Carbon Neutral


Carbon Neutral is a term used to describe the neutralizing of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a given activity or good by offsetting the emissions through the purchase and retirement of an equivalent amount of GHG emission reductions. A typical example is when an individual or company purchases GHG emission Reductions to offset its consumption of hydrocarbon fuels; such as gasoline, heating fuel, or even hydrocarbon based electricity.

GHG Emission Reductions are the product of a formalized quantification of a GHG emission reduction that occurs from the use of an improved technology or practice. GHG Emission Reductions are normally quantified as tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Carbon Neutral is therefore achieved when a tonne of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions is offset through the purchase and retirement of a single tonne of GHG Emission Reductions.

Sources of GHG Emission Reductions are such things as; the use of renewable electric generation technology to displace the use of hydrocarbon fuelled generation, the capture and destruction of methane gas from a landfill site, the use of higher efficiency technology that reduces the consumption of hydrocarbon based energy, and the use of no-till agricultural practices that result in higher levels of carbon sequestration in the soil. It is important that the quantification of GHG Emission Reductions from such sources has been done in conformance with accepted standards and methods. All GHG Emission Reductions from its emission reduction projects follow such standards. For transparency to its purchasers’s Project Registry catalogues its emission reduction projects and the quantification documentation used to create the GHG Emission Reductions from each project. The Certificate Registry documents the retirement of GHG Emission Reductions on behalf of its customers.


John has a new job in a nearby town, public transportation isn’t feasible and he has been unable to find a car pool so he must drive each day. He figures this is going to be about 18,000 miles per year and he is concerned about the GHG emissions and global warming impact of all this new driving. He decides to make this driving carbon neutral and using’s GHG Calculator he finds he can do so for each year by purchasing 8 tonnes of GHG Emission Reductions. When he’s done so, John get a Certificate of recognition from and his purchase is recorded on the Certificate Registry. Since John’s certificate identifies the emission reduction project that is the source of his GHG Emission Reductions he can find information about the project and the GHG Emission Reduction quantification methodology on the Project Registry.


The Marzini family has renovated their home and have included a large number of energy efficiency improvements, but they are concerned about global warming and decide to use to make their home’s energy consumption carbon neutral. Using GHG Calculator they find the annual CO2 emissions that result from their home’s energy consumption is about 12 tonnes. After purchasing offsetting GHG Emission Reductions through, they receive their Certificate of Recognition and are able to obtain more information about their purchase on’s Certificate Registry and Project Registry.


Busy Retail is a fairly new company that opened eighteen stores in the last 5 years. Their target customers are environmentally minded consumers that take the environmental impact of their purchases seriously. Busy Retail has ensured that its stores are energy efficient and that environmental considerations are part of their product specifications, but it now wants to make both its stores and most of the products it offers carbon neutral. Unsure how to do this, Busy contacts for advice. After being contacted agrees at no charge to develop a brief Carbon Neutral Implementation Plan for Busy Retail. When the Plan is agreed to coolAction sets about estimating the CO2 emissions attributable to the store operations and most of Busy’s products. For the products the emission estimates include those related manufacturing and material inputs, shipping and distribution. When completed it is estimated that Busy will need 32,500 tonnes of coolAction GHG Emission Reduction per year to achieve its Carbon Neutral goal at current operating levels. With the purchase Busy receives a Certificate of recognition for each of its stores and head office. Because of the size of the purchase is able to include the cost of carrying out the Implementation Plan as well as giving Busy a choice of the emission reduction project that will be the source of the GHG Emission Reductions. In addition, coolAction is able to provide product tags to Busy that can be attached to its products to identify them as carbon neutral and to inform customers that they can confirm this information by accessing the’s Certificate Registry and Project Registry.