// Step 4 continued: This snippet installs Google Tag Manager
Insights

Discover the news shaping the future of carbon removal.

Stay up to date on all things Klimate, carbon removal, and the most important emerging news and policy. Read our latest Insights.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Company strategy
all

How to avoid greenwashing in the green claims era

June 12, 2024
·
4 min

In 2023, there was notable progress in the fight against greenwashing—particularly in the realm of offsetting, as stakeholders increasingly demanded genuine sustainability efforts from companies. Despite this advancement, uncertainty persists around what constitutes true sustainability, leading to challenges for companies in navigating their climate strategies.

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing refers to making vague, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims regarding environmental progress. Some forms are more obvious than others and can occur in a number of ways such as:

  • Claiming environmental progress without concrete action plans
  • Being purposefully vague or using generic labels such as “green” or “eco friendly”
  • Emphasising a single environmental impact while ignoring other harmful environmental impacts
  • Implying that a minor improvement has a major impact on environmental performance

Avoiding greenwashing is one of the greatest perceived barriers to companies looking to meaningfully engage in a climate strategy. This threat often leads to hesitation or even "green-hushing" – the suppression of sustainability efforts due to fear of being accused of greenwashing. This in turn hampers the progress that sustainable leadership can achieve.

However, increased scrutiny of environmental claims is ultimately beneficial. Stricter standards for such claims can encourage wider adoption of environmentally responsible behaviours. It's clear that unsubstantiated claims of positive impact not only hinder climate mitigation efforts but also lead to overestimation. Furthermore, enhanced transparency and the delivery of high-quality action, data, and communication are essential pillars for a more sustainable future.

What does greenwashing have to do with offsetting?

Past offsetting practices allowed too many companies to make large claims to be made on the backs of less credible investments, leading to a loss of trust, major reputation damage, and sometimes even million-dollar lawsuits. These examples, highlighted in Bloomberg and The Guardian, primarily involved avoidance-based offsetting, where companies claimed carbon neutrality despite minimal to no actual environmental impact from the projects. This lack of return is not only detrimental to our common climate goals, but also damages trust in carbon markets, underscoring the importance of transparency and trust in the future of carbon removal markets.

Regulatory bodies continue to work to boost the credibility of environmental claims by combating greenwashing, particulary when it comes to offsetting.

There has been an increase in anti-greenwashing regulatory changes across Europe, such as the EU Green Claims Directive, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and the UK’s reflective Green Claims Code. The US Federal Trade Commission and Security and Exchange Council has also adopted environmental reporting and claims directives that mention carbon removal. These are a clear indication of the direction the international climate claims landscape is heading.

Rather than viewing these directives as a mere disclosure and reporting activity, they have the potential to showcase a company’s commitment to climate transition planning, thereby incentivising action in deep decarbonisation and investment in carbon removal.

Challenge into opportunity: Green Claims Directive

The EU has made significant progress towards eradicating greenwashing. Most recently, by passing an act to ban misleading advertising practices and require verification and substantiation of environmental claims. Regulations like these can be invaluable assets, providing a clear blueprint and methodology for how to best communicate environmental claims.

The Green Claims directive provides helpful guardrails around making green claims based on offsetting. This is an important move towards ensuring the reliable use of offsets, for two key reasons:

  • Claims like carbon neutral, climate neutral, or climate positive lack consistent definitions and methodologies, bringing their validity and accuracy into question
  • Ambitious emission reductions alongside removals are the only way to reach a true net zero future

Best practices to avoid greenwashing in your climate strategy

While the regulatory landscape continues to develop, recognised supra-national bodies offer advice on best practices for sustainability communication. These include target-setting bodies, accounting standards, and even climate achievement certifications or ratings.

The bottom line: companies are not alone in navigating how to make a legitimate green claim. By aligning with best practice standards like the Oxford Offsetting Principles or Science Based Targets Initiative, companies can stay ahead of the regulatory curve and share their climate strategies with clarity and transparency. These standards also form the basis of strategy at Klimate.

Moreover, to avoid greenwashing, companies should shift focus from grand claims to providing clear and transparent information about their activities. It's crucial to honestly communicate both the positive and negative climate impacts of investments, as well as acknowledge the road ahead towards taking full environmental responsibility.

Wondering where to start? Not all companies are yet affected by one of the major regulatory directives, working with a target-setting organisation, or have a clearly defined strategy.

  • Create a claims framework with specific goals and KPIs, and set clear dos and don’ts.
  • Externally verify claims: not sure what something means, or what best practice calls for? Ask an expert and have your claims audited.
  • If all else fails, prioritise clarity and transparency.

Greenwashing to green progress

Avoiding greenwashing is crucial for maintaining brand trust and reputation. Being recognised as a leader in climate action will benefit your relationships with stakeholders, including employees, consumers, and investors, over the long term.

This relies on taking quality action and communicating with transparency—essential elements to transform this challenge into an opportunity for climate leadership. Ultimately, the recent increase in scrutiny—and corresponding opportunity to build brand trust—will enable more progress towards our common climate goals to secure a more sustainable future.

Science
all

What is GHG accounting, and how does it work?

May 30, 2024
·
6 min

What is GHG accounting?

Greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting refers to the process of measuring and monitoring the GHG emissions associated with a company or organisation. Using standardised measuring and reporting per agreed-upon protocols, companies are able to measure the quantity of GHG emissions resulting from their:

  • Direct emissions: Emissions produced by the company, such as emissions from on-site combustion or production processes.
  • Indirect emissions: Emissions resulting from the energy the company uses, the company’s supply chain, and the end-of-life stages of its products.

Greenhouse gas accounting helps to provide numerical data on greenhouse gas emissions. It provides companies with information which enables them to be held accountable for their emissions, making it possible for companies to take action when it comes to reducing their emissions.

What is the difference between GHG accounting and carbon accounting?

The term GHG accounting is often used interchangeably with carbon accounting, but the two are not completely synonymous.

GHG accounting encompasses all greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide. Carbon accounting is a subset of GHG accounting which specifically focuses on measuring and managing carbon dioxide emissions. This enables companies to more accurately account for all emissions within their value chain and serves as the foundation for crafting an impactful reduction and removal strategy.

Find a carbon accounting partner here.

How does GHG accounting work?

GHG accounting involves the following key steps:

  1. Identification: Identifying sources of emissions within the company. Examples of these include stationary combustion, transportation, and fugitive emissions.
  2. Calculation: Calculating emissions from each source using emission factors and activity data. To account for the different global warming potentials of various greenhouse gasses, emissions are typically reported in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO₂e).
  3. Tracking and reporting: Recording and reporting emissions in accordance with established standards and protocols – e.g. the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, ISO 14064, or national regulations. This includes accounting for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.
  4. Verification and validation: Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the data and methods used for GHG accounting. This is often done through external verification or audits.

Methods of GHG accounting

GHG accounting is done using two methods: the spend-based method and the activity-based method.

The spend-based method

The spend-based method uses emission factors that are expressed as emissions per unit of currency spent. The method works by multiplying the financial value of a company purchase by the amount of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide it emits. This approach is easier and less time-consuming, but also less accurate than the activity-based method.

Advantages and disadvantages of the spend-based method include:

  • Easy to implement if financial data is available
  • Covers a wide range of activities with one set of financial data
  • Less accurate, as this method uses average emission factors rather than specific data
  • Emission factors might not reflect the specific suppliers or products purchased by the organisation

The activity-based method

The activity-based method uses data to retrieve information on how many units of specific materials have been purchased. The method accounts for all the steps in the process that may have created a carbon footprint. This includes material sourcing, production, marketing, and much more.

Advantages and disadvantages of the activity-based method include:

  • Provides a more precise and accurate measurement of emissions for specific activities
  • Allows for targeted emission reduction strategies
  • Requires more detailed data on activities and processes
  • Can be time consuming and complex to implement, especially for large companies with many different sources of emissions

As both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, many companies choose to use a hybrid approach, combining both methods to gain a more comprehensive understanding of emissions and support more effective decision making.

Why is GHG accounting important?

For companies striving to reach net-zero emissions, GHG accounting is important for numerous reasons. GHG accounting functions as a baseline measurement that provides companies with a clearer understanding of their emission levels – an essential factor for companies looking to set realistic and achievable net-zero targets.

Other reasons GHG accounting is an important element on the journey towards net zero include:

  • Monitoring progress: GHG accounting enables companies to monitor their progress on the road towards net zero. By tracking emissions, companies can assess the effectiveness of their strategies and make adjustments as needed.
  • Identifying reduction opportunities: By providing detailed information about emission sources, GHG accounting helps companies identify areas for improvement and opportunities for emission reduction – e.g. switching to renewable energy sources or improving energy efficiency.
  • Transparency and reporting: Accurate GHG accounting enables companies to transparently report their emissions and progress towards net zero to investors, customers, and other stakeholders, helping to build credibility and trust.
  • Compliance with regulations: GHG accounting helps companies comply with relevant regulations and reporting requirements surrounding greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Risk management: Understanding emissions and their potential impact helps companies manage climate-related risks. This can include adjusting business strategies and investments to account for customer preferences or future climate policies.
  • Access to sustainable financing: Accurate GHG accounting can help companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This can help attract investors and financial institutions that favour companies with strong environmental performance.

The process of GHG accounting can also help drive companies to invest more in innovation within areas such as energy usage, supply chain management, and product design, moving towards a more sustainable future for companies across the globe.

Next steps

GHG accounting provides companies with a clearer understanding of their emission levels, allowing them to better focus their efforts towards the greatest reduction opportunities. When it comes to achieving net zero, reducing your emissions is an important and necessary step in the right direction. However, there is growing consensus that reduction is longer enough to stay within the goals set forward in The Paris Agreement. For a company to reach net zero, residual GHG emissions must be neutralised with an equivalent amount of carbon removal.

At Klimate.co, we provide access to high-quality, innovative, and verifiable carbon removal solutions. We strategically finance projects based on environmental responsibility as well as social and economic development – and we only work with companies that are already taking action to reduce their emissions.

Policy
all

What are Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions?

May 7, 2024
·
5 min

Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions: What are they, and what is their purpose?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol – the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standard – categorises GHG emissions into three Scopes: 1, 2, and 3.

These three categories are used to classify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a company’s activities, within both its own operations and its wider value chain.

By incorporating Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions in their full emissions inventory, companies are able to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of their full value chain emissions. This enables them to better focus their efforts towards the greatest reduction opportunities.

Definitions of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

In essence, Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions owned and controlled by the company, whereas Scopes 2 and 3 are indirect emissions from sources that are not owned or controlled by the company. Whilst the company does not own or control the sources of Scope 2 and 3 emissions, these emissions still occur as a result of the company’s activities.

Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions are categorised as follows:

Scope 1 emissions

Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions which occur from sources that are directly owned or controlled by the company. These include emissions from sources such as fuel combustion, company vehicles, and fugitive emissions.

Example: Scope 1 emissions occur from burning fuel in the company’s fleet of vehicles (provided these vehicles are not electrically powered).

Scope 2 emissions

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions which occur as a result of the generation of electricity, heat, or steam that a company purchases or consumes. Scope 2 emissions occur at the facility where the energy is generated, but are still associated with the company’s activities.

Example: Scope 2 emissions are caused by the generation of the electricity used in the company’s buildings.

Scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions which occur as a result of the company’s activities, but from sources that are not owned or controlled by the company. These include investments, purchased goods and services, business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal.

Scope 3 emissions include all emissions not covered in Scope 1 or 2, and which are created by the company’s value chain.

Example: Scope 3 emissions occur when the company buys, uses, and disposes of products from suppliers.

The role of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions in corporate sustainability

Understanding Scope 1, 2, and 3 is crucial for companies aiming to reduce their environmental impact and comply with global sustainability standards.

By understanding emissions across all Scopes, companies are able to comprehensively assess their environmental impact. This knowledge enables them to identify the most significant sources of emissions and develop targeted reduction strategies tailored to their specific operations and value chains. 

This is particularly important for companies aiming to achieve net-zero emissions. There are several reasons for this, which go beyond simply aligning with broader global sustainability goals.

These include:

  • Accounting for all emissions: Net zero means balancing the amount of GHG emissions released into the atmosphere with an equivalent amount of emissions removed or offset. To achieve this, companies must account for all emissions within their value chain. This can be achieved through carbon accounting, which is used to accurately estimate all three scopes and serves as the foundation for crafting an impactful reduction and removal strategy. Find a carbon accounting partner here.
  • Developing comprehensive reduction strategies: Reduction is essential on the road to net zero. Understanding emissions helps companies develop comprehensive reduction strategies that address both direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2 and 3) emissions.
  • Minimising residual emissions: Understanding Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions helps companies identify residual emissions that are challenging to eliminate entirely, but may be minimised through the right reduction and offsetting measures.
  • Enhancing transparency and credibility: Transparent reporting of emissions data demonstrates the company’s willingness to be accountable for all emissions associated with its operations and activities. This enhances the credibility of the company’s net-zero commitment, helping to build trust with stakeholders and investors.

You might also be interested in: What is GHG accounting, and how does it work?

Scope 3 emissions: How companies can make an impact

For many companies, Scope 3 emissions account for more than 70% of their carbon footprint. For example, the extraction and processing of raw materials often cause significant Scope 3 emissions for manufacturing companies.

Scope 3 emissions are typically more challenging to control, as many suppliers have considerable influence on how emissions are reduced through their own purchasing decisions. However, committing to tackling Scope 3 emissions is crucial for companies looking to achieve net zero emissions.

Addressing Scope 3 emissions can make a significant difference in advancing a company’s journey towards decarbonisation and corporate sustainability.

Getting started with carbon removal

Understanding emissions across all Scopes enables companies to comprehensively assess their environmental impact, identify the most significant sources of emissions, and develop targeted reduction strategies tailored to their specific operations and value chains.

When it comes to achieving net zero, reducing your emissions is an important and necessary step in the right direction. However, there is growing consensus that reduction is longer enough to stay within the goals set forward in The Paris Agreement.

For your company to reach net zero, you must neutralise your residual GHG emissions with an equivalent amount of carbon removals. Finding the right way to remove your CO₂ emissions can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we are always here to help.

At Klimate.co, we provide access to high-quality, innovative, and verifiable carbon removal solutions. We strategically finance projects based on environmental responsibility as well as social and economic development – and we only work with companies that are taking action to reduce their emissions.

Company strategy
all

What is a Carbon Purchase Agreement?

April 24, 2024
·
5 min

Your Net Zero commitment, guaranteed

A Carbon Purchase Agreement (CPA) is a contract entered between a carbon removal supplier or broker (in this case Klimate) and a client, that guarantees future access to Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) credits.

The purpose is to guarantee that the Purchaser has access to carbon removal in the future - at a given price, volume and type - while ensuring the quality, credibility and additionality of the CDR credits.

How a Carbon Purchase Agreement works

Planning

Ambitious companies with Net Zero commitments sign on to CPAs to aggregate demand. By signing CPAs, companies secure their access to high-quality CDR projects that will not be available in the future. By grouping together projects, companies can create sufficient demand to ensure development at a cost-efficient scale and guarantee additionality.

Execution

Project suppliers use the CPA to build new CDR facilities. With demand secured, Klimate collaborates with suppliers to secure working capital and deploy CDR facilities. We use our robust and proprietary analytical framework to ensure that only the highest quality projects are supported.

Delivery

CDR credits with true additionality. As the CDR projects begin delivery, purchasers pay for credits, registered on the public records of Klimate. The cost is fixed, as opposed to the market price, expected to increase significantly in the coming years due to supply shortages.

Why CPAs are critical to delivering Net Zero commitments

The science is clear—all viable climate models show that carbon removal will be necessary to achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement and reach global Net Zero by 2050. Companies need to reduce their emissions as much as possible, but unavoidable emissions must still be addressed through CDR. A Carbon Purchase Agreement can help your business meet future decarbonisation targets

Securing access, affordability and additionality through CPAs

  • There is already a significant shortage of supply for high-quality carbon removal. The cost of CDR is also expected to accelerate as demand rapidly outpaces supply. By committing early, you fix the future cost, while paying the full amount only at the successful delivery of the CDR credits.
  • Additionality is the holy grail of offsetting emissions. By co-initiating new carbon removal projects, CPAs become unquestionably additional.
  • CPAs also help accelerate the overall development of the carbon removal market, by sending a market signal that prompts other companies to invest as well. In the long run
  • Leading companies like Meta, Google, Stripe and McKinsey are already pre-committing to purchase CDR towards 2030.

Key terms

  1. Method - There are many ways to remove CO₂, each CPA specifies which method will be used.
  2. Volume CO₂ / Year - Each CPA holds a certain amount of CO₂ that can be produced per year.
  3. Cost / Ton - The cost for each CDR credit, typically 1 ton CO₂.
  4. Delivery schedule - The time period and volumes in which the CDR credits will be delivered. For example 2025 to 2030.
  5. Pre-commitment - The share of the total amount which needs to be committed at the start of the contract.

A Carbon Purchase Agreement in your company

Curious about how a Carbon Purchase Agreement might fit into your overall sustainability strategy? Speak to a carbon removal strategist to learn more about how you can achieve climate impact while making sound business decisions.

Company strategy
all

B Corp Month

March 24, 2024
·
3 min

What is a B Corp Certification?

B Corp is an independent certification that verifies high levels of social and environmental performance.

It is issued by the non-profit network B Lab, and is available to companies of all sizes worldwide provided they are able to demonstrate the following:

  1. A B Corp Impact Assessment score of 80 or more. This score reflects a measure of the company’s entire social and environmental impact.
  2. A legally binding commitment to being held accountable by all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
  3. Demonstrate full transparency by making a breakdown of their alignment with B Corp standards publicly available on the B Lab website.

Klimate’s journey to B Corp certification

The key values of B Corporation’s are highly aligned with Klimate’s mission–sustainability, transparency, and doing more good in the world around us. As a company founded to fight climate change through high quality carbon removal solutions, joining the network of certified B Corporations was a must.

Looking to the future, our focus remains on continual improvement and development of these goals. Our journey involves not only scaling the carbon removal industry but also ensuring that combating climate change remains an activity that benefits all people and life on this planet.

Klimate founder team. From the left Mads Emil Dalsgaard, Katja Grothe-Eberhardt, and Simon Bager

As part of B Corp Month, we were asked to consider how we can “B the change” for the future, and look towards the goals we want to achieve in 2025:

"In 2025, our mission as a carbon removal asset manager is to facilitate the removal of over 1 million tonnes of CO2, elevating our impact to the megaton scale. With an unwavering commitment to integrity and impact, our goal goes beyond quantity; we strive to push forward high-quality projects and enhance the percentage of permanent carbon removal delivered to the market. Through strategic collaborations with clients and suppliers, we bring trust, transparency and scale to the nascent carbon removal market, helping companies meet net zero targets and mitigating global climate change."

Simon Bager, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Office, Klimate

Demonstrating Klimate's impact beyond climate action

Joining the global B Corp network is a valuable opportunity to align with a broader movement that aims to uplift people as well as protecting the planet. Klimate’s agenda for sustainability and inclusivity aligns closely with B Lab’s core principles, which include:

  • Championing the principles of justice, equality, diversity and includion (JEDI)
  • Valuing and prioritising all stakeholders affected by our decisions–not only company shareholders.
  • Taking action towards the global Sustainable Development Goals

Closer to home, we are excited to be an active member of the B Corp Nordics group, which brings creative minds from various industries together to discuss new ways to operate sustainable businesses.

“We are extremely happy to receive B Corp Certification™ in Klimate. It has been an important milestone for us, ever since the launch of our business, and we are now excited to join this forward-looking group of companies. We want to always strive for more, and the community that B Corp provides, with the most ambitious sustainable businesses, is a unique space for sparring. Late last year, we participated in one of the first ever B Corp CEO dinners, and it was incredibly inspiring to listen to and share experiences with becoming more aware as a company.”

Katja Eberhardt, Co-Founder and CEO, Klimate

Looking ahead: Community and Collaboration

Becoming a Certified B Corporation marks a significant milestone and the start of a new chapter in Klimate's journey. We recognise that a systemic shift towards decarbonisation has to be a community effort, and we are delighted to be part of a community as dynamic as the B Corp network, alongside many of our clients and partners.

We look forward to working with like-minded individuals and organisations that drive positive change to build a more sustainable future together. If you would like to learn more about how carbon management can add to your environmental performance as a B Corp, or explore opportunities for collaboration with Klimate, reach out and speak to one of our experts here.

Company strategy
all

How to calculate a company’s carbon emissions

March 18, 2024
·
9 min

How to calculate company emissions

When aiming to calculate your emissions, the first step is deciding whether you want to do the work in-house, or rely on an external partner.

Using existing frameworks in-house

Calculating emissions requires a lot of time, work and specialist knowledge, but it is possible to carry out in-house. If your company or organisation has someone with the expertise needed, there are tools available to support you in calculating your emissions.

For instance, the GHG Protocol offers a free cross-sector Excel-based calculation tool with detailed instructions for use. There are numerous other tools available—we’ve put together a selection here.

Climate consultants

As almost all companies will need to report on carbon emissions sooner or later, there are a growing number of consultants specialised in doing so, whether you need a carbon footprint analysis or LCA.

Climate consultants tend to prefer an activity-based approach, which you can learn more about below, as this leads to more accurate calculation. Most consultants also offer strategic consulting on ways to reduce your emissions. This comes at a cost, but if you need high fidelity, it might be worth it.

Carbon accounting platforms

In recent years, there has been a flurry of activity in the carbon accounting space, and startups creating software solutions have sprung up around the world.

These platforms offer an impressive amount of automation, allowing them to calculate emissions faster and at lower cost. Many can also integrate directly into services your company uses, like your electricity meter, heating system, flight booking system, etc.

However, these platforms generally use a spend-based approach, which can lack accuracy.

What is the cost of calculating company emissions?

Now that we have a basic understanding of calculating emissions, you might anticipate the answer: It depends. In our experience, costs can range from €1,000 to more than €60,000. Below are some of the key factors that influence the cost of accounting:

Calculation type Carbon Footprint Analysis and/or Life Cycle Assessment
Scope Do you need Scope 1, 2, and/or 3 covered?
Method Spend-based or activity-based
Company size How many employees are in the company?
Type of company Whether you are in the service industry, working with physical goods, or within industry
Location(s) Which countries you are operating in

Having these numbers handy before seeking help with calculating your emissions will help you get comparable quotes.

In general, you get what you pay for. The more expensive the solution you opt for, the higher the accuracy will be, and the better the calculations will stand up to scrutiny. It is very important to consider what you will use the calculations for, and where you are in your sustainability journey.

If you are a small company looking to get a basic understanding of your emissions and how to start reducing them, it makes sense to go with a cheaper, faster solution and get started. If you are a large company, intending to reach carbon neutrality, you need to have very thorough calculations from a reputable source.

What type of calculation do you need?

In these times of regulatory uncertainty, it makes good business sense for your company to keep updated with the latest developments. Here we outline two of the main approaches for calculating your climate impact: carbon footprint analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA).

Carbon Footprint Analysis: Emissions of your entire company

Nothing in life is free, and similarly, everything has a carbon footprint. A carbon footprint analysis evaluates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by a product, a manufacturing plant or an entire company. A range of GHG emissions are assessed and then converted into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO₂e) to allow for comparisons.

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol provides the most widely used standard (called the Corporate Value Chain Standard and the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard) for measuring and reporting emissions. These are divided into Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, ensuring a true and fair representation of your company’s climate impact. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also offers a standard (ISO 14064) to quantify, monitor, report, and verify your direct and indirect GHG emissions.

Scope 1

Scope 1 emissions relate to emissions that come directly from your company’s owned or controlled operations, e.g., fuel consumed in company vehicles. These are the emissions you have the most control over, and can quickly target to start your journey to net zero.

Scope 2

Scope 2 emissions represent indirect emissions from sources purchased or acquired for use in your company, e.g., electricity, heating, cooling. Hotspots caused by Scope 2 emissions are most efficiently targeted by switching to renewable energy sources.

Scope 3

Scope 3 emissions are the trickiest. They are all other indirect emissions occurring in the value chain of your company, both upstream and downstream, e.g., employee commuting, waste, business travel, investments, and the list goes on! There are two main methods for calculating Scope 3 emissions: spend-based and activity-based.

Spend vs. Activity-Based Data

Spend-based data is obtained by multiplying the financial value of a purchased good or service by an emission factor. Emission factors are derived from an industry average of emissions levels, and so spend-based data only represents a rough estimate of actual emissions.

A more precise by time, labor, and cost intensive approach is to use activity-based data. This involves collecting detailed data, both internally and externally from all suppliers, and multiplying that data by activity-specific emission factors. A more granular overview of supply chain emissions is provided from this approach which allows for targeted GHG reductions.

Life Cycle Analysis: Understanding a specific product or service

Alternatively, a LCA can be carried out on a specific product, process or service within a defined set of boundaries (cradle-to-gate, cradle-to-grave). Notably, it encompasses multiple environmental and economic impacts beyond just GHG emissions, such as:

  • Natural resource depletion
  • Ecosystem degradation
  • Human health
  • Social fairness
  • Pollution
  • Water quality

Obtaining and processing raw materials, manufacturing, dissemination, usage, maintenance, repairs, selling/reusing, and disposal can all be contained within this as well.

Cradle-to-Gate vs. Cradle-to-Grave vs. Cradle-to-Cradle

Cradle-to-gate refers to the environmental and economic impact of a product, process, or service from the point of raw material extraction through the manufacturing process, up until the point of use. Alternatively, the impacts of the entire process (from raw material extraction to disposal) can be accounted for in an LCA. This is often referred to as cradle-to-grave.

Some companies or organisations may opt for a cradle-to-gate approach if they have designed a product or service that is easily reusable. However, a lot of products and services amass most of their carbon footprint after purchase, which is when the cradle-to-grave approach is most insightful.

Another more holistic school of thought is cradle-to-cradle. This design philosophy was inspired by nature, where the waste products of one process serve as the fuel for another process. In short, no materials are simply discarded at the end of their useful life; instead they are reused indefinitely in other products of greater or equal value.

Why we don’t calculate emissions for you

At Klimate, we offer access to portfolios of thoroughly vetted high-quality carbon removal to help companies compensate for their unavoidable emissions.

A lot of companies out there are offering to calculate your emissions as well as help you offset them. However, we are going about this differently.

01

We want to ensure trust and integrity

It seems logical to have one partner to take care of everything when it comes to going carbon neutral. However, there is a good reason why your accountant and auditor are not the same person.

Most companies that sell offsets, including ours, charge a commission for each credit. This means that the larger the emissions, the larger the commission. This creates a conflict of interest when making the calculation.

02

We believe everyone should do one thing and do it well

Sourcing and analysing the best carbon removal solutions is a big undertaking, and we want to focus all our efforts on this.

At the same time, calculating emissions is equally complex, and we see a growing number of companies specialising in industry-specific calculations like real estate, food, e-commerce, and even furniture!

We are under no illusion that we can be as good as them, therefore we choose to collaborate instead.

Need support with calculating your emissions?

We have a strong network of partners specialised in different industries and types of calculations. You can go through our partner directory here

Policy
all

Science Based Targets Releases Guidance on Beyond Value Chain Mitigation

March 11, 2024
·
6 min

What are SBTi and BVCM?

SBTi: The Science Based Targets initiative is a body that defines and promotes best practice in science-based net-zero target setting followed closely by thousands of companies. It is a convergence of groups including non-for-profit Carbon Disclosure Project, UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature.

BVCM: Beyond Value Chain Mitigation, mitigation action or investments that fall outside a company’s value chain, including activities that avoid or reduce GHG emissions, or remove and store GHGs from the atmosphere. It is a strategy described by SBTi (and others, such as Gold Standard) that calls for more urgent climate action in order to reach our common climate goals.

Why should companies invest in BVCM?

According to the IPCC, there is no longer a realistic pathway to reach our climate goal of limiting warming of 1.5 or even 2 degrees C without carbon removal. But, the current rate of scaling CDR is not yet at the trajectory needed in the coming decades to bridge the gap of emissions.

This is where BVCM comes in, encouraging climate action for short-term, immediate mitigation, to funnel investment to scaling the necessary solutions.

An introduction to the new BVCM guidance

Releasing a report and accompanying research paper titled “Above and Beyond” and “Raising the Bar,” this updated guidance from SBTi includes support on the design and implementation of BVCM, as well as incentives and opportunities for accelerating widespread corporate adoption.

The main goals of these publications are twofold:

  1. To catalyse immediate mitigation outcomes
  2. To promote the scale-up of emerging climate solutions

What emerging climate solutions should be considered within a BVCM pledge? “Above and Beyond” offers four initial categories, or portfolio principles, that should be followed in the implementation steps below. These include maximising mitigation outcomes, focus on under-financed opportunities, support for sustainable development goals (SDGs), and climate justice.

How to implement BVCM alongside your net zero strategy

Implementing a BVCM strategy alongside your net zero target allows your company to take immediate action to further mitigate the impact on climate change that comes from your ongoing emissions. It involves three specific steps:

  • Pledge: determine strategic direction and define a time period, recommended 5 years or greater.
  • Act: design a portfolio of activities and investments, ensure you meet minimum standards (Like IVCVM Core Carbon Principles), pay and publicly disclose.
  • Report: establish annual cycle, verified by a third party, and comply with local existing standards (such as CSRD).
Image Credit: Above and Beyond: An SBTi Report on the Design and Implementation of Beyond Value Chain Mitigation

What does SBTi say about carbon dioxide removal?

SBTi’s inclusion of carbon removal investment within the BVCM framework is expansive compared to the previously defined role of CDR–a final stage action to neutralise unavoidable emissions. Now, it could open the door for more companies to get involved in carbon markets today, rather than waiting until all possible reductions have taken place.

SBTi builds the business case for carbon removal:

CDR reduces costs in damages of climate change, reflecting the CSRD approach of double materiality.

It helps companies secure and maintain investment, talent, and brand trust.

To build a future-proof brand, you must get involved in the necessary process to scale and develop the market, specifically of durable solutions, to meet future demands.

The above framing of CDR is critical for the development of carbon markets as it lays out a credible path for companies to invest in carbon removal while they work on their short and long-term net zero target. Beyond this, it reflects the needs and aims of the carbon removal market today–this being the investment to scale and develop removal solutions to meet future demand.

But, this guidance is non-prescriptive, meaning sustainability leaders must to choose their own path for BVCM, depending on what is right for their company, and accomplish strategic goals rather than numeric targets. This puts the onus on companies to develop this in addition to their short-term and long-term net zero targets and general reduction efforts.

By leaving relatively open pathways of adoption and choices for investment, it could lead decision makers away from financing the ‘most necessary solutions’ deemed by the IPCC and SBTi and instead go for lowest-possible price point avoidance or renewables. Or, the lack of decisiveness could cause a sort of choice-paralysis, leading to a further stall in investment. Helping companies define BVCM targets and implementation plans can help avoid these pitfalls.

windmills in the ocean

How do SBTi’s Key Principles line up with Klimate’s Approach?

The guiding principles for BVCM are highly aligned with our own approach, where activities must meet minimum standards of integrity and quality including ensuring additionality, permanence, and avoidance of leakage and be verified by a third party. And, any adverse social and environmental effects must be safeguarded against.

Support for projects through BVCM can help scale carbon removal projects - both nature-based and engineered approaches - and provide much needed support in the early years. This helps increase the likelihood of reaching the necessary capacity needed for near-term and long-term net zero targets. It also detaches the investment from specific accounting exercises, which increases the flexibility for companies to engage in these type of projects. This also opens up for larger and broader types of investments from more companies, while reducing the risks of greenwashing coming from unsubstantiated carbon neutral claims tied to specific scopes.

Simon Bager, Phd and CIO of Klimate

The updated BVCM toolbox will likely accelerate corporate adoption and implementation of this approach, meaning forward-thinking companies will need to update and align this guidance with their current sustainability aims. As this is still voluntary, it means that companies must be able to see the value in going “above and beyond” the required investments. The coming months and years will show whether the new guidance provide enough incentive to encourage this.

Nonetheless, the new BVCM guidance is a huge step in the right direction, as it provides companies with tangible guidelines for how to invest in projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere, while simultaneously working on their reduction efforts. All in all, this should lead to less carbon in the atmosphere, which is the ultimate goal.

Science
all

Forest Remote Sensing: Explainer

February 12, 2024
·
4 min

How does forest remote sensing work in practice?

Remote sensing is used in forest carbon removal projects to map and quantify changes in canopy cover, monitor forest degradation, and estimate carbon storage.

Several approaches come under the umbrella of remote sensing, including LiDAR, radar, and photogrammetry. These often rely on observations from satellites or aircraft. However, this remote sensing data must be combined with field measurements to calibrate and verify the accuracy of carbon storage calculations.

Forest canopy from above

Each approach of remote sensing has its own strengths and pitfalls, thus making some more apt in use cases over others. For example, some are beneficial for measuring mass and density, while others estimate vegetation cover from visual monitoring, allowing to quickly compare changes over time.

Some of the most common remote sensing methods are:

The Method LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Radar (Radio Detection and Randing) Photogrammetry
How it Works Utilises laser pulses to measure distances to the Earth's surface, producing highly detailed 3D maps of forest structures. These laser pulses are usually airborne (transmitted by small planes flying over the canopy). Uses radio waves to penetrate forest canopies, providing information on forest structure and biomass. Radar data can be obtained using aircraft or satellites. Involves analysing aerial or satellite images to create detailed 3D maps and models of forested areas.
Use Cases LiDAR is particularly effective for estimating aboveground biomass and carbon density. Radar is especially useful in areas with dense vegetation or frequent cloud cover, where optical sensors may be less effective. Photogrammetry can capture changes in forest cover over time, aiding in monitoring degradation.

How does remote sensing contribute to transparency in nature-based carbon removal solutions?

Currently, forest carbon removal projects can obtain certification from globally recognised carbon standards, such as Verra, Plan Vivo, and Gold Standard. Obtaining these certifications is a complex process that involves a lot of monitoring and reporting, and so having this badge is a good indicator that a project has been vetted for quality.

Remote sensing plays a crucial role in getting and retaining certification, which in turn establishes trust between buyers and suppliers. This helps the project build a market advantage while also ensuring the longevity of their carbon storage efforts.

Case Study: Halo Verde Forest Project, Timor Leste

In October 2022, Klimate participated in a study organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) focused on assessing the utilisation of remote sensing for forestry projects.

The project included conducting a feasibility study of the Halo Verde forestry project in Timor Leste, run by the supplier Fundação Carbon Offset Timor (FCOTI). For the project, we used satellite data in combination with machine learning models developed by the partner Atla.ai and trained with data on biomass growth, tree size and species collected by the team on the ground, to estimate carbon sequestration of the forestry project.

The aim of this initiative was to develop a way of more accurately estimating biomass growth, and therefore ensuring that the forest’s carbon storage capacity is calculated correctly.

The team collected forest measurements by hand, as a way of “ground truthing” the results provided by satellite imaging and machine learning algorithms. Having this additional layer of verification goes a long way to ensuring the credibility of the Halo Verde forestry credits Klimate provides to clients.

Satellite images from Klimate’s Halo Verde forestation project, run by supplier Fundacão Carbon Offset Timor (FCOTI)
"The ESA project in Timor-Leste was a great learning experience. Assessing carbon storage in forests is quite difficult, but by combining on-the-ground knowledge gathering with remote sensing capabilities, we can obtain a much better understanding of the potential strengths and weaknesses of the project and the credits it issues.

We always conduct a thorough due diligence on all projects we work with, and when combined with additional insights from field visits or technical assessments, we can probe deeper into the inner workings and larger impact of the project. Ultimately, this brings more value to both the project developer and to Klimate's clients, which is why we are constantly exploring how to incorporate local insights and technological advancements into our due diligence."

Simon Bager, Chief Impact Office, Klimate
FCOTI Halo Verde project

Forest carbon projects have been an ideal proving ground for remote sensing technologies. There is potential to expand their use to other forms of carbon storage, such as enhanced weathering and the use of biochar within agriculture.

Advances in remote sensing technology—such as AI modelling and high resolution imaging software—are improving the speed, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of measuring and monitoring soil carbon stocks. This could therefore facilitate more opportunities for farmer participation in carbon markets and improved data gathering within soil sequestration and biochar.

In the quest for high-quality carbon removal, transparency is key. Remote sensing technologies empower carbon removal projects to quantify and monitor carbon storage, and when paired with on-the-ground-knowledge, can add robust data that fosters trust and credibility among buyers. Through collaborations with groups like ESA, Klimate continues to spearhead innovative solutions for transparent and effective carbon removal initiatives.

Policy
all

Navigating CSRD and Carbon Removal

February 2, 2024
·
4 min

What is the CSRD?

This directive aims to enhance transparency and accountability by imposing stricter Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting requirements on large European companies with annual turnovers exceeding €150 million. With a direct impact on 50,000 companies, the CSRD's influence will have knock-on effects through their value chains, emphasising the importance of transparency.

The CSRD is the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

What is double materiality?

Double materiality builds on the corporate finance concept of materiality, that gauges the relevance of information or events for decision-making.

A double materiality assessment recognises the material significance of environmental and social impacts alongside financial considerations.

Illustration of Coastal Blue Carbon

Viewing climate change through the lens of CSRD compels companies to act for several reasons:

  • Companies impact climate change through an environmental means, including their CO2 emissions and activities to mitigate climate change
  • Policies and targets that prepare for a societal net zero future, including a carbon tax or other incentivising measures–as suggested by the CSRD–are an important mechanism to driving change.
  • Climate change presents a financial and social risk, including material loss and repetitional risk, and these disclosures provide a platform to show that you are being proactive.

What does the CSRD have to do with carbon dioxide removal?

Carbon removals and storage are part of the climate metrics and targets that must be reported within the framework, alongside any financial investment in removals & storage, net zero targets, or neutrality claims.

The heightened focus on CDR also means that close attention must be paid to the type, storage, and transportation of greenhouse gasses. This also includes managing non-permanence risks, including monitoring for leakage reversal events–a potentially difficult undertaking for companies that are new actors in the carbon market.

Companies pursuing net-zero goals or Science-Based Targets must invest in carbon removal to address their emissions. Consequently, it's crucial for all such companies to report their investments in the CSRD framework, making it critical.

An Opportunity to Future-Proof Your Business

Beyond setting regulatory standards for disclosures, the CSRD framework enhances transparency and presents an opportunity to stay ahead of regulatory requirements. Becoming more future-proof in the eyes of regulators and stakeholders is essential in this sustainability-driven era. Highlighting your climate strategy and carbon removal efforts not only boosts your brand reputation but also positions you attractively as an employer and strengthens relationships with suppliers and clients.

Three Key Benefits of the CSRD

Getting started on double materiality analyses and CSRD may seem challenging. However, this process can also kick-start necessary planning, cross-collaboration, and change-making within an organisation.

To fully capitalise on the benefits of the CSRD's transparency era, it's more than just publishing a report.

  1. Asks companies to continually align their goals and actions with that of the Paris Agreement.
  2. Heightens quality and accountability in climate action–especially offsetting as it accounts for removals, but not avoidance.
  3. Transparency and clarity are two key values in CSRD. These translate into effective sustainability communication to stakeholders and boosts reputation.

Make a real climate impact

The CSRD is a transformative force driving transparency and accountability in the European corporate landscape. It mandates stringent ESG reporting, with a focus on climate-related metrics and targets. Embracing the CSRD is not only a regulatory obligation but also an opportunity to future-proof your business, enhance your reputation, and contribute to a sustainable future.

Join us and learn more about how you can employ a sound carbon removal strategy–that takes into account the double materiality assessments of CSRD–to minimise risk and make a real climate impact.

Science
all

Carbon Sinks: Where is Carbon Stored?

January 11, 2024
·
4 min

What is a carbon sink?

A carbon sink is a natural reservoir that absorbs more carbon than it releases, playing a crucial role in maintaining manageable levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. These different locations vary in how long carbon is stored, from years to millennia, called durability or permanence. Each sink has a vital function in the cycle of carbon.

Klimate works with nine different carbon removal methods (and counting) which sequester and store carbon in different sinks.

Waves crashing on rocks

Where is carbon stored naturally?

Natural carbon sinks, such as forests, oceans, and soil, absorb a significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere—about 50% of all human-induced emissions. The world's forests alone absorb 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2 each year.

How are natural sinks used in carbon dioxide removal?

All methods of carbon removal utilise natural carbon sinks in some way. Even engineered methods utilise geological storage systems. The table below describes several important carbon sinks and how they are utilised by removal methods.

Types of carbon sink How they store carbon Permanence range Klimate's methods
Land (forests, grasslands & soils) Tree and other plants take up carbon through photosynthesis, storing it in their biomass.

Once plants die, this carbon is stored in soil via decompisition.

Carbon can also be stored long-term in timber used for building.
Decades - centures.

10s-100s of years
Forestation, soil sequestration, biochar
Oceans Phytoplankton and other forms of marine life take up carbon via photosynthesis, similarly to plants.

When they die, this carbon sinks to the ocean floor, where it is stored for the long term in seabed sediments.
Centuries - millenia

100s-1000s of years
Ocean blue carbon, coastal blue carbon, enhanced weathering.
Geological formations Geological formations like volcanic rocks and underground saline formations are also key carbon storage sites.

Engineered carbon removal methods are able to pressurise CO2 into liquid form, which can then be injected into basins of porous rock deep underground.
Millenia - epochs

>10,000 years
Bio-oil, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air capture (DACCS).

Challenges of emissions and land use change

Rising greenhouse gas emissions are upsetting the balance of the carbon cycle, leading to a situation where carbon sinks are unable to absorb all the carbon being released.

Simultaneously, more and more land is being converted for urbanisation and agriculture. This often involves disturbances, like deforestation, that release carbon already stored in the land, while preventing it from sequestering any further emissions.

This poses a significant challenge, as the importance of carbon sinks in tackling climate change has never been greater.

Currently the EU's land use sector is actually a net carbon sink, meaning it absorbs more carbon that it releases. On a global scale, however, the opposite is happening.

Which carbon sinks are most important for CO2 removal efforts?

There is no doubt that preserving and expanding natural carbon sinks should be a priority. They have strong co-benefits for biodiversity and are deployable now, creating rapid carbon uptake and safe storage in the short term. At the same time, geological carbon sinks which can be accessed through engineered solutions are highly permanent and hold huge potential to accelerate carbon removal.

Waves crashing on rocks

These solutions are essential to mitigate carbon emissions and ensure the stability of the global climate. At Klimate, we aim to drive balanced investments into nature-based solutions alongside technology-driven removals that demonstrate high integrity and scaling potential.