Carbon Offsets Not a Quick Fix For Net Zero: Jones Lang LaSalle

In a recent article Matthew Christie, Sustainability Analyst at JLL, says carbon offsetting has been attracting attention for all the wrong reasons with some companies accused of greenwashing their credentials.

According to Christie, carbon offsetting is not the problem as he believes all companies will need to use offsets to achieve net zero goals, it’s about how and when they’re being used.

Christie points out that while efforts have been made to distinguish high-quality carbon offsets and establish robust markets for them, the issues of which offsets to buy and how to incorporate them into decarbonisation plans continue to pose a challenge.

“As scrutiny of net zero plans intensifies and corporates come under pressure to turn commitments into action, many companies are, often unintentionally, getting it wrong,” he says.

He adds that industry experts believe creating a successful carbon offset strategy is now seen as a viable part of achieving net zero carbon. But the offsets should be high-quality, come from a verified offset scheme and be used as a last resource after all other means to reduce carbon emissions have been expended.

Then, when it’s time to acquire their carbon offset, Christie says companies must ensure their strategies clearly link their need to balance emissions with their business goals and priorities while adhering to high-quality carbon offset criteria.

The major challenge for companies researching their offsetting need is finding carbon credits that are relevant and good value, both in terms of cost and impact.

“Companies shouldn’t rush to buy the first products they see. Instead, they need to build a wider understanding and narrative around the offsets they are procuring rather than just consider immediacy and cost,” explains Christie.

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