What is a Carbon Footprint and why do I need it?

With a carbon footprint you gain insight into the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of your organization. The GHG emissions are calculated based on your activities and energy consumption and are converted into CO2 equivalents. The analysis gives you insight in the amount and origin of your emissions and forms the basis for a CO2 action plan. In most countries there is no obligation to perform a carbon footprint, offset your emissions or pay a carbon tax, but many companies have taken the step within the context of corporate social responsibility. Mantis has experience with several internationally recognized standards and methods, including GHG protocol and ISO 14064-1. Read more?

What is the difference between LCA and LCC?

Life cycle costing (LCC) is sometimes confused with life cycle assessment (LCA). Although there are similarities, in essence they are very different.

LCC calculates the cost of a product throughout its life cycle, sometimes assigning a monetary value to certain environmental externalities (CO2 emissions are the most obvious example). It is usually used in the context of a sustainable procurement policy.

LCA usually assesses multiple environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions, over the life cycle.

How to buy Carbon Credits?

You can purchase carbon credits from certified projects through a number of different certifying bodies such as Verra and Gold Standard. The purchase of these credits allows companies to offset their emissions with certified carbon credits in a simple, transparent way. Retirements are made in a public registry in real-time for full traceability, and certificates to document the purchase of carbon credits are generated automatically. In turn the proceeds (or at least part of them) benefit project developers directly, enabling them to maintain and expand their project activity and deliver more climate and sustainable development impact. 

Secondly, you can also buy them directly from the project developers. In most cases this will take more (administrative) effort from the buyer compared to using an intermediary party such as Gold Standard.

Futhermore, you can use a carbon consultant or retailer. International carbon consultants and retailers provide advice and can assist you to quantify your carbon footprint and select the right offsets to meet your specific needs. If you haven't done this already don't hesitate to contact us.

How to achieve Carbon Neutrality?

Before considering to become carbon neutral, maybe you want to first consider what exactly it is that you want to achieve by this. Carbon neutrality is a broad concept and can be achieved in several ways. You will at least have to perform a carbon footprint and determine the further steps from there. Avoid unrealistic targets and find the right approach for your company through a free of charge intake.

Carbon markets: voluntary vs. compliance? What's the difference?

Carbon markets can be either voluntary or mandatory. The main difference between the two is that the voluntary market is unregulated.  Recognised international standards, such as Verra, Gold Standard or Plan Vivo exist to monitor and verify the quality and validity of the carbon credits that are traded in the voluntary market.

Compliance schemes (such as the EU-ETS) are currently aimed at the most “energy intensive” emitters (at a company level). These include power generators, oil refineries, iron and steel production and processing companies, those who produce commodities such as cement, glass and ceramics and the paper and pulp industry.

The voluntary market serves the purpose of businesses, government departments, NGOs and individuals wanting to be accountable for their carbon footprint and help drive the transition to a low-carbon future.

Also read 'how to buy carbon credits'.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): What do I need to know?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the goals that the world has set itself towards 2030 to achieve sustainable development. The 17 main objectives and many sub-objectives are the most important guidelines in implementing the main international sustainability framework for the coming decade. The SDGs form a frame of reference for determining the subjects where organizations can best realize added value for society. For Mantis Consulting, the SDGs are the foundation of our sustainability approach.

What is a life cycle assessment or LCA?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method for determining the total environmental impact of a product or service throughout its entire life cycle. I.e. from the extraction of raw materials, to production and transport, over use, and including waste processing. A life cycle analysis is based on the international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. Read more.