The report, which looks at the rapidly-growing carbon offsetting market and regulations governing the industry, compares 13 offset providers across UK, highlighting the often bewildering confusion that consumers face when chosing a carbon offsetting option. Blue Ventures Carbon Offset (BVCO) scored 5 out of 5 for the quality of project details and information provided, and 4 out of 5 for ease of use of its website.
BVCO provides offsetting solutions through the provision of fuel-efficient and solar stoves to poor rural communities in Madagascar and South Africa. In addition to the emissions reductions made, the stoves provide environmental, economic and health benefits to partner communities. Operated as an entirely non-profit venture to support conservation and community development projects in the developing world, BVCO also offers a carbon footprint consultancy service to help businesses and individuals reduce their personal carbon dioxide emissions.
The Which? report highlights the inconsistency and uncertainty of the carbon calculators used by certain UK offsetting providers, with different companies often calculating differing carbon footprints for the same scenario. For this reason BVCO uses the UK government’s carbon calculator, ensuring total transparency in all emissions calculations.
BVCO supports a review of the UK government’s stance on aircraft emissions regulations, and uses its own calculator for air travel emissions in order to include the effect of radiative forcing; an increase in the greenhouse effect of emissions produced by the burning of fuel in the upper atmosphere.
Which? emphasises that offsetting companies need to be as explicit and transparent as possible in the information they provide to consumers, to enable customers to make more informed choices. The report’s high rating for BVCO recognises the programme’s governing ethos of clarity and accountability, and will undoubtedly strengthen BVCO’s work providing offsetting solutions that help communities and the environment.
For more information see:
- Offsetting Report
- Defra Code of Best Practice for Carbon Offset Providers
- UK government carbon calculator