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Sustainability Glossary (Carbon)

Carbon footprint

The sum of all emissions and removals of greenhouse gases caused directly and indirectly by an organisation, either over a defined period, or in relation to a specified unit of production/service.

 

Carbon baseline

The date on which the carbon footprint for the organisation was first determined (i.e. the first carbon footprint calculation) as defined by the organisation.

 

Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)

The universal unit of measurement used to indicate the global warming potential of greenhouse gases expressed in the terms of the 100-year global warming potential of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide.

 

Carbon neutral/neutrality

Where the balance of an organisation’s CO2e emissions are equal to an organisation’s CO2e removals over a specified period. This balance is referred to as carbon neutrality or net zero carbon emissions.

 

Carbon offset

The removal of an organisation’s CO2e emissions not occurring from activities undertaken by the organisation, made available in the form of carbon credits.

 

Carbon credit

A carbon credit is a tradable certificate that provides the holder of the credit a removal equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2e) or an equivalent of another greenhouse gas.

 

Net zero

Where the balance of an organisation’s emissions is equal to an organisation’s removals over a specified period. Net zero can be calculated based on carbon (CO2e) or based on total greenhouse gases (GHG).

 

Decarbonisation

The process of directly reducing/decreasing the carbon emissions from an organisation over a specified period based on carbon dioxide (CO2e) or an equivalent of another greenhouse gas.  Decarbonisation excludes the benefits associated with any carbon offsetting.

 

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