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Webinar Recap: Greenwashing, or Profitable Corporate Social Responsibility? Making Strategic Sense of Carbon Credits

Lux Research
April 21, 2022

The recent Lux Research webinar "Greenwashing, or Profitable Corporate Social Responsibility? Making Strategic Sense of Carbon Credits" looked at the different kinds of carbon credits, how they are manufactured and traded, and most importantly how you can decide whether and how to use carbon credits as part of your net-zero corporate roadmap. Lux Research Senior Vice President and Group Director Arij van Berkel, Ph.D. covered the following topics:

  • An outlook on where the world stands today as we attempt to limit global warming to 1.5 °C and how carbon credits can help companies accelerate their route to net zero.​
  • An explanation of how carbon credits are a digital attribute to business projects as well as complicated additions to business products and not without risk.
  • A warning that although carbon credits can be a win-win, they can also be perceived as greenwashing.

The world's fossil carbon budget is running out. To limit global warming to 1.5 °C, not more than 2,895 Gtonne of CO2 can be released from fossil sources between now and the end of the century. ​Today, we are less than 420 Gtonne away from that limit.

The world requires a system change to achieve decarbonization. Such a change is inevitable, and companies must work on it in the triple helix of industry, government, and academia. However, we cannot wait for this system change any longer. Bridging solutions, like carbon credits, are needed.

  • Carbon credit: A (digital) certificate showing your company has paid to remove  1 tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere or reduce 1 tonne of CO2 emissions.
  • Carbon emission: A (digital) certificate showing your company emitted 1 tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere as verified independently.
  • Offset: A carbon credit is used to compensate an emission. This creates the carbon offset. The credit and the emission are both canceled.


Industry gains time and prepares the market for a zero-carbon future while the world develops much-needed carbon sinks. ​However, it's a tightrope. Carbon credits can be perceived as greenwashing.

Carbon credits can achieve the following:

  • Emissions reduction
    • Create carbon credits by reducing unregulated emissions.​
  • Dynamic storage
    • Change a system (usually natural) so that it starts to store more carbon than it releases.​
  • Permanent sinks
    • Create a system that stores carbon "permanently"  in the ground or in minerals

Join van Berkel as he shows how by using carbon credits, companies can reduce their carbon footprint through investments elsewhere, outside their assets or even their value chain. Register today to watch the on-demand webinar "Greenwashing, or Profitable Corporate Social Responsibility? Making Strategic Sense of Carbon Credits"!

 

Register for the On-Demand Webinar

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE WEBINAR:

  1. Industrial decarbonization requires more time than available in the 1.5 °C scenarios. These scenarios also require investments in carbon-negative solutions.
  2. Carbon credits can create a competitive advantage for all stakeholders and help fund much-needed carbon sinks and climate adaptation. ​Carbon credits help ease the market gradually into higher prices for decarbonized products.
  3. Carbon credits must be part of a full decarbonization strategy, or else they become greenwashing. You must balance liability and utility of carbon credits. That also requires a longer-term exit strategy (aka structural decarbonization).​
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