How to Carbon Offset using the UN Carbon Offset Platform

Carbon Offsetting can have its place within an overall strategy to the reduce the carbon emissions from your business. Is it difficult or costly to purchase carbon credits?

In this article, I will look at carbon credits as an option to reduce (or offset) your carbon emissions and the process for completing a transaction on the United Nation’s Carbon offset platform.

What is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to compensate for the emissions they cannot avoid, by supporting worthy projects that reduce emissions somewhere else.

When to Carbon Offset?
To be clear, there are two stages before you should consider carbon offsetting.

The first stage is to quantify your carbon footprint by measuring the carbon that is emitted by your business. That in itself is an article on its own – So watch out for the article coming soon.

The second stage is to reduce your carbon footprint as much as you can through reductions strategies, such as: avoiding carbon emissions by turning off electricity or not taking a car journey or substituting for a less carbon intensity emission, such as replacing your diesel car with an electric vehicle.

After these two stages, it is highly likely that there will remain residual carbon emissions, which were unavoidable. In an ideal world, there would be no unavoidable carbon emissions but, we are not there yet.

It is at this stage that you can consider carbon offsetting. I use carbon offsetting for my business activities as part of our environmental and sustainability policy commitments as well as being a signatory of the United Nation’s Climate Neutral Now programme.

How to Carbon Offset?
You can buy carbon credits (as United Nation Certified Emission Reductions or CERs), which provides a direct financial contribution to the projects within the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that allows them to continue reducing emissions and benefit the communities around them.

So, lets look at the website and process for carbon offsetting the unavoidable carbon emission from our environmental and sustainability consultancy, onePlanet Solutions.

First, you will need to access the United Nation’s Carbon offset platform at

You will see the menu system along the top of the webpage, which allows you to chosse various options, such as How to offset?

This options reveals a clear explanation of the five stage offset process covering Calculation of the emissions, choosing the project, adding the CERs for payment, payment and a certificate sent to confirm the carbon offset.

Further explanation is given on the UN carbon footprint calculator to help individuals determine their carbon emissions, more about the payment system, an example of the certificate that you will receive at the end of the process.

At the bottom of the webpage, you can find a green button to choose a project.

Selecting the menu option: UN Certification provides information on how the certification of emission reductions as well as the environmental, social and economic co-benefits with a further green button to choose a project.

Clicking on any of the “Choose a project” buttons or the Project menu at the top of the page brings up the list of project, which can be filtered by:

Project Type
Such as agriculture, biomass energy within the listing

As the CDM projects are operated outside developed countries, the options for country are Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and Oceania

Selecting the country filter allows for a finer selection of a country within the Continents already identified, such as Brazil and Cambodia

This filter allows for the choice of the environmental, social, and economic co-benefits, such as Natural resources, welfare and Balance of payments.

This filter allows for the age of the project to be selected either between 2008 – 2012 or 2013 or later

And, finally:

Dollar symbol
This highlights the payment method of either a Bank Transfer or PayPal or credit card.

In all these options, it is possible to sort the selection by:

  1. Price of CER in ascending order
  2. Price in descending order
  3. Available tonnes in both, ascending order and descending order

So, we can select a project based on Hydro power with a co-benefit of Welfare & a payment method of “PayPal or credit card, which is my preferred method of international payment.

This selection offers six projects for review.

I have selected the San Clemente Hydroelectric Power Plant.

In addition to the text about the project, it is possible to find further information on the project in the links provided on the webpage as well as link to the Developer of the project and their background.

A social benefits link gives access to the sustainable co-benefits of the project

For my carbon offset, I enter the unavoidable emissions from the activities of my environmental and sustainability consultancy, onePlanet Solutions.

For 2018/2019, the unavoidable carbon emissions were 32 tonnes CO2e (Carbon Dioxide equivalent), which I enter in the box for the projects from 2013 onwards.

This quantity is then added to the Cart, which I can review together with the total cost of US$160.

Select the “tick Box” I agree to the publication of my attestation on this site as I want to formally record my carbon offset.

Next, I selected my reason for my offsetting. In this case, “I am offsetting greenhouse gas emissions for my company” & proceed to the checkout.

At this stage, I will login to the website, but you can login at any time during the process.

The next stage is to enter the invoice details for my preferred option of a credit card and save.

Then check the details of my transaction & confirm that I agree to the conditions of use before clicking on the “Confirm Order” button.

I then needed to enter my credit card information to complete the payment, which I will not show here as it is personal and business information, which should remain confidential.

After payment, you receive a confirmation and then can return to a nice message to thank you for taking climate action.

If you want to check your order, there is a link at the bottom of the text to allow you to go directly to your completed orders.

Finally, you will receive a certificate confirming your carbon offset:

So, the overall process for a carbon offset purchase through the UN Carbon offset platform is very simple and easy to complete & gives two mutual benefits.

  1. It allows my business to compensate for its unavoidable carbon emissions.
  2. It provides funding to the project, which provided the carbon credits, to achieve more in its sustainability activities.

I hope that this article has given you an insight into the how to use the UN Carbon Offset Platform and purchase Certified Emission Reduction units to offset your unavoidable carbon emissions.

If you are thinking of carbon offsetting or already purchase Certified Emission Reduction units as part of your carbon offset strategy. Please leave a comment in the box below.

If you enjoyed this article, you should subscribe to our YouTube Channel – EMSmastery, where you can watch our videos, such as our video accompanying this article on How to Carbon Offset using the United Nation’s Carbon Offset Platform and subscribe in our YouTube channel for new videos released each week.

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