What are carbon offsets?
Currently even for the most energy-efficient and sustainable organisations, it is impossible to completely avoid activities that cause carbon emissions. Carbon offsets (also known as carbon credits) are a globally recognised way for organisations to manage their residual carbon emissions. Many carbon offset projects deliver a range of positive environmental and/or social co-benefits.
The University works with carbon offset provider South Pole to select carbon offsets from projects that meet global standards and include significant co-benefits. These projects are audited regularly by independent third-party organisations to ensure their additionality and environmental integrity. South Pole is the world’s largest developer of climate action projects, with expertise working on carbon, water and deforestation projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The projects selected by the University are:
- Renewable wind energy from the Mytrah wind project in India, which provides a range of co-benefits to local communities including educating young girls in gender rights, health and further training in addition to primary emissions abatement outcomes.
- EcoAustralia credits, which combine a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) biodiversity registry credit (Myamyn Conservation Australia in Victoria) with an international carbon credit from the Huóshui Grouped Small Hydro project in China, which mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, prevents local air pollution and benefits local communities.
Mytrah Wind Power
This wind energy project in the Indian states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana tackles climate change by providing a renewable source of electricity to the Indian Grid. The project also benefits surrounding villages – providing employment, boosting access to education and to clean water.
Huóshui Grouped Small Hydropower
This project consists of multiple small-scale hydropower plants that generate renewable energy for rural Southwest and South Central China. By supplying clean hydroelectric power to the local grid, the project displaces greenhouse gas emissions, helping mitigate climate change and improving the lives of local people.
Myamyn Lowland Forest Conservation
Two decades ago, sections of Victoria's Annya State Forest were illegally cleared and re-planted with Tasmanian blue gum – an invasive eucalyptus species. By protecting the land against further clearing and re-vegetating it with native flora, this project enhances biodiversity and permanently protects habitat for vulnerable native species.