Posted by bessie on Wednesday, January 07, 2009.

New Year, New Offset Policy

As we kick off 2009, we’d like to introduce you to our new carbon offset policy. As with most new models, you’ll find that little has changed from our current PANTS policy. But the start of a new year, our second since launching, seemed a good time to pause, reflect, and distill our experience into an update of what constitutes a quality carbon offset.

The result of that process is RATE:


Real offsets are permanent emissions reductions that are properly quantified, audited, and retired. Brighter Planet offsets cannot be invalidated by future events, are tracked and accounted for, and are not double-sold or double-counted.


A project that is additional would not have been built were it not for the prospect of receiving proceeds from the sale of offsets. Brighter Planet will not invest in projects that would have occurred anyway, as they produce no extra reduction in emissions and therefore do not produce bona fide carbon offsets.


Complete transparency throughout the offset lifecycle is essential, given the inherent intangibility of carbon offsets and the absence of regulation in the voluntary market. Brighter Planet’s process includes a public comment period for projects under consideration, disclosure of our Project Selection Committee’s decisions, posting of project documents online, and an annual audit of sales and retirements.

Environmental and Social Value Added

Projects with environmental and social value added fight climate change while also helping solve other pressing challenges facing our communities and ecosystems. Brighter Planet invests in community-based climate solutions that also address issues like public health, biodiversity, poverty, and water quality.

RATE is what our Project Selection Committee will use to evaluate new offset projects being considered for inclusion in our portfolio. We like it, but we also want to know what you think. Please let us know by commenting below.

To see PANTS and RATE side by side, along with an explanation of our changes, click here.


–The Brighter Planet Team

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Safety in Numbers is Brighter Planet's blog about climate science, Ruby, Rails, data, transparency, and, well, us.

Who's behind this?

We're Brighter Planet, the world's leading computational sustainability platform.

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  1. Patti Prairie CEO