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Purchase Carbon Credits

Carbon Credits are a way of investing in projects that save or remove carbon outside of your own value chain. When you purchase from us, we only use certified carbon credits to ensure they meet the key principles of high quality carbon credits.

Our carbon credit portfolio

We have carefully put together a portfolio of carbon credits that are all independently certified by either the Gold Standard or the Woodland Carbon Code, so you can be confident that the carbon savings are real and conform to the highest quality standards. Our projects also have additional social and environmental benefits beyond carbon savings.

Once you have purchased your credits, we will retire them in a public registry to prevent double counting and to put your offset on the public record.

In this way, we ensure that you meet the best practice principles of; verifiability; additionality; permanence; and avoidance of negative consequences.

Example Gold Standard project

Improved cookstoves for East Africa

Improved cookstoves for East Africa

Exposure to indoor cooking smoke is the world’s leading killer of children under five and is reported to be responsible for around four million deaths per year. In addition, Malawi alone loses 2,000km2 of forest a year due to 93% of the country’s energy demand coming from wood fuel. 91% of rural households use traditional three-stone stoves that use a lot of wood, produce prodigious smoke and cook food relatively slowly.

The domestic cook-stove model is called the Chitetezo Mbaula in Malawi and Canarumwe in Rwanda. This stove can be used as a portable stove or can be fixed and has a laboratory test efficiency of 30.6%, more than three times the efficiency of the baseline three-stone stoves, which results in reduced fuel consumption, improved heat transfer, raising the cooking pot to the hottest point above the flame and improved heat retention. The ceramic stove is produced locally, using locally-available materials, creating employment in a sustainable industry. The project has reached more than 3.5 million Malawians since 2006 and provides income to about 3000 people, mostly women.

The Chitetezo Mbaula stove

Benefits of the project

    Safer childhoods:

    • The vast majority of hospitalised burn victims in Malawi are under the age of six years old. Hot liquid scalds and open flame burns are the most common type of injury. The project’s improved cookstoves are safer than traditional cooking methods because the stove’s structure shields the fire to contain heat and so protects against burns.


    • 61% of Malawians live on less than US$1.25 per day. The vast majority are subsistence farmers dependent on increasingly erratic rains.
    • Hestian cookstoves are made using local materials, fostering local ingenuity and self-reliance. Implementation is sub-contracted to locally owned businesses and social enterprises resulting in skills diversification and job creation.
    • 25 jobs are created for every 1,000 households reached by the project. More than 2,000 jobs have been created to date.
    • 67% of total employed by the project are women, many of whom never before had a source of income.

    Reduced household labour and improved livelihoods:

    • Hestian’s verified reports show that 20,000 households using the Chitetezo Mbaula can generate approximately US$400,000 in labour savings in terms of cooking time and fuel collection.

    Stable Farming Environments:

    • Project stoves save up to 80% firewood compared to an open fire.
    • Households can save on average 1 tonne of wood per year.
    • With less firewood demand, there is also less pressure on the local natural environment which can result in reduced soil erosion, less sedimentation of rivers and avoided damage to hydro-electric power generators.
    • Biodiversity and forest resources are enhanced and local farming benefits greatly.

    Gold Standard Certified Project

    Gold Standard Certified Project


    This project supports Sustainable Development Goals...

    The Woodland Carbon Code

    Neutralising your residual emissions for Net Zero requires physical removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Our recommended approach is through the planting of trees, which absorb CO2 as they grow, via the Woodland Carbon Code.

    This provides independent evidence that you have invested in the planting of new trees and verification of when CO2 removal has occurred.

    CO2 absorption

    Trees absorb CO2 as they grow and take several years to reach full carbon capture capacity.

    The Woodland Carbon Code accounts for this by issuing “Pending Issuance Units” (PIUs) which then get converted into carbon credits called “Woodland Carbon Units” (WCUs) when the woodland is audited in the future.

    Once Net Zero has been achieved the need for offsetting does not stop.

    You will need to purchase PIUs every year to neutralise your expected residual emissions each year.

    Example PIU calculation

    Expected residual emissions (tCO2e) = 10 tCO2e

    Net zero target year = 2050

    Start year = 2025

    Year of purchase












    Estimated PIUs to be purchased each year*












    Carbon Credits FAQs

    Are your carbon credits suitable for Net Zero claims?

    The aim of our (and any credible) Net Zero programme is to reduce our emissions to as close to zero as possible. However, most organisations are unlikely to be able to reduce to absolute zero, so for them achieving Net Zero will involve the purchase of carbon credits to neutralise their "residual emissions" (the emissions that are left once all carbon reduction options have been exhausted).

    We follow the guidelines of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, which state that Net Zero Neutralisation must be done by removing a quantity of CO2 equivalent to a company's residual emissions and locking it away in permanent storage. 

    Technologies for carbon removal are under development so we keep this constantly under review. Currently our recommended approach is through the planting of trees, which absorb CO2 as they grow, via the Woodland Carbon Code.

    Are your carbon credits suitable for Carbon Neutral claims?

    We no longer recommend Carbon Neutrality as a desired outcome. However, if this is something you want to do, we believe our managed portfolio is the best approach. We use a combination of carbon credits and tree planting to maximise your impact.

     Gold Standard Carbon Credits

     Tree planting with 9 Trees CIC

    Each credit represents 1 tCO2e that has been reduced or avoided by someone else.

    All our carbon credits are independently certified by the Gold Standard, to deliver both carbon and social benefits, and retired in a public registry to prevent double counting.

    Our tree planting programme is managed by our partner 9 Trees CIC.

    It is carefully designed to promote native wildlife and sustainable woodlands whilst creating much needed countryside jobs.


    Why do you no longer recommend Carbon Neutrality?

    Carbon Neutrality is a goal that we have previously promoted, and when done well it can be beneficial to the global effort to combat climate change. So why do we no longer recommend pursuing Carbon Neutrality as a desired outcome? Our key reasons are as follows:

    • Since COP26 in 2021, the “gold standard” climate commitment has increasingly become to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed for most experts this is now the only commitment that has a meaningful and credible scientific basis, so all businesses should be on a journey towards achieving it.
    • There is considerable confusion between the terms "Net Zero" and "Carbon Neutral" (with many reputable organisations continuing to conflate the two terms as if they mean the same).
    • The most important distinctions between the two terms are:
      1. Net Zero requires the achievement of a deep reduction in your carbon footprint (of at least 90%) so the focus is on reducing your emissions, whereas Carbon Neutral only requires a reduction plan to be in place.
      2. Net Zero requires the inclusion of your complete carbon footprint, whereas the standards for Carbon Neutral allow you to pick and choose how much of your carbon footprint to include.
    • Carbon Neutrality is intrinsically linked with the concept of "offsetting" emissions. In our view, the offsetting concept is problematic as it can inadvertently encourage a "job done" mindset that discourages businesses from striving for every possible emissions reduction. At its most extreme this mindset can view offsetting as a "licence to pollute", excusing businesses from taking any measures to reduce emissions at all.
    • Whilst high quality Carbon Neutral schemes are available and many organisations making claims are honestly well-intentioned, in our view, the concept of Carbon Neutrality has been somewhat discredited by organisations and certification schemes exploiting the loop-holes above (by either enabling companies to continue growing their emissions or by excluding the vast majority of their emissions from their claims). As an example of this, the EU Commission is proposing to ban Carbon Neutral claims based on offsetting from 2026.
    Taking all these issues into account, we have come to the conclusion that it is not helpful to continue to promote Carbon Neutrality and have decided to focus on helping businesses to get on the Road to Net Zero

      Members of our previous programme will have a grace period during which they can continue to attain Carbon Neutral certification (Note: Our Carbon Neutral certification requires ongoing carbon reduction and includes the complete carbon footprint).

      Members of the Road to Net Zero programme are still very much encouraged to invest in carbon credits as a way to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change. However we no longer refer to these purchases as "offsetting", instead they will be recognised on your certificate as a "Contribution to wider impact" (see Certification page for details).

      We acknowledge that this is a change in our position, but we think that it is more important to reflect current best practice than to hold onto an outdated method for the sake of avoiding potential embarrassment.

      How will our Carbon Credits purchases be recognised?

      If you are a member of the Road to Net Zero programme, any carbon credits you purchase will be recognised on your certificate as a "Contribution to wider impact" or, in the case of Woodland Carbon Code PIUs, as a "Contribution to future impact" (see Certification page for details).

      Next steps

      Send us a message, book a chat or sign-up now to discuss how we can help you start your carbon journey.

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