The world of carbon offsets, carbon credits, and environmental audits can be confusing to navigate, but understanding what each of these terms means is critical to understanding how companies and individuals can help neutralize their carbon footprint.
Understanding these new environmental concepts and lingo can be overwhelming for most, so Marissa Huggins, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at North Forge, sat down with Alex Stuart, President of Carbon Block™ Inc. (Carbon Block), to explore how their innovative technology is automating environmental audits and incentivizing organizations to create carbon offsets by reducing the cost of environmental audits:
M.H: Helping us understand these new environmental concepts will help us understand how your company stands out. Can you tell us what a carbon credit is?
A.S: The goal of carbon credits is ultimately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. A carbon credit is created when pollution that would have gone into the atmosphere is prevented from occurring. One carbon credit, formally referred to as a carbon offset, is usually equivalent to preventing one tonne of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent, from being emitted.
Carbon credits can be created from a wide variety of projects including, but not limited to, renewable energy, energy efficiencies, electric vehicles, or switching to less polluting fuels. Governments, utilities, and companies can all participate in creating carbon credits.
M.H: What does a carbon offset do for the environment?
A.S: Carbon offsets allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world to help reduce their carbon footprints. Essentially, carbon offsets are projects that help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and creating them is expensive and taxing for companies.
M.H: Now that we understand the connection between a carbon credit and offset, how does a company create a carbon offset?
A.S: When a company wants to create a carbon offset, they have to go through an extensive process to confirm that they are in fact lowering carbon emissions; an audit needs to be done to confirm that the offset is valid. Although the emission reduction project may clearly show how it results in lower emissions, these expensive verification audits can certainly be a barrier for certain companies to create carbon offsets.
M.H: What innovation does Carbon Block bring to the carbon offset creation table?
A.S: Essentially, we drastically reduce the cost and complexity of environmental audits. We’ve created a win-win-win solution for regulators, buyers, and sellers of carbon offsets by using an innovative and efficient tech process to produce high quality and ISO compliant environmental audits.
M.H: With your tech based business idea in hand, how has North Forge helped you grow?
A.S: Finding funding as a new startup can be very difficult. Without North Forge’s help, we would never have received the SDTC funding, which has been vital in helping us take our product to the commercialization stage. Being in the Founders Program helped us gain access to a network that we would have never otherwise had the opportunity to work with. Keeping the vision of the company at the front and center of business operations is vital, and having mentors and entrepreneurs-in-residence there every step of the way has helped us make sure that we are staying on track.
Focusing on decarbonization is going to be necessary to see a future of sustained economic growth. By using innovative technologies to help companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Carbon Block is helping create a more sustainable future. With access to North Forge’s rockstar mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and angel network, Carbon Block is well on its way to boosting economic growth in Manitoba while lowering carbon footprints.