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The Cost of Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting has proven to be favourable for businesses and individuals looking to compensate for their carbon-emitting activities. We have previously discussed the Gold Standard for offsets and the variety of projects available on the voluntary market. But one other factor to consider is the price involved when offsetting.


When determining the offset cost, we must convert a trip’s raw data into a usable unit of measurement. For offsetting, this measurement is metric tons of CO2e. At Freightzy, we can calculate the CO2e of our loads for each company using the miles, weight and transportation type used. However, there are many ways to determine the carbon emissions of a trip. Offset providers tend to include the option to convert your data for you, making it incredibly easy and convenient. Once we have the metric tons of CO2e calculated, the next step involves choosing which offset project to support.


Each project will have a different price tag, affected by factors including the carbon standard it meets, the type of project, the location, the year of release, and the expected carbon capture. As the quality, traceability and measurability increase, the price does as well. Many projects are located in low-income areas worldwide, as these are the areas disproportionately harmed by climate change. With this global nature, some offset pricing accounts for the exchange rate between USD and the host country’s currency. Most offsets range from $3-$6, depending on the factors listed previously. This range refers to the price per metric ton of carbon needed to be offset. So, the price is variable to the level of carbon emitted during each trip.


Let’s provide a quick calculation example:

An LTL trip of 6,110 lbs travels 2,335 miles. Using our calculations, this trip would emit 5.06 metric tons of carbon. As mentioned, every offset project is priced differently. Let’s say we are supporting a project at $12/tonne dedicated to providing clean water in Cambodia; then, there will be a total cost of 60.72 USD to offset emissions from the trip.


At Freightzy, we currently offer Gold Standard credits. The Gold Standard is universally considered one of the highest certifications for an offset program to reach. Click here to learn why.

The company provides some of the most expensive offerings on the offset market. The increased price allows for the project volunteers to receive total compensation for their offsetting activities. The Gold Standard company also provides additional funds to the developers to encourage growth in their operations. The other charges also relate to the traceability and measurability mentioned earlier. A portion of each offset cost (15%) goes to Gold Standard itself for software and tracing along with other daily operations. Part of what makes the Gold Standard so well-liked is the transparency and traceability of each project, which it must maintain with reliable technology. When purchasing Gold Standard offsets, you pay for the ease and trust associated with funding the project.