Frequently asked questions

What is a Carbon Credit?

A single Carbon Credit is awarded to an organisation that can prove that they have prevented one ton of Carbon Dioxide (or it's equivalent), from being emitted into the atmosphere, or have engaged in an activity that will REMOVE one tonne of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon Credits can be thought of as creating an INCENTIVE for green technologies, and a TAX on polluting technologies, because Carbon Credits can be awarded to industries that take CO2 from the atmosphere, and many industries that pump CO2 into the atmosphere must now purchase Carbon Credits in order to be permitted to operate.

A key factor in Carbon Credits is ADDITIONALITY, which says that a Carbon Credit can not be awarded unless the activity would not have occurred without the additional incentive of the Carbon Credit being awarded. Carbon Credits can be traded on International markets in much the same way as shares. Read more on Wikipedia.

What does it mean what a business is said to be 'Carbon Neutral'?

Carbon Footprints, and 'Carbon Neutral' has become big news recently. Very briefly, being 'Carbon Neutral' means that you are not contributing to the problem of global warming, because the greenhouse gas emissions that you produce in your business from burning fuel, using electricity, or manufacturing product, have either been reduced to zero or you have measured those emissions, reduced them where possible and then negated them through the purchase and retirement of certified carbon credits.

If I purchase Carbon Credits from you, what am I actually getting?

When you purchase Carbon Credits from Green Carbon, we will generally allocate you credits from the portfolio of reputable credits that we have on hand, or for larger orders, we may go to an external supplier to specifically purchase credits that meet all of your needs. We will give you a certificate that lists the serial numbers of the Carbon Credits, and you can go and check these serial numbers on publicly viewable registry websites so that you can be 100% confident that you have not purchased 'hot air'. The Registries that Green Carbon most often uses is the Gold Standard Registry for overseas transactions, and the Regi Registry for New Zealand transactions.

When you pay money to Green Carbon for credits, approximately 75% of that money goes directly to paying for the projects that help to prevent our planet from warming further - such as replacing polluting coal fired power plants with renewable energy such as wind and hydro power. Without this money, many wind farms and hydro plants would not get built, because the cheapest way of producing power is by burning coal. The rest of the money goes toward paying our costs of providing you a reputable and robust carbon credit brokerage service - which is in-line with other such companies worldwide.

Why should my company care about our carbon footprint?

We all live on the same planet. Therefore things that affect the global climate and economy will also affect your company at some point. In the UK, there are now regulations that require carbon footprint labelling of food on supermarket shelves. Food shipped from New Zealand may get a poor carbon rating, and therefore be harder to sell. If you are an exporter, lowering your carbon footprint can help sales, and significantly increase business as in the case of Grove Mill Wines. Grove Mill winery’s move to become the world’s first carbon neutral winery is a well-known success story. Its sales in leading UK supermarket chain Sainsburys were reported in May to be up 100 per cent and Grove Mill has now been asked to produce the chain’s house brand, a request made largely as a result of the winery’s carbon neutral certification - a demonstration that becoming Carbon Neutral can be a powerful marketing and sales tool - as well as the right thing to do. Approximately 12% of consumers now rank as 'eco-consumers', who make their primary purchasing decision based on a companies 'eco-credentials' - if you can stand out among your competitors, you are almost assured the market share of these consumers.

How long will it take to become a Carbon Neutral business, and how much will it cost?

You can start promoting yourself as a Carbon Neutral business once you have gone through the stages of Measuring your carbon footprint, putting in place a reduction plan to minimize your Carbon Footprint, and offsetting your remaining unavoidable emissions. This process can take some time (between 3 months and 2 years) depending on the size of your organisation. Often, we would establish a 'base year' of measurement, so that we can make sure that all emissions are captured, and set up processes that may not exist in your company yet to record these emissions.

Another option is to become 'Green Carbon: Carbon Friendly Certified', which is a faster and cheaper process, and involves us estimating your emissions, and offsetting. However, being Green Carbon: Carbon Friendly Certified does not allow you to promote yourself as a 'Carbon Neutral' business, because that is a strict term that requires rigid adherence to all of the protocols involved in reaching that goal. Especially in light of the New Zealand Commerce Commission placing significant attention on green marketing and carbon claims by businesses.

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that has been ratified by almost every country in the world except the USA.

The PURPOSE of the Kyoto protocol is ultimately to prevent the man-made warming of the planet by no more than 2 degrees Celsius, as this is the level at which scientists agree we could see runaway positive feedback kicking in, ultimately raising the temperature of the planet by much more than 2 degrees Celsius, and wiping out much of life on earth. 

The METHOD by which the Kyoto Protocol works, is by imposing caps in emissions, and allowing participating countries to trade Carbon Credits between themselves, in order for the system to be allowed to reduce emissions at the lowest cost possible to the overall global economy.

New Zealand is currently above it's agreed Kyoto cap, and therefore will likely have to pay significant penalties for not meeting our Kyoto obligations. Therefore, by helping companies to reduce their carbon footprints, Green Carbon can also help the country as a whole, and reduce the impact ultimately on the taxpayer of the 'Kyoto Bill'