Frequently Asked Questions | One Carbon World (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions | One Carbon World (1)

Carbon footprinting and measurement

How can OCW help me measure or validate my organisation's footprint?

Each organisation has a unique and different carbon footprint. That is why One Carbon World and its team of technical experts can now report on over 7000 calculations. Our team will guide you through this process and will help you to measure your Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. We first invite you to select a date and time for a phone consultation with your dedicated technical expert. During the technical call, our expert will explain the emissions sources that we will include and the methodologies we will apply. We will guide you through the data collection procedure and also review any data you have already collected, if applicable. We always attach a guide for data collection for reference. If you have made a self-assessment of your carbon footprint we will talk you through the OCW UN approved verification process. Once we receive your data, our experienced team of carbon auditors will calculate your carbon footprint, and this will be sent for independent external validation

What type of data will I need to generate an organisational carbon footprint?

Generating an organisational carbon footprint involves collecting various types of data to comprehensively assess the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the organisation's activities. Some activities are mandatory to include when calculating a carbon footprint and collectively are often referred to as operational emissions. These include:

Building fuelsThis relates to fuels used within a company’s owned or controlled buildings. For example, this may include natural gas use.

• Transport fuelsThis relates to fuels used in company cars, fleet vehicles, and on-site transport. For example, this may include fuels like petrol, diesel, LPG etc.

Fugitive releasesThis relates to unintentional or intentional releases from physical and chemical processes. For example, this may include refrigerant leakages from air conditioning systems.

• Purchased energyThis includes a company’s purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling.

Collecting data in these categories is essential for generating a meaningful organisational carbon footprint. This data serves as the foundation for developing effective operational emission reduction strategies and sustainability initiatives.

As part of our best practice support, we can also dedicate part of your technical consultation to discussing your Scope 3 emissions. OCW will set out clear steps of what information we will need in order to calculate these. Initially, for scope 3 emissions, this is likely to be spend based data which can act as a good screening exercise to identify emission hot spots across the value chain. Including scope 3 emissions within a carbon footprint results in a more robust and complete assessment of your impact on the climate, so that you can demonstrate best practice to your stakeholders and start to engage with your suppliers earlier to encourage them to take action.

What can measuring my organisation's carbon footprint tell me?

Measuring your organisation's carbon footprint provides valuable insights into the extent of its greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact. This data enables informed decision-making for implementing targeted emission reduction strategies, identifying areas for improvement in resource efficiency, and setting realistic sustainability goals. Understanding your carbon footprint is a foundational step in developing and implementing effective carbon management and reduction initiatives. It also allows you to demonstrate best practice to your stakeholders, protect the reputation of your organisation, and enhance your visibility and credentials.

Why use OCW and not an online calculator?

Online tools for calculating greenhouse gas emissions can be useful and help companies gain an initial understanding of their emissions. However, unless they are highly advanced and welcome different types of data quality, their effectiveness at calculating Scope 3 emissions, may be limited. Some tools may require an in-depth understanding of carbon accounting processes and an awareness of different data types, which may vary among companies. Additionally, using online tools can limit the level of visibility you may have over what makes up your Carbon Footprint and the calculations and methodology that sit behind it. Through use of a simple data collection form and consultant support on hand, the OCW process helps to simplify the carbon accounting process while providing you with a clear and complete Carbon Footprint.

Surely it is better to reduce emissions to zero rather than just rebalancing them?

Reducing carbon emissions as much as possible should be an overarching goal for every organisation. Once our technical team has validated your data and calculated your carbon footprint, we will issue your bespoke Carbon Footprint Report detailing the emissions resulting from your activities over the footprint period. The report will also provide recommendations for reducing your carbon footprint. If required, we can also dedicate part of your technical consultation to discussing your carbon reduction targets. This could include reviewing targets that you have already set and advising on whether these align with a 1.5°C global decarbonisation pathway. If you do not have targets in place, we also offer the option to set out clear steps of how to set science based targets in a separate proposal. This support helps you to demonstrate that you are taking action to mitigate your carbon impact while increasing efficiency and reducing costs across your organisation. However, the reality is that the global energy demand surpasses the current capacity of renewable or zero-carbon electricity. Even with significant efforts to reduce energy consumption and individual carbon footprints, complete elimination of emissions is often unattainable due to indirect sources such as purchased goods and services. Carbon rebalancing plays a crucial role in addressing this reality while we reduce our emissions. By supporting emission re-balancing projects, individuals and organisations contribute to funding renewable energy initiatives, enhancing efficiency in developing countries, combating deforestation (which contributes substantially to global greenhouse gas emissions), and promoting afforestation to capture and store emitted carbon. In essence, rebalancing carbon emissions becomes an additional tool to actively participate in comprehensive climate solutions and support projects that contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Why should I rebalance my carbon footprint?

Balancing your carbon footprint is a crucial practice for individuals and organisations to neutralise their carbon footprint. Investing in projects that reduce or capture carbon emissions helps to counterbalance the impact of unavoidable emissions. This contribution aids in the global effort to mitigate climate change, support sustainable development projects, and transition towards a more environmentally responsible future. Ultimately, offsetting enables organisations to support climate-friendly projects that reduce global GHG emissions. It can be seen as crowdfunding for climate action!

If required, our team can provide clear information on the high-quality projects that can support, all of which are independently audited against recognised third-party certification standards. We will issue a Statement of Carbon Neutrality for your organisation that can be shared to your stakeholders as assurance of your robust and verified climate action.


What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the deceptive practice of making exaggerated, misleading, or vague claims about the environmental friendliness or sustainability of a product, service, or company. Greenwashersemploy marketing tactics to create a false impression of being more eco-friendly than they actually are. This often involves misleading labels, symbols, or statements that imply a commitment to environmental responsibility without adequate evidence. Greenwashing undermines genuine sustainability efforts, misguiding consumers and eroding trust in environmental marketing. It is crucial for consumers to critically assess the credibility of environmental claims, seeking evidence and credible certifications to verify a company's commitment to sustainability.

How can I identify Greenwashing?

Identifying greenwashing involves critically evaluating environmental claims made by companies. Look for specific and verifiable information rather than vague or generic statements. Be cautious of green imagery without substance or figures, and check for third-party certifications from reputable organisations.

How do I know OCW isn’t greenwashing?

One Carbon World (OCW) energetically opposes greenwashing practices through its commitment to transparency, accountability, and adherence to recognised environmental standards, as well as to methods based in science. Several key factors demonstrate OCW's dedication to genuine voluntary climate action:

Third-Party Verification: OCW engages independent third-party entities for the verification of its sustainability standards. This external validation ensures that the reported environmental impact is accurate and aligns with established rules and procedures of the industry.

International Standards: OCW follows and complies with internationally recognised environmental standards and protocols. Adherence to these standards guarantees that the organisation's practices and methodologies meet globally accepted criteria for measuring and reducing carbon emissions.

Certifications and Partnerships: OCW collaborates with reputable certification bodies and organisations, such as the UNFCCC. These partnerships recognise our legitimacy and environmental initiatives and contribute to the credibility of our sustainability efforts.

Measurable Impact: OCW focuses on delivering measurable and meaningful environmental outcomes. The organisation is dedicated to quantifying and verifying the reduction of carbon emissions, ensuring that its clients and partners genuinely contribute to more sustainable practices.

Transparent Reporting: OCW maintains a commitment to transparent reporting. By providing clear and detailed information about its projects, methodologies, and results, OCW allows stakeholders to assess the legitimacy of its environmental claims.

Holistic Approach: OCW takes a comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability, addressing not only carbon emissions but also considering broader ecological and social impacts. This holistic perspective ensures that OCW's efforts contribute positively to the various aspects of sustainability enshrined in the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, beyond mere carbon footprint measurement.

By consistently upholding these principles and practices, One Carbon World demonstrates a genuine commitment to environmental responsibility, setting it apart from greenwashing practices, unfortunately still prevalent in some sectors of the industry.

Carbon removals and rebalancing emissions

Carbon Credits: Key Points

A carbon credit represents one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2e) reduced or sequestrated through a project. These credits play a vital role in balancing carbon emissions.Upon retirement, carbon credits become offsets. We meticulously record details like your organisation's name, project specifics, unique identification, and certificates during retirement. This ensures secure and transparent accounting, preventing their reintroduction and certifying your commitment to achieving carbon neutrality or carbon positivityWhether active or retired, carbon credits are registered by transparent, independent environmental registries, such as VERRA This transparency safeguards the certification process. Our projects adhere to high standards, emphasising additionality, and adequate labour and environmental and biodiversity protection standards

What is carbon rebalancing?

Carbon rebalancing represents essentially a unit that signifies the reduction or capture of one ton of carbon dioxide. These units serve a crucial role in environmental conservation efforts by allowing organisations or individuals to compensate for their carbon emissions.

How does One Carbon World choose which projects to support?

The selection of projects at One Carbon World involves a meticulous process overseen by our independent panel. Projects are considered based on prerequisite scoring factors, with a minimum benchmark of 6 required for economic impact, local community support, and biodiversity enhancement. Notably, many projects surpass this benchmark, scoring 8, 9, or even 10. Social impact is a critical criterion, with selected projects contributing to improved health and educational facilities. To ensure comprehensive support, we conduct thorough checks on understanding project requirements and assessing future plans, ensuring that the chosen projects align with our commitment to genuine and impactful carbon re-ba lancing initiatives.

Why should organisations support Verified Carbon Credit and UN projects and programmes?

Supporting Verified Carbon Credit and UN-overseen projects is imperative as long as fossil fuels are in use. Currently, forests stand out as the most viable and scalable solution to recapture CO2e from the atmosphere. The urgency is emphasised by the Paris Agreement, which highlights the critical role of carbon sinks, like forests, in meeting the ambitious target of limiting global temperature rise to 'well below 2°C'. By backing these verified and internationally recognized initiatives, organisations actively contribute to global efforts aimed at mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable growth, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Understanding CERs and VERs:

CERs (Certified Emissions Reductions):
CERs are units generated through the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, such as hydro and wind initiatives, primarily in developing countries . These projects aim to reduce emissions, and the resulting CERs are instrumental in balancing emissions on the UN platform.

VERs (Voluntary Emissions Reductions):
VERs, on the other hand, stem from projects that address deforestation, a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. The fund prioritises supporting afforestation projects across different countries . These projects produce VERs, which play a crucial role in balancing emissions through the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), emphasising voluntary efforts beyond regulatory requirements.

In summary, while CERs are associated with UN Clean Development Mechanism projects, VERs are linked to afforestation initiatives, both contributing to global emission reduction efforts through distinct standards. The fund's strategic focus on afforestation projects underscores the importance of addressing deforestation's substantial impact on carbon emissions while simultaneously supporting vital job creation, sustainable development, and biodiversity protection in these regions.

Are carbon credits a ‘‘permission to pollute’’?

No, carbon credits are definitely not a licence to pollute. Instead, they represent a strategic additional investment in emission reductions, actively contributing to the transition towards a low-carbon economy while we reduce our avoidable emissions as much as possible. While clean energy initiatives gain traction, there remains a substantial gap to meet the ambitious 'well below 2°C' target outlined in the Paris Agreement. Some companies are adopting 'Science Based Targets,' aligning internal emission reduction goals with scientific recommendations to curb warming, and going a step further by supporting projects that reduce global emissions, which exemplify corporate best practices in climate action.

By selecting high-additionality projects for their carbon credit purchases, these companies extend their impact beyond mere compliance. Such projects not only contribute to emission reduction but also deliver sustainable development benefits to communities worldwide. These include improved access to energy and water, the creation of new jobs, and advancements in public health. In essence, while carbon credits are not the main tool in voluntary climate action, they are a tangible option for companies to make a positive environmental and social impact while actively participating in the global endeavour to combat climate change.

What does one tonne of CO2 look like in practical terms?

The carbon footprint is quantified in tonnes of CO2e, and visualising this amount can provide context. Consider the following examples:- 120,000 smartphone charges.- Heating an average-sized apartment for two months.- 72 trips Amsterdam – Paris with the Thalys.- The amount of CO2 absorbed by a beech tree during around 80 years of growth.- If one tonne of CO2 were compressed into a gaseous state, the resulting cube would have edges measuring eight metres under normal conditions

Green asset verification

What is a Green Asset?

A green asset refers to a sustainable and environmentally friendly entity that actively absorbs or sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, playing a crucial role in mitigating climate change. These assets, often natural or technological, function as carbon sinks by capturing and storing carbon, thereby aiding in the balancing of emissions generated by human activities. Natural examples include forests, wetlands, and oceans, which naturally absorb and store carbon. Technological green assets may include projects focused on afforestation, reforestation, or carbon capture and storage technologies. These assets contribute significantly to achieving net-zero by rebalancing carbon emissions through carbon absorption, fostering a more sustainable and climate-resilient ecosystem.

What is Green Asset Verification?

Green Asset Verification is a meticulous process that involves independently assessing and certifying the environmental sustainability and performance of specific assets, projects, or land associated with an organisation. Our OCW Green Asset Verification reports provides a comprehensive summary of the carbon emissions and absortion/sequestration linked to the organisation, detailing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon re-balancing measures associated with agricultural fields, operational sites, and forestry land.

Why is Green Asset Verification Important?

Green Asset Verification is crucial as it demonstrates the commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. By undergoing third-party measurement and verification, One Carbon World ensures that GHG accounting practices adhere to the highest international standards, offering transparency and credibility. This process aids in risk management, cost reduction, brand protection, and attracts socially responsible investment. Verifying the green assets of your organisation can also shed light on the social, economic, and environmental benefits of nature-based solutions, such as regenerative agricultural practices, or afforestation and reforestation activities.

How is the Verification Conducted?

One Carbon World (OCW) conducts the verification by closely working with its clients and using calculation methodologies accepted by globally-recognised reporting standards. The verification process adheres to a range of standards and guidelines, including the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, ISO 14064 series for GHG quantification and reporting, and PAS 2060 Specification for Carbon Neutrality. These frameworks provide a robust foundation for accurate and credible Green Asset Verification. OCW is also a United Nations-recognised GHG emissions third-party verifier, ensuring the credibility and reliability of the verification process.

What are Nature-Based Solutions?

Nature-based solutions (NbS) encompass sustainable approaches that harness the inherent capabilities of ecosystems to address environmental challenges, particularly in the context of climate change. By conserving and restoring biodiversity-rich ecosystems like forests and wetlands, NbS contributes to climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, while also enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts. These solutions, which include sustainable land management practices, regenerative agriculture, reforestation and afforestation, , and green infrastructure, offer a holistic approach with co-benefits such as water regulation, food security and economic development. Recognised for their multifaceted advantages, nature-based solutions play a pivotal role in promoting the harmonious coexistence of human activities and the environment, fostering a sustainable and resilient future.

Science based targets initiative (SBTi)

What are Science Based Targets?

Science-based targets provide companies with a well-defined roadmap to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the imperative of limiting global warming to 1.5°C as set forth by the Paris Agreement. These targets specify the extent and pace at which a business should diminish its emissions to adhere closely to the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Why are SBT’s important for companies?

SBTs are crucial for companies as they provide a clear and science-backed pathway for reducing emissions, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change. Achieving SBTs not only aligns businesses with international climate goals but also enhances their sustainability and competitiveness. According to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), science-based target setting future-proofs growth, saves money, provides resilience against regulation, boosts investor confidence, and spurs innovation, while also demonstrating concrete sustainability commitments to regulators, consumers and investors.

What is the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)?

The Science-Based Targets Initiative is a collaborative effort between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It helps companies set and achieve ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets in line with scientific global climate goals.

What are the goals of implementing science-based targets?

Long Term Goals:
The long-term goals of SBTi are centred around limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The initiative seeks to drive a global transition to a low-carbon economy by encouraging companies to align their emission reduction targets with the latest climate science. Long term goals exist within the time frame of being met before 2050.

Short Term Goals:
Short-term goals within the SBTi framework refer to the interim targets companies set to progressively reduce their GHG emissions. These goals contribute to the achievement of the long-term targets and ensure continuous, measurable progress in emission reduction efforts. Short term goals exist within a 5-10 year timeframe.

One Carbon World Grantfund

What Standards do you offer? (OCW Carbon Neutral International Standard & OCW Net Zero International Standard)

Every organisation that measures/verifies its emissions with One Carbon World, achieves the Carbon Neutral International Standard or the Net Zero International Standard. The recognised Carbon Neutral International Standard and Net Zero International Standard are based on a series of steps, and we provide comprehensive support, robust certification and verification, and first-class assessment. There are a set of minimum requirements to achieve the Standard, but we also encourage our partners to adopt best practices where possible, in order to achieve recognition and market-leading status. This means that your organisation will be measuring your emissions to the highest standards of the industry, in line with the Kyoto Protocol and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, as well as meeting the reporting requirements of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and compatible with international standards ISO 14064 and PAS 2060.

What does “awarded the OCW Carbon Neutral International Standard” mean?

Achieving the “OCW Carbon Neutral International Standard" means that your organisation has embraced a systematic and methodical approach toward understanding and reducing the environmental impact of your organisation, as well as ultimately accelerating the transition to a net zero world . It is therefore an indication that your organisation demonstrates a deep commitment to sustainability in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol and other international standards. Importantly, it reflects tangible rewards and proactive engagement, showcasing your organisation's dedication to responsibility and leadership in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

How do I apply to the OCW Grant fund?

To apply to the OCW Grant Fund, you can click the "Get Started" at the top of our page or simply send us an email at Our team will guide you through the application process, providing support and assistance as needed.

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty established in 1997 with the aim of addressing global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the protocol, participating developed countries committed to specific emission reduction targets during the first commitment period (2008-2012). The agreement introduced market-based mechanisms, such as emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), to facilitate cost-effective emission reductions. While the Kyoto Protocol marked an important step in international efforts to combat climate change, subsequent agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, have evolved to involve a broader range of nations and implement more ambitious and inclusive emission reduction goals.

Net Zero, global warming, and climate change

What is Net-Zero?

Achieving net-zero involves committing to rebalancing or reducing an organisation’s carbon dioxide emissions to an extent that balances the overall emissions. It is a strategic approach focused on minimising the net environmental impact, ensuring that the total carbon footprint is effectively counteracted through initiatives like investing in renewable energy projects or adopting nature-based solutions.

Why work towards Net-Zero?

Aligned with the United Nations' mandate, our dedication to aiding organisations in achieving net-zero is driven by the critical imperative to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. Scientific evidence emphasises the significance of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, a key objective set forth in the Paris Agreement. Acknowledging the potential limitations of governmental initiatives alone, we endorse voluntary climate action as a vital catalyst for driving tangible and meaningful transitions toward low-carbon economies. By promoting an approach based on netzero emissions through credible targets, reductions, and carbon sequestration, we actively participate in the global effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Why is Climate Change a Serious Problem?

Climate change poses a serious problem due to its far-reaching impacts on the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity, and human societies. The increase in global temperatures is causing more frequent and intense heat waves, extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and disruptions to ecosystems. These changes contribute to a myriad of consequences, including threats to biodiversity, agricultural challenges, increased frequency of natural disasters, poor access to water and food, and risks to human health. Furthermore, vulnerable communities, particularly in developing nations, are disproportionately affected, exacerbating social and economic inequalities. Tackling climate change is crucial to safeguarding the planet and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

What is the difference between Climate Change and Global Warming?

Climate change and global warming are related but distinct concepts. Global warming specifically refers to the increase in the Earth's average surface temperature over time, primarily attributed to the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by human activities like burning fossil fuels. On the other hand, climate change encompasses broader alterations in our planet's climate, including shifts in temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather patterns. While global warming is a significant driver of climate change, the latter term encapsulates a more comprehensive understanding of the complex and interconnected changes occurring in the Earth's climate system.

Frequently Asked Questions | One Carbon World (2024)
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