on a backdrop of climate change. Perhaps more relaxing than the fact-filled books!
Tentacle by Rita Indiana (Dominican Rep). Not all climate books are non-fiction! This is a novel built on Caribbean storytelling, covering climate change, Yoruba rituals, time travel, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Try something new!
What are you reading this summer? Drop us a comment below!
So you already know that when you sign up at GoClimate, you support climate projects through carbon offsetting. But how do these projects actually work?
The main purpose of a climate project is to avoid the emission of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. There are different ways to do this, and the carbon market is constantly evolving with new projects and better methods for measuring emissions reductions.
One way that is easy to measure and easy to understand is therefore projects that produce renewable energy. By creating the kind of energy that does not cause emissions, we give people the opportunity to stop using fossil fuels. For example, when we build wind power in India and connect more people to the electricity grid, they no longer need to use diesel generators or burn charcoal, which is often the case before the project is implemented.
Some examples of projects that GoClimate have supported which produce renewable energy:
The reason we want to contribute to this in countries like India and Indonesia is that wind power is still too expensive to be built without the income from carbon credits – this is what is meant by additionality. Wind power can produce the same energy in Sweden, but the marginal utility will be higher elsewhere as we avoid combustion of coal and diesel and contribute to raising the standard of living on site.
Another type of climate project is the capture of greenhouse gas emissions that occur in different processes, and converting them into energy instead – so-called biogas projects. The projects often involve installing improved technology so that greenhouse gases from biodegradation of organic matter, for example in landfills or in waste water, are not released into the atmosphere but are contained and converted into energy. Here we immediately avoid the emissions, and do something useful with the energy instead! This is often a bit more expensive than, for example, building wind power, which rank among the cheapest projects.
Some examples of biogas projects which GoClimate have supported:
Another type of project aims to improve methods of cooking. A large proportion of the world’s population cook their food over open fire, which leads to deforestation when more and more people need firewood. By offering better equipment, the people responsible for cooking, usually women, do not need to collect as much wood. This saves both trees and time for them, and with the improved equipment it also reduces air pollution and air born particles, which has a positive impact on their health. These projects thus have great potential benefits, but are more difficult to implement because it implies changing behaviors, and then it is more difficult to measure the results. The risk is thus higher, but the benefits can be very significant.
GoClimate has financed a few projects of this kind:
Another type of climate project has to do with trees. This can be reforestation of areas that have been deforested, the planting of trees on areas that have not had a forest before, or protection of existing forests. Projects of this kind are incredibly important because the trees bind carbon dioxide from the air, and there are many potential benefits such as increased biodiversity, improved microclimate, etc. Nevertheless, we at GoClimate have chosen not to invest in this kind of climate project. The main reason is that the carbon that is bound in the tree is admittedly absorbed, but it is not a permanent storage of carbon dioxide as it, intentionally or unintentionally, can be released into the atmosphere again. The lack of permanence and the risks associated with it means that we do not want to offset in this kind of projects.
This is a brief summary of some different types of climate projects, but there are more on the market, and more are being developed at the time of writing. Of course, since the projects are so different, the prices of the projects vary, and there is thus no fixed price for a ton of carbon dioxide. In addition, all projects have administrative costs – if no one designs, administers and supervises the project, there will be no projects and we also could not guarantee the quality of them. But that’s why we exist – to do part of the job for you who want to save the climate by offsetting emissions. Part of the cost also goes to the certification, to ensure the quality of the project. In this way we avoid projects that don’t make positive impacts, and protect ourselves from corruption and inefficiency.
GoClimateNeutral started out as a small side project with a big ambition, that took place as soon as the kids had fallen asleep, on weekends and holidays from regular jobs. Ideas saved as phone notes, lots of pitching to friends, and slowly putting the pieces together. Can we build a company offering a simple solution that makes a significant difference for the climate?
Three years later, the answer is clearly yes! We are currently 4500+ members, seven employees, and some 200+ companies on board who have together avoided the emission of 333,836 tonnes of CO2 – that’s so cool!
We are working hard to continuously improve the service, to make even more difference for the climate. As part of this, we have decided to change our name! We are dropping the “Neutral” to become GoClimate – a name we felt is more powerful and straightforward. Also because over time, we will need to do more than just become neutral – and our capacity to go beyond that is also growing.
This is the next step in our improvement process – we have already launched the updated version of the carbon footprint calculator, and we have more exciting things for you in the pipeline. All through, the service we provide remains the same – the monthly subscription is not changing, and the projects we invest in on your behalf are of the same star quality. We have expanded our work with companies and their offsetting, which gives a higher margin than what we charge from individual members. Thanks to that, we get more space to grow.
There are different ways to calculate the carbon footprint of an individual. If you have tried out more than one calculator, you have probably noticed that the questions differ and so do the results. The quick answer to why this happens, is that it depends on which data the calculator is based off, and what assumptions are made. For the GoClimate calculator, we have explained the rationale between the choice of underlying data and the calculations that we base the tool on in the Methodology, which can be accessed HERE
If there is anything in the methodology that you find questionable, please reach out to us! Let us know if you disagree, have a better source of data for something, or how we could improve. The calculator will change over time because emission factors are updated regularly, which means that your result can change in the future. It could also change if we find better data or an even better way to calculate. These adjustments are however most likely minimal, and the biggest change is what you do yourself!
We calculate Food with general values from a UK study. Flights are calculated with our own API, and Car with emission factors provided by national sources (so that differs depending on where you are). Housing is using calculations based on national data on energy and electricity usage and national emission factors. Personal consumption, which is the clothes, furniture and other things you purchase, is based on a national average, weighted based on how much you purchase brand-new. To this we add a buffer for Public consumption which is infrastructure, hospitals, education etc.
Curious to know more about your carbon footprint? Read the other posts in this series: