FAQ'S


Why work with CO2balance?

An expert team of dedicated professionals with a wide range of specialist skills

Privately financed with a belief that we can do some real good by applying efficient business process to challenging environmental and development issues

Realistic and practical with a fair trade approach

Transparent in operation, with open and honest reporting

A leading edge project developer, informing and improving the industry standards from innovative project development to highly ethical sales and marketing practice

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Which organisations recognise CO2balance?

The level of experience and expertise that CO2balance have attained has been recognised by their invitation to attend steering groups based on this technology for the United Nations, The Gold Standard and the Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves.

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Is CO2balance a Charity or a Profit Making Company?

CO2balance operate the organisation with the efficiency of a business required to meet all of its costs through its activity, not as an NGO funded by donation or grants. This requires the company to be completely transparent with detailed accounts, to show we are achieving our goals of maximum carbon reduction within strict efficiency targets. Our approach is best described as "Profit for Purpose".

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How do you deliver projects in Africa?

CO2balance UK Ltd owns a company called Carbon Zero Kenya, based in Nairobi. The senior team from Carbon Zero Kenya head up our East Africa operations. In essence Carbon Zero Kenya is our delivery vehicle for project implementation in the reigon.

Carbon Zero Kenya over see the roll out of the projects which are delivered in communities by partner NGOs or our staff depending on project location. Carbon Zero Kenya work under direction and technical guidance from CO2balance UK Ltd.

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Why do you use partner NGOs?

NGOs typically work in very specific locations and are often integrated into communities. With 42 local tribes in Kenya alone, it is too difficult to ensure our staffs are of the same culture for every project area in every community. NGOs recruit and exist within communities. CO2balance partner with NGOs to deliver the projects into the communities to ensure all local cultures and traditions are respected. CO2balance staff work alongside the NGO in the communities to ensure quality control and communications are in line with our requirements.

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How do the NGOs know how to deliver your projects?

When a project area is identified, NGOs in the area are contacted and sent a project brief, asking if they have the capacity and desire to be involved in project delivery. We then work to identify the most suitable NGO, agree a budget and provide onsite training as to the processes involved in rolling out the project technology.

The benefits of this approach work well for both CO2balance and the NGO. Overheads of staff are kept to a minimum at CO2balance and projects are delivered by local people therefore ensuring a higher level of acceptance and integration. This also ensures a high proportion of project spending is retained within the host community.

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How do you ensure a project is viable in a community?

Initial identification of a suitable area begins with our research into critical local factors, such as levels of deforestation and poverty. Prior to establishing a project in a community we approach the local community leaders and ask for a Letter of Approval to work within their community. This will involve a community stakeholder meeting where we will explain to the community about the project and the stoves. Following the meeting we will undertake a feasibility study which involves collecting data for example about cooking habits and wood use for a cross section of households. Depending on the results from the feasibility survey we will determine whether we proceed into an area and deliver a project.

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How can we be sure you will deliver the project to an accredited standard?

Every project delivered by CO2balance is externally audited by an independent DOE, (Designated Operational Entity), approved by The Gold Standard or the United Nations directly. A project is audited by a DOE which involves a site visit to the project, a review of project documentation and a review of all usage and monitoring surveys, prior to any credits being issued. CO2balance have worked with a number of DOEs on existing projects and to date have proved to have viable and sustainable projects.

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What is carbon offsetting?

It is now very clear that human activities are causing the global climate to warm with potentially dangerous consequences. It is important on all of us to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. However, it is equally clear that it is not going to be possible for us to be able to eliminate entirely our carbon footprint. Carbon offsetting exists as a means to enable us to do something about our residual carbon footprints rather than just ignoring them.

It works by helping businesses to assess the size of their residual carbon footprints and then invest in projects that save the equivalent amount of carbon emissions. Through this process, they balance out their unavoidable emissions and become CarbonZero.

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What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc. The carbon footprint is a measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce and has units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent (called CO2e).

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How do you calculate CO2 emissions?

CO2balance undertake a full Greenhouse Gas Audit in accordance with the internationally-recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the ISO 14064 standard. Audits can very depending on what is being audited, but a standard company carbon footprint usually covers utility usage (electricity, gas consumption and so on), together with business travel. A carbon footprint report to these standard can be used in corporate reporting, in the knowledge that the methodologies employed are accepted across the world.

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What if I can't access any data (for example, in serviced offices)

The first time data gathering data for an audit can seem daunting; however, CO2balance have years of experience to assist you to make the process as simple as possible. For any data gaps industry averages can be used, with advice on how to capture the data for the following audit.

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How can I promote my company's carbon offsetting?

Fully maximising the carbon offset work that you do to your clients and customers can help businesses achieve a return of their investment. To assist in this we provide you with a Certificate of Offset to confirm that the carbon has been offset. When you offset your carbon footprint you can benefit from marketing your organisation as "CarbonZero" and use the registered CarbonZero trade mark. This logo can be placed on your website, letterheads, and brochures and so on. Project information, case studies and images are also available to aid your marketing and promotional work, along with project videos for selected projects which can be made available for downloading.

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As well as carbon offsetting, how else can we protect our environment?

The first step in carbon management is to calculate your carbon footprint, and CO2balance can arrange to carry out a Greenhouse Gas Audit to assess the carbon amount of carbon dioxide the company annually emits. The second step is to reduce carbon reduction where possible and where practicable. Engaging with your staff is an effective way to carry this out, and CO2balance run on-line staff engagement programme to interact with staff and generate a shift in behavioural attitude towards a low carbon culture. The third step is to offset your residual carbon footprint.

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