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Carbon Finance 101: The Economic Rewards of Sustainability

Carbon finance is a way for businesses to turn their sustainability efforts into financial benefits. Here's how it works: when a business reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, it can create carbon certificates. These certificates can then be sold to other businesses.


There are two main ways these certificates can be used: offsetting and insetting. Offsetting involves a business compensating for its emissions by purchasing and retiring carbon certificates, effectively neutralizing a portion of its greenhouse gas emissions. These certificates are typically used to offset emissions that are not directly related to the business's own operations.

On the other hand, insetting involves a business using carbon certificates to reduce emissions within its own supply chain, also known as Scope 3 emissions. By purchasing and retiring carbon certificates that are linked to projects within their own supply chain, businesses can directly contribute to the reduction of their overall carbon footprint.

This can create a win-win situation. The business that reduces its emissions can make money from selling its certificates. The business that buys the certificates can use them to meet its sustainability goals, either through offsetting or insetting.

Carbon finance can be a powerful tool for businesses. It can provide a financial incentive to reduce emissions and become more sustainable. It can also help businesses attract investors and customers who care about the environment.