Category Archives: off setting

Natural Mossland Carbon Capture Scheme – putting a ‘natural’ cost to carbon?

Not to be confused with carbon offsetting.

If we are serious about moving to low and zero carbon construction then this Mosslands conservation project looks like a good approach to capturing all those tricky CO2 emissions from your site or building that cannot be eliminated through good carbon reduction and energy management.

At £30 a tonne/CO2, to capture construction activity CO2 would mean, that for each £million construction spend we would be paying £30,000. (Based on the constructco2 CO2 indicator)

A natural cost on carbon?

The brochure contains some very interesting facts and figures as why peatland and mossland are essential as carbon sinks, more so than trees, and why we need to stop extraction.

NaturalCarbonCaptureBrochure.pdf Download this file     Or view on my posterous blog 

carbon trust standard

The Carbon Trust new certification acknowledges organisations that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions without using offsets.

The Carbon Trust Standard certifies that an organisation has genuinely reduced its carbon footprint and is committed to making further reductions year on year.

“Our research shows that not only do consumers currently mistrust business’ climate change claims, but that business thinks existing carbon award schemes are confusing and lack credibility,” said Carbon Trust Chief Executive Tom Delay. “What business and consumers both share is a desire for one, credible way to prove an organisation has not only measured, but actually reduced their carbon emissions year-on-year without the use of offsetting.”

The 12 case study organisations who have acheived the standard are Abbey Corrugated, B&Q, Crown Prosecution Service, Dept. of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dept. for International Development, DSM Nutritional Products – Dairy production site Scotland, King’s College London, London Fire Brigade, Morrisons, Thames Water, Trinity Mirror and University of Central Lancashire.

my blog fights climate change

A number of people have asked why 350 on the my blog fights climate change badge, well, its the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that we must aim for if we want to keep the planet relatively safe. I feel this is an important message to spread, as most of our targets for reductions are based on 450 ppm. If the 350 ppm is right, and it has the backing of many eminent scientists, our targets (in the UK) should be 80% and not 60% by 2050, which is a huge huge difference.

Readers of isite will know I am not totally in agreement with offsetting – but take a look at Brighter Planet and make your own minds up and get a badge.

Cost of carbon

A good note to end the year on and a new perspective on the cost of carbon to start 2008 with was reported in the Guardian last Friday. (also picked up by fellow blogger Phil at Some Seasonal Cheer ). Effectively ministers will now have to include a cost for carbon emission on all projects, starting at £25.50 a carbon tonne for 2007, rising every year to reach £59.60 a tonne by 2050. (This seems lower than other figures suggested!)

It will be interesting to see how this plays out through construction and fm – what would the additional cost of PFI’s, and BSF, building schools for the future projects etc now be. Would these costs be predicted over the life of a building. Can they be offset by carbon reducing measures built in?

And the Code – suddenly the cost of zero carbon homes may well be less than business as usual carbon construction.

Will the costs be applied to construction process emissions as well – and if so will this be tracked back up stream to the cement industry for example.

Not sure who actually will pay for these costs – the developers?, the supply side? the clients? More questions than answers at the moment, more detail is still to announced, but as this is a Treasury initiative it will surely be forced into being rapidly and with teeth. A whole new carbon based currency is being created.

Lets hope there is not a cop out by allowing offsets to offset these costs, and that the costs are real contributions to tackling sustainability

Whatever the detail,  we will start 2008 with a new, more meaningful perspective of sustainable construction, and more debates and discussion.


Carbon off setting not permissable on zero carbon projects

Been looking at site that mention Hanham Hall – the first Zero Carbon Challenge project recently let to Barratts.  The local BBC Bristol  site contains these wonderful comments from English Partnerships:

Unlike carbon neutral developments, there can be no conscience-clearing carbon off-setting on a zero-carbon project. 

No carbon footprint must be left at the site whatsoever and other developers will watch the Hanham Hall winner hawkishly as from 2016 all new homes must be zero-carbon.

The South West Director of the agency, David Warbuton, said a new eco-friendly chapter was beginning in the history of housebuilding: 

“I think humankind has always evolved according to local and environmental conditions and, as slate replaced thatch 400 years ago, that’s all we’re talking about here.  We’re at the next stage of building and community evolution.

Now it starts to sound more like a challenge.  Making the construction process itself zero carbon would be challenge enough considering the high carbon emissions of transportation and cement products.  We will learn allot from this project

offsetting problems

Financial problems in the mysterious (and distracting) world of carbon offsetting reported in todays Guardian

The fledgling carbon-offset market was undermined yesterday when AgCert International, a producer and seller of certified emission reductions (CERs), said a key deal had collapsed leaving it with an overhang of uncovered liabilities … more