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Deep dive on our myclimate partnership

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FAQ about myclimate

Are you curious about our partner myclimate? Here you'll find the answers to the most common questions. If you don't find what you're looking for, check out myclimates own website and explore more of their work.

What is offsetting actually? 

Basically, offsetting means that emissions produced at one place are reduced at another. For emissions that cannot be avoided or have not yet been reduced, customers take on responsibility, calculate their emissions and pay a price for the emissions, all on a voluntary basis. 

Myclimate offers the ability to make offsetting payments in high-quality carbon offset projects. At the same time, local communities benefit from the projects and new technologies. 

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What difference does offsetting with myclimate/KILROY actual make? 

KILROY customers support projects in Madagascar and Myanmar that reduce effective carbon emissions, counter deforestation and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The myclimate carbon offset projects reduce emissions either by replacing non- renewable energy sources with renewable energy promoting energy-efficient technologies storing carbon through ecosystem restoration.  

High-​quality carbon offset projects also contribute to social, ecological and economic development in their respective regions and therefore contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.

In order to reduce CO₂ and counter the rapid deforestation in Madagascar, the project "Back to the Green Island with Efficient and Solar Stoves" supports the manufacturing and distribution of efficient and climate-friendly solar cookers. It helps the education of students about environmental protection and climate-friendly cooking, as well as support the reforestation with one seedling per cookstove sold. 

The project "Mangrove Restoration and Women Empowerment" engages the local population of a coastal region in Myanmar to restore degraded mangrove ecosystems. The aim is to create healthy mangrove forests that take up carbon, protect the population from natural disasters and conserve biodiversity by representing a key habitat for endangered species. At the same time, the project aims at diversifying the livelihoods of local communities and increasing their well-​being.

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What can and can't it solve?

Carbon offsetting is a bridging technology that "provides us time" before we manage to fully decarbonize our economy and society. 

Carbon offsetting is a proven, measurable and impactful tool. Of course, it’s not the silver bullet in the fight against climate change, but in combination with the effective avoidance and reduction measures for CO₂ emissions, it makes good sense.  

Science clearly states that we only have a limited budget of CO₂ emissions left to emit into the atmosphere if we want to meet the global 1.5°C target set by the Paris Climate Agreement. It doesn’t matter where those emissions come from, the overall balance matters. Therefore, offsetting is nothing more or less than a simple "polluters pay" principle, meaning that the carbon offsetting contribution neutralizes the emissions.

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Who is KILROY working with for carbon offsetting? 

KILROY is working with myclimate, a Swiss-based NGO and frontrunner in carbon accounting and the development of carbon offset projects. 

Myclimate is a partner for effective climate protection, globally and locally. Together with industry partners and private individuals, myclimate wants to shape the future of the world through advisory services and educational programs, as well as its own projects. It does so in a market-oriented and customer-focused way as a non-profit organization. 

This international initiative with Swiss roots is one of the world’s quality leaders in voluntary CO₂-offsetting measures. Its customers include large, medium-sized and small companies, public administrations, non-profit organizations, event organizers and private individuals. Via its partner organizations, myclimate is represented in countries like Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway and serves clients worldwide. 

Only projects that meet the highest globally recognized standards can successfully help protect the climate. Myclimate draws on the strictest, most independent quality standards when selecting and structuring its own carbon offset projects.

The foundation works closely with experienced partners in the respective countries to implement carbon offset projects. These local partners ensure that projects are realized professionally, and they also regularly review the projects’ impact.

Carbon offset projects are closely monitored and undergo an annual review by independent third-party auditors and the respective standard body prior to issuing carbon credits.

The Madagascar project
The Madagascar project is certified under the Gold Standard and includes a comprehensive set of annual field surveys and tests with representative samples of the project population to collect and update data for emissions reductions calculations over the course of the project.

The Madagascar project is monitored by ADES (Association pour le Développement de l'Energie Solaire) on an annual basis. Monitoring data is analyzed by myclimate’s project manager Tobias Hoeck and it is submitted in the form of a monitoring report to an external auditor for verification.

The Madagascar project was last visited by the external auditor (Bureau Veritas (India) Private Ltd.) from 19 to 25 May 2019. The monitoring report for the year 2018 is in the final verification review and thereafter it will be submitted to the Gold Standard for performance review. 

The Myanmar project
The Myanmar project is certified under the VCS Standard, yearly monitoring reports are also required. The monitoring report follows an internationally accepted monitoring methodology based on permanent sample plots where carbon stock changes in above- and below-ground biomass on each plot are field measured using the diameter as a parameter. Soil organic carbon is also calculated.

The Myanmar project was last monitored by the VCS standard (conducted by the Worldview International Foundation) on 26 September 2019 and verified by TÜV SÜD South Asia Pvt. Ltd. on 10 October 2019.

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How does myclimate differ from other offsetting organizations? 

Myclimate is one of the forerunners in voluntary carbon offsetting and a trusted partner for corporate clients as well as for institutions like the UN Gold Standard, German Environment Agency (UBA) and Swiss Federal Office for the environment. 

The foundation has a track record of more than 17 years of experience and with a portfolio of more than 100 projects worldwide in over 30 countries and is not allowed to make a profit. The goal is simply to enable as much climate protection on a global and on a local level as possible. 

Although the foundation’s roots are in carbon offsetting, it also offers programs and products which aim to fully avoid CO₂ emissions or to reduce the existing CO₂ footprints. myclimate values carbon offsetting as a bridging technology and as a proven tool for climate protection. 

All of the achievements in the foundation's projects, the annual financial figures, and its cash flow are transparently published on www.myclimate.org and are constantly reviewed by several independent organizations like KPMG, SGS and the "Eidgenössische Stiftungsaufsicht" (Swiss foundations controlling authority).

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Why is this carbon offsetting model more expensive than quite a few other offsetting solutions available?

The myclimate/Kilroy carbon offsetting model has focus put on the support of two high-quality, community-based projects that not only save CO₂ emissions but also reach out to thousands of beneficiaries and contributing effectively to the SDG (Sustainable Development goals).

The price of a carbon offset model depends on the size of the project, the technology used and the country where the project is running. Hence, so-called community-based projects fulfilling the requirements have a higher price than large-scale projects with less monitoring and fewer co-benefits. 

Myclimate focuses on high-quality carbon offset projects with a measurable and impactful contribution to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rather than investing in large-scale, industrial projects like wind farms, the foundation supports community-based projects which bring sustainable technologies to families and communities in remote areas. These projects measurably save CO₂ emissions, while also creating job opportunities, reducing man-animal conflicts, saving natural habitats or enabling education for children. 

The offsetting mechanism enables myclimate to finance the additional costs that (inevitably) arise from the use of renewable sources of energy in place of fossil fuels. It would be impossible to effectively realize projects without covering these additional costs.

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Why does myclimate have offsetting models that are cheaper (eg. Lufthansa) than the myclimate/KILROY offsetting model?

The myclimate/Kilroy model calculates the full impact on the climate of the travel activity whereas other models focus on CO₂ emissions only. 

Some myclimate partners like Lufthansa have decided to calculate the directly CO₂-related emissions as long as there is no 100% clarity on the scale of additional effects contributing to global warming. Accordingly, these airlines offer their customers a "CO₂ neutral" flight via offsetting, but not a "climate-neutral by myclimate" one. This calculation results in a lower emission result and therefore a cheaper offsetting contribution. 

Statistics have shown that the vast majority of people choose to offset the full climate impact of their flights and hence do it directly with myclimate or with partners such as ourselves, who do in fact offer a “climate-neutral” services via myclimate, and not just CO₂ neutral.  

Myclimate believes that for each activity or product, one has to calculate the full impact on our climate. In terms of flying, the CO₂ emissions from the production, the transport and finally the combustion of kerosene contribute on a large scale to the impact on the climate. But also, nitrogen compounds and aerosols must be included and mathematically converted into CO₂ equivalents, if people want to fully balance out their individual impact on climate.

However, despite there being a scientific consensus about this extra contribution, there isn’t a consensus on its scale until today. For the calculation of flight CO₂ emissions, myclimate values the non-CO2 greenhouse gases with a factor of "2", scientifically-backed by recent studies (Jungbluth& Meili) and recommendations for calculation of the global warming potential of aviation including the radiative forcing index, ESU-services, Schaffhausen, November 2018).

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How does myclimate calculate the compensation? 

Myclimate calculates the full impact on the climate of the travel activity for the compensation. 

The myclimate flight calculator determines the quantity of CO2 emissions that an airplane emits per passenger for a given flight distance. Nitrogen compounds and aerosols are also included and converted into CO2 equivalents.

The calculation is based on average consumption data for typical short-haul and long-haul airplanes. The calculation also takes into account whether you are flying economy, business or first class. 

The detailed calculation principle can be found here

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What do the funds go to? 

The contributions go to a dedicated myclimate/Kilroy fund where spends are ear-marked to the two chosen projects. Below you can read detailed technical descriptions of how they are put in action.

Myclimate guarantees its customers that emissions reductions achieved (= climate donations) through energy projects will be realized at the latest within two years in climate protection projects and will be retired after a maximum of three years. Carbon storage in forests occurs within 10 to 30 years, depending on the project region and tree species. There are comprehensive, special mechanisms in place to monitor the reductions achieved in forestry. 

CO₂ offsetting only has an impact when offsetting payments are actually directed straight to carbon offset projects. Myclimate supports carbon offset projects on a service-specific basis. Only emission reductions that have actually been realized and can be proven over a longer contract term of 7 to 14 years are accounted for in energy projects.

Offsetting payments are normally paid out to the supported projects once reductions are realized. The actual contribution amount depends on the volume of climate-​impacting emissions saved. Forestry projects are slightly different in that their timelines naturally stretch over a longer span of 30 to 50 years. 

The mangrove project, (which is one of 2 dedicated projects in the KILROY/myclimate partnership) in Myanmar stretches over 20 years, sequestering huge amounts of carbon. Studies indicate that mangroves can sequester four to six times more carbon than rainforests can. But how do mangroves store so much more carbon? The secret, say the researchers, is in the soil. Mangroves grow in deep soils that are on average five times larger than other forests soils in the tropics, as well as in temperate and boreal regions.

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How much of the funds are used for administration costs? 

Less than 20%. 

As a non-profit foundation, myclimate guarantees that at least 80 percent of offsetting payments will be used directly in carbon offset projects. The foundation requires the remaining amount (maximum 20 percent) to cover administration and internal costs. The average percentage of myclimate’s organizational overhead over the last 17 years is 18%.

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How does myclimate secure that "credits" are not resold?

Myclimate and the standards the foundation works have set different measures in place that guarantee that a carbon credit (a certified CO₂ reduction) is only counted and sold once. 

At both the standards and at myclimate levels, there are measures in place to ensure that a carbon credit is only counted and sold once. 

The Gold Standard f.e. ensures through its requirements that emission reductions achieved e.g. by the efficient cookstove project in Madagascar is recorded only by one project. This is achieved by clear labeling and numbering of the project stoves and by a comprehensive sales database. Avoidance of double-counting of project stoves is thoroughly checked during verification by a third-party auditor and during performance review by the Gold Standard.

Further, the Gold Standard issues for every emission reduction one carbon credit labeled by a unique serial number and listed in the Gold Standard registry. When a carbon credit has been used for offsetting, it will be retired in the Gold Standard Registry. This action cannot be undone. Thus, the Gold Standard guarantees that a carbon credit is only issued and retired once. 

Myclimate has developed its own registry to manage the large portfolio of carbon offset projects and the sale of offsetting services to clients. This registry is verified by a third-party auditor (SGS) on an annual basis to guarantee that the number of carbon credits sold to clients and the number of carbon credits reserved or retired is consistent. Myclimate manages the carbon credits on behalf of its clients and retires the carbon credits in both the myclimate and the Gold Standard/VCS registries. This ensures that issued carbon credits are only sold once. 

For each individual KILROY customer choosing to offset, the amount of CO₂ and CO₂ certificates will be officially decommissioned out of these both registry platforms. Hence, it is not possible to sell one offset ton twice or more.

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Why are the two chosen projects in Myanmar and Madagascar recommended? 

Both projects have a high impact and tackle huge environmental and social problems. 

The two projects meet different UN SDGs (Sustainable development goals), but is it possible to define what goals are met? It is. Myclimate calculates and monitors the SDGs impact of each of our projects on an annual level. We will also calculate how much the offsetting of KILROY’s clients will specifically contribute to the selected SDGs. 

The Madagascar project
The dissemination of efficient and solar cookstoves is an effective means to combat the quickly advancing deforestation in Madagascar and to reduce CO₂ emissions from the use of non-​renewable biomass. The island has lost between 40-50% of its natural forest resource since 1950.

The climate-friendly cookstoves save up to 50% of charcoal or firewood consumption, resulting in valuable monetary savings for the household’s budget or time savings through a less frequent gathering of firewood. Especially women and children benefit from the zero-emissions solar cookers or cleaner combustion of efficient cookers due to less exposure to smoke during cooking. Additionally, the local project partner ADES finances one tree for reforestation each time a cookstove gets sold [KL2].

The Madagascar project has so far contributed to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 1: Over 1,2 million people benefit, amongst other things, from lower fuel expenses (24 EUR saved per household per year).         
  • SDG 3: Mainly women and children benefit from better air quality. 
  • SDG 4: During 712 school visits almost 80,000 pupils and around 3,500 teachers have been sensitized for climate protection and clean cooking. 
  • SDG 5: Especially women and girls have to spend less time collecting firewood and maintaining the cooking fire. 
  • SDG 7: 212.220 solar and efficient cookstoves have been produced and sold.                          
  • SDG 8: 138 permanent employees and various work experience offers. Another 143 jobs with local suppliers and around 100 independent stoves retailers. 
  • SDG 12: 9 different stove models are being locally produced with local material in 8 centers.                        
  • SDG 13: Each stove saves around 1.7 t CO₂ per year and 2.3 t wood or 0.7 t charcoal.                         
  • SDG 15: 1.7 million t wood saved so far, equaling 8,810 ha of forest area saved. 

The Myanmar project
Healthy mangrove ecosystems play a key role in protecting the coastal communities from extreme weather events like cyclones, increase seafood resources and help mitigate carbon emissions. Without any intervention, mangroves are projected to disappear completely which will further increase the vulnerability of Myanmar's population to natural disasters and will have negative impacts on the local economy. Hence, the project not only sequesters carbon. It conserves biodiversity and establishes the first mangrove gene bank in Myanmar with 64 species. Like this, species such as the endangered dugong and sea turtles are protected and the habitat of wild elephants is restored.

Moreover, it decreases the natural disaster risk by protecting local communities for instance from cyclones and tsunamis.

Finally, poverty will be reduced through the creation of income-generating activities. Among others, small scale fishermen benefit from increased seafood stocks that secure the traditional income source. In addition, education is improved by providing schools with solar panels, computers, and training. Local women are empowered by training in natural textile coloring and dressmaking and receive support in starting clam cultures. Furthermore, the project provides scholarships for studies up to the university level to girls from poor families.

The Myanmar mangrove reforestation project contributes to 14 SDGs:

  • SDG 1: Increased well-being for 4,600 local people with low incomes. 
  • SDG 2: Food security is supported by protecting the habitat of edible seafood. 
  • SDG 3: Retaining nutrients on land increases water quality. 
  • SDG 5: Training and jobs to over 100 planters, of which over 70 percent are women. Scholarships to girls from poor families. 
  • SDG 6: Freshwater supplies for the dry season are secured. 
  • SDG 7: Solar panels for schools and solar lamps for home study. 
  • SDG 8: Project workers are paid above-average wages. 
  • SDG 9: The construction of community floodwalls is supported. 
  • SDG 10: The project target group are vulnerable coastal communities. 
  • SDG 12: 80 fishermen and local consumers benefit from increased seafood resources.
  • SDG 13: Stabilized coast reduces the risk of natural hazards such as cyclones. 
  • SDG 14: Protection of endangered species such as sea turtles and dugongs. 
  • SDG 15: Three million trees planted (until 2018). 
  • SDG 17: Collaboration with two local universities ensures high scientific guidance.

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Where can I find more information on the chosen projects?

You find information as well as more movies and external reports about the projects published on the myclimate webpage. 

Is it possible to visit the projects?

KILROY and myclimate are working on a future set-up, where KILROY customers can visit the dedicated projects. 

But, to make it a sustainable solution that does not disturb the project but adds value, we need to build a strong solution. We are looking forward to communicating further on this when we are ready to welcome visitors.

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