tainability concerns and take place in South Africa, the host country of the FIFA World Cup in 2010. For compensating the GHG emissions two Gold Standard CDM projects were selected to offset emissions of the world’s largest sport event: a fuel-switching project in the Limpopo Province, and a biogas project in the Johannesburg area.
The main concerns are whether buying credits will actually produce results, and whether customers and other stakeholders will be impressed, therefore purchasing high quality offsets will most likely yield highest benefits although their prices may be higher. But the benefits of showing leadership on climate change may appear to balance out the worries. Even small organizations wield considerable economic clout, which means they can influence the offset projects they choose by bringing far more money to bear than an individual off setter.
For companies that are required by law to compensate extra emissions it makes most sense to purchase offsets from the compliance market. This is for example the case for the more than 10 000 plants for power generation, iron and steel, glass, cement, pottery and bricks across Europe that fall under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). For others the act of offsetting emissions from their entire operations, or part of them, is voluntary but often has a lot of benefits. However, companies do need to remember the insistence of the critics that emissions must be reduced, not just offset, otherwise offsetting becomes a form of “greenwash.” Offsets are just one part of a corporate climate strategy, chosen after all possible reductions have taken place.
Since larger organizations naturally tend to have more emissions, they might consider other options for offsetting them, mainly because they may be able to get better offers by being a large investor. As shown in the EasyJet example earlier in the text, when you are able to buy considerable amounts, offsets can also be purchased directly from project developers or marketplaces where they trade their emission reductions. This will save you from paying the overheads of all the brokers that handle the offsets between the project and the retailer.