FAQ

Climate neutrality

Something (or someone) can be called climate neutral when the difference is zero between the greenhouse gas emissions caused and the emissions that are removed from the atmosphere, or the emissions that are prevented from being released into the atmosphere. So, something that is climate neutral has a net zero effect on the climate. This could for example be a product, a person, or a city.

We all have an impact on the climate through our lifestyle; what we eat, how we travel, our housing etc, which cause greenhouse gas emissions. You can take responsibility for these emissions by offsetting so that the corresponding amount of greenhouse gases is not emitted elsewhere (or even get removed from the atmosphere), thus achieving a net zero effect for the climate.

About Climate Change

By climate change we mean the changes in the normal weather caused by global warming. The average surface temperature of the earth increases, mainly due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, which leads to more extreme weather conditions. For example, it can imply much more rain than what used to be normal in one place, and longer periods of drought in another place. This is a big and complex issue, and we've made a video to explain it in more detail.

Yes. The climate has varied constantly throughout the history of the earth, but never as fast as now. The world's leading scientists fully agree that this is caused by humans, please see the IPCC’s reports for all the facts.

Absolutely! The problem is that our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have raised the share of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the balance needed to keep the climate stable is disturbed. The carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere was about 280 ppm (million parts) before the industrialization, but has now increased to 416 ppm, which causes climate change. It is estimated that below 350 ppm would be a safe limit so as not to cause excessive changes.

Yes! Unlike other environmental problems that occur at local scale, climate change is a global problem that everyone contributes to and everyone must help to solve. Blaming one another does not help. By taking the lead, we can develop solutions which become cheaper and easier for others to use, and therefore it is super important that we who have the opportunity to show the way actually do so. Furthermore, if you offset your emissions, you can contribute to the transition towards a sustainable society beyond your local context.

Climate change is such a big challenge that we all need to act to change the society. As citizens, we can take responsibility for our own emissions as a part of the solution. Companies are producing because we demand their goods and services, and politicians can only make changes if they think there is enough popular support for it. Together we can communicate to them that we are ready for a serious climate policy and that we want sustainable products and services from the companies.

About Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting means ensuring that greenhouse gas emissions from something (eg, a person or a product) are balanced by avoiding emissions elsewhere, or by removing the corresponding amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In concrete terms, this means that the emissions are calculated, and then the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent is purchased from a climate project that ensures that carbon dioxide is not emitted. In this way, climate-smart solutions are financed and the outcome is reduced climate impact.

Yes! Since we all share the same atmosphere, a ton of carbon dioxide has the same impact no matter where it is emitted. When you choose to pay to offset your emissions, your money benefits the climate by contributing to a project that avoids greenhouse gas emissions in another part of the world. There are reliable ways to calculate the emissions so you can feel confident that the amount is correct, and the projects are controlled by external reviewers so that they really deliver the benefit they promised. In addition, you are contributing to the transition towards a sustainable society for those who cannot afford to make that kind of investment for themselves.

No. Carbon offsetting is not a letter of indulgence. But since it is not possible to live a climate-neutral life in today's society, carbon offsetting is a way to immediately take responsibility for all of your climate impact. You help accelerate the global transition towards a sustainable society with your economic resources, and at the same time you can work on reducing your own emissions. Because climate change is such an acute problem, we must do everything we can to slow it down, and carbon offsetting is a very cost-effective way to do so.

The situation is urgent. We need to do both. We must definitely reduce our own emissions. Studies show that those who do carbon offsetting are actually the ones who reduce their own emissions the most, and when we surveyed among our users we saw that the majority use carbon offsetting only as part of their climate commitment. Since it is not possible to live completely climate neutral in today's society, carbon offsetting can be used to reach net zero, and in addition help others in the transition to a sustainable society.

The main purpose of a climate project is to reduce the release of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. There are different ways of doing this, such as the development of renewable energy, and the capture and destruction of greenhouse gases with strong global warming potential (such as methane). Tree planting and forest management projects can also be climate projects. The project's positive impact on the climate, and the number of carbon dioxide equivalents it generates, are calculated against a scenario where the project is not implemented. Thus, if we do not build renewable energy, how much greenhouse gases would be emitted if the burning of fossil fuels continue? These are the emissions that are avoided through the construction of renewable energy. In addition, the projects often have other positive effects, such as improved air quality and increased employment.

Climate projects are certified by various organizations. They register projects that make climate benefit and measure how much benefit they actually do, so that they can sell exactly the right amount of credits. GoClimate purchases climate credits that are certified by Gold Standard, an organization founded by WWF and other environmental organizations, to ensure the highest possible quality of the climate projects. This also means that the projects are verified by a third-party, all documentation is public and we can track the project while it is being implemented and during its carbon credit period. Fundamental requirements for the projects, such as additionality, verifiability, traceability, permanence and contribution to sustainable development are guaranteed by the Gold Standard.

Because that's where we can make the biggest difference. This is where the dependence on fossil fuels is greatest, and the local population would not be able to afford investing in renewable energy without the financial support from carbon offsetting. In this way, we ensure that we create as much value as possible for the money. Some emissions are easier to avoid than others, so we start with what is easy and economical, to raise the bar for climate work. We work for everyone to have access to sustainable energy, and thus give people with less resources more opportunities for a sustainable life.

Previously, tropical forests covered 12% of the earth's surface, today they only cover 5%. Trees are important in many ways, including the binding of carbon dioxide from the air. We need to both replant trees and preserve the forest and vegetation that exists. When it comes to tree planting as a method for carbon offsetting, we feel that there is some uncertainty about the permanence. It is difficult to guarantee that the trees will remain standing for a certain number of years and not burned or decomposed meaning that the carbon dioxide will be released again. Therefore, we have currently chosen not to carbon offset via tree projects.

If you think that carbon offsetting is cheap, it is probably because you belong to the richer part of the world's population. Climate projects are relatively inexpensive for us, since we help those who cannot afford to invest in the better solutions available. In this way, we help to pick the low-hanging fruits in low-income countries, so that they have access to the same technology and development that we already have in the richest countries. Moreover, the entire project is usually not financed with carbon credits, but we are providing a part of the financing to make it financially feasible.

It is also easy to mix the concept of a carbon tax or carbon pricing, a mean of contributing to changed behavior - ie a high carbon tax makes some people choose other more climate-smart alternatives, and the concept of carbon offsetting which is the actual cost of avoiding a tonne of carbon emissions.

Yes! The projects are developed with caution and care for the local environment and population. In cases where the projects have a negative impact, it is compensated for - for example, if trees are cut down to widen a road, new trees are planted. In addition, Gold Standard requires that the projects contribute to other global sustainability goals than just the climate goal. Some projects create employment, improve health, contribute to sustainable industry and/or renewable energy.

We choose projects with care and check what has been reported during the project's implementation, so that we minimize the risk that the projects we support have had negative consequences for the environment and the local population. When climate offsetting was first developed, the requirements were not as stringent and therefore historically there have been projects that have had some negative side effects. Today’s requirements are much higher and the controls are tougher.

About GoClimate

Most of our revenue goes to the climate projects, but we also spend money on things like salaries to our employees (who select the projects, make sure the service works and grow the business) and marketing (to get more contributing members). We have full transparency so you can see for yourself where the money goes. It would have been fantastic to send all the money directly to the projects, but we are convinced that we will have a better impact on the climate if we can grow and bring more people on board, and help people understand more about the climate and how we can reduce our emissions. No one is making any profit from the company.

Yes, we are a social enterprise whose goal is to create social benefits, specifically climate benefits. Hence, we are not a charity. You can still be confident that we are making the greatest possible use for the money. You can see our financial accounts for yourself, and we have no profit distribution. The excess we generate stays in the business to create more climate impact. We have chosen this format because we believe that it gives us maximum opportunity to be efficient and quickly make a difference for the climate.

No, we are currently not making any profit, and money is not what drives us. Our primary ambition is to stop climate change. If profit is required to achieve this effectively, e.g. to be able to take in investors, we may become profitable in the future. But financial gain will never be an end in itself.

We have developed an API to calculate the climate impact of air travel. Here is all the info about it, and you can contact us if you want to use it.

We receive many unsolicited applications and inquiries, but we believe that we have a better chance of investing in the right person if we hire when we experience a need. Keep an eye on our job site or connect with us there to receive an email when a vacancy shows up!

About the subscription service

We have a detailed description of our methodology where you can see all the values we use, and where they come from. We use public data to the extent it’s available, supplemented by scientific research and studies from relevant industry organizations. The carbon footprint also include the emissions caused by public consumption, which cannot be directly affected by your choice of lifestyle.

Yes! As a member you can log in and then select “Compensate air travel” in the menu on the top right corner of the page.

You can cancel or pause your subscription by logging in to the page, in the top right corner select settings, payment settings and then change the amount to "cancel climate plan". Here is a direct link.

We use Stripe as a payment provider, which is one of the largest payment providers on the web. The card details and payments are handled entirely by them - fully encrypted of course. The card details never end up on our or anyone else's servers, but are only handled by Stripe.

Unfortunately, we currently only have the option of receiving card payments.

You can find your receipts by logging into the page and going to this link.

For Businesses

This depends on which country you operate in. In Sweden, it seems to be: In a notable case from 2018, Arla won against the Swedish Tax Agency and was able to deduct their carbon offsetting, since it was done for marketing purposes. In this way, carbon offsetting is not considered a gift, but related to the company's earnings as they increased the value of the product. Therefore, in Sweden carbon offsetting could fall under the general right of deduction for costs of acquiring or retaining income.

In order to communicate externally that you do carbon offsetting, it is beneficial to have a plan on how you also want to reduce your emissions in the future, or at least communicate your reasoning - for example through some form of environmental policy. This is so that carbon offsetting is not perceived as greenwashing. The rule of thumb for companies is: calculate emissions, reduce them and finally offset the emissions you cannot reduce right now.

Yes, but not by only offsetting the company's emissions, an emission reduction plan also needs to be set up. Making the entire business (or a product) climate neutral is a bit more complex, as it follows an ISO standard and requires careful calculations. But it is absolutely possible and something we at GoClimate can help you with.

The data is used to calculate the company's climate footprint. We also use the figures completely anonymously to generate average values that all companies can compare themselves to. No information will be publicly displayed without your approval.

If you give us approval to use your logo and your name, we may use it publicly together with the figure for total emissions or emissions per employee. This is so that in the future we will be able to create top lists and the opportunity to compare between companies. In addition to this, all information is protected even if you choose to give this approval.

Let's save our planet together!

Sign up to offset your carbon footprint on a monthly basis.

Go Climate Neutral

GoClimate

GoClimate is a social company with the sole purpose of making it easier to start living a climate neutral life.

© 2020 GoClimateNeutral Sweden AB