Carbon offsetting, and why it’s Important – by Stuart Illingworth, Northern Energy’s Managing Director

Carbon offsetting, and why it’s Important – by Stuart Illingworth, Northern Energy’s Managing Director

Carbon offsetting is the process of investing in environmental projects around the world to balance out or exceed the carbon emissions of a business or an individual. The projects funded tend to focus on future carbon emissions and are based in developing countries. They can include funding tree planting schemes in areas of deforestation to soak up carbon particles, or supporting projects to generate alternative sources of energy, to reduce the amount of carbon emissions created elsewhere. But there are many other programmes to choose from and support. Carbon offsetting is one way to fight climate change and forms part of a wider sustainability strategy. It’s estimated that 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from households, so it’s important that the companies which provide resources for our homes, like Northern Energy, lead the way in helping everyone play their part in protecting the planet.

How does it work?

By using a carbon emissions calculator, you can see exactly how many tonnes of carbon dioxide have been emitted to fuel a certain activity, like a car journey or lighting your home for a week. Carbon offsetting organisations can translate this calculation into a value and then support the business or individual by donating that same amount to a carbon reduction project to counteract the action on the business’ behalf.

What is Northern Energy pledging?

We’ve partnered with Carbon Footprint, an accredited carbon off-setting business to offer our heating oil and LPG Gas customers living in off-grid homes the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions from the heating oil and LPG they buy. The business’ own carbon consumption from activities at head office and fuelling our vehicles is also being offset.

What’s Northern Energy’s long term plan?

There are some big changes that need to be made as we step towards meeting the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which outlines targets on cutting greenhouse emissions whilst ensuring an affordable energy supply. Gas is a less carbon intensive fuel than oil, so our growth strategy will focus on the LPG Gas side of the business and starting the transition to Bio LPG, a renewable energy source. This will potentially include producing the product ourselves and relocating the business to a new site with a purpose built storage depot. In the meantime, carbon offsetting is just one way we’re looking to fight climate change and support our customers in doing the same.