Businesses Avoiding Carbon Offsets Due to Trust Issues

The majority of businesses will struggle to meet net-zero goals without the use of carbon credits, but a lack of trust in the tool is stalling uptake and pushing corporate net-zero plans off track.

This is one of the findings from a global survey of over 500 senior sustainability officers, commissioned by AiDash, a leading provider of vegetation management and other satellite- and AI-powered operations, maintenance, and sustainability solutions.

The ‘Carbon Offsetting in 2023’ study shows sustainability and carbon management are now mainstream concerns, with 97% of businesses including them in investment decisions, 79% of CSO’s already accountable to their boards or the public, 98% doing more than legally required to reduce emissions and 56% of businesses committed to net-zero targets on or before 2030.

However, over half of the businesses (56%) do not have operational control over the majority of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nearly half (43%) use carbon offsets for hard-to-reduce GHG emissions alongside direct measures.

As a result, many businesses cannot meet net-zero targets without the use of carbon credits.

Despite this critical need, the survey revealed a major lack of trust in carbon offsetting, with 41% of CSOs stating they do not use carbon credits as they do not adequately trust them.

This comes at a time when many carbon offsetting projects are being shown to be inconsistently measured, inadequately monitored, and frequently failing to prove they are based on additional carbon captured.

Another revelation is the inconsistency in validation methods for carbon credits. 4% do not validate credits at all, 35% only buy from government or voluntary certified schemes, 43% are exploring working with credit rating agencies, 35% undertake their own validation or third-party due diligence and 41% use a combination of these methods.

This lack of uniformity raises doubts surrounding the accuracy and comparability of corporate sustainability measurements.

With 89% of CSOs confirming they use KPI metrics to track the progress of their sustainability plans, it is essential that those metrics are watertight.

“Rather than waiting for governments to agree to regional or global frameworks, businesses are forging forward independently, making ambitious environmental commitments,” says Abhishek Vinod Singh, CEO, AiDash.

“The intent and action is there but what these businesses desperately need is an organisational tool they can trust to accurately measure, monitor, track and validate the progress of their sustainability plans on their journey to net-zero.”

The survey also revealed that CSOs are turning their eyes towards biodiversity. While only 24% currently include biodiversity impact in their sustainability strategies, 66% already have a role dedicated to biodiversity, with a substantial proportion intending to introduce one in the next two years. However, as it stands, legacy approaches to measuring biodiversity could hamper progress.

#decarbonisation #biodiversity #carbonoffsetting