Functional Carbon Offsetting in 2023

Jörg Petzold|


Functional GmbH offset 10 Tons of CO2 in 2023 via ForTomorrow. We spent quite some effort to determine our footprint and then some to find out what the best option is for offsetting our emissions. Keep reading for learning more about our rational.

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Determining our footprint

We are not a manufacturing company. So, how hard can it be to determine our own footprint? We have a couple of purchased goods (IT-Hardware, etc), travel, heating, electricity, use of cloud services. For goods we use invoices, for travel the travel expenses sheet, for heating our landlord’s heating bill, for electricity we use the electricity provider bill in combination with smart devices like Shelly Plugs, etc.

However, finding the correct conversion factors to translate traveled kilometers for a night in a hotel into a CO2 equivalent turned out much harder, since the rates in the resources like online calculators on the internet vary quite a bit. So we did not use one single calculator like but individual sources for each calculation. The details of this journey might be part of a separate blog entry. The same goes for our discussions about how to determine the hotels with the potential lowest footprint (e.g. is room utilization a factor?).

Long story short: at the end of the day, we added a 40% safety margin to be on the safe side…

Offsetting: A tree a day keeps the guilty conscience away!?

Finding the right way to do the actual offsetting sparked another lively discussion. There are countless organizations out there for planting trees, ~ 1.4 billion trees in the last 30 years, for offsettings and other reasons. And while it is a nice feeling imagining that there will be x more trees planted in the world because of us, there are arguments to be made why other options might be better suited.

So we compared different options:

Rational: why we opted ForTomorrow

  • ForTomorrow uses the mandatory European emissions trading, i.e., it is not on a voluntary basis. This means large emitters of CO2 such as coal-fired power plants are forced to participate and buy CO2 certificates. Each purchased certificate by ForTomorrow means that the basic price increases and thus climate pollution becomes less profitable.
  • The offsetting works directly where we we are emitting them: the EU. The industrial nations must take the lead, as the highest CO2 emissions are happening by them. Also, the leverage with coal-fired power plants is much higher than through individual clay ovens…
  • We are not on the VCM (Voluntary Carbon Market) where voluntariness is in the foreground and the projects are mostly located in Africa or Asia. So money may also be lost along the way. However, the pro point for such investments would be that here the tonne of CO2 costs 1/10 of what it costs, for example, at fortomorrow.
  • Yeah, and they also plant tress for that nice warm feeling inside :-)
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