Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Pure Leapfrog?
What is carbon offsetting?
In effect, carbon offsetting allows you to support environmental and social projects around the world and take responsibility for your carbon footprint by generating equivalent carbon savings elsewhere.
In practical terms, offsetting one tonne of CO2 (one carbon offset) will result in one tonne of CO2 less in the atmosphere compared to what could have been otherwise generated.
Offsetting is not a solution to climate change. To address this, we must all reduce emissions. However, well designed, managed and monitored offset projects can reduce the impact of our own emissions and help generate awareness of the need for others to do the same.
What do you charge for offsetting?
As part of covering our costs we charge a small handling fee to take account of transactional costs. Handling fee is 30p for transactions up to £10 and 50p for transactions above £10. This means that we also have a minimum offset charge of £1 to be sure these costs are covered alongside your offset purchase.
We track our transactional costs and the fees we charge and any ‘profit’ made on handling fees or minimum charges is passed to the British Airways Carbon Fund on a regular basis.
How do I access help and support
You can also email us at BACarbonZero@pureleapfrog.org
What types of carbon credit projects are there?
1. Renewable Energy – Including hydro, wind, and photovoltaic solar power, solar hot water and biomass power and heat production.
2. Energy Efficiency – these projects are fundamentally about using LESS energy (e.g. LED lighting or installing more efficient cooking stoves).
3. Forestry – Forestry projects can involve either afforestation (the establishment of a new forest or reforestation (rebuilding existing forests.) REDD+ (a UN standard) projects stand for Reducing Emissions from Reforestation and Forest Degradation.
4. Transport – These projects may involve switching transportation to less carbon intensive means or introducing new technologies to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.
5. Agriculture – By changing agricultural process techniques to methods which are more environmentally friendly, significant reductions in carbon emission can be achieved.
6. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – Projects which improve access to water, water treatment, improved sanitation and hygiene which contribute to climate change mitigation/adaptation can provide offsets.
7. Methane Capture – There are two types of methane projects. The first type captures and burns (flares) methane, convering it to less potent carbon dioxide and water. Alternatively, projects can capture methane and use it to produce hot water or electricity.
8. Waste management and handling – These include projects that reduce the emissions from waste or water management such as composting, biogas etc.
What makes for a high-quality carbon credit?
• Real – The offsets are tangible and measurable
• Additionality – The emissions reduction would not have occurred in the absence of the project.
• Permanence – The project delivers the claimed emissions reductions in a sustained manner over time.
• No Leakage – The emissions reduction achieved with the project does not lead to an increase in emissions elsewhere.
• Retired permanently – Following the sale of the carbon credit, it is permanently removed from the market mechanism, ensuring that the offsets
there is no double counting or double selling.
• Verifiability – A robust audit trail demonstrating the project’s goals and its delivery against those goals.
What is the price of a carbon credit? Why does it change?
The availability of credits will change depending on supply and demand factors as well.
As a charity we don’t profit from providing carbon offsetting as a service to British Airways customers. We have to cover some transaction costs when we buy, sell and retire credits but we minimise these as far as is practicable. Any surplus after we have covered these costs is used to support the British Airways Carbon Fund, supporting community based carbon reduction projects in the UK and Africa.
Can you offset with UK projects?
The reason for this lies in the Kyoto Protocol and the understanding that countries such as the UK that now have the Climate Change Act are mandated to reduce emissions through domestic efforts. As such voluntary carbon credits being generated are not seen as additional. In short, more developed countries can buy credits generated in developing or emerging markets. This could change in the future as the Paris Agreement commits many more countries to reduce emissions and we think in the future UK based offsets could be created.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals? (SDGs)
Why do the SDGs matter in carbon offsetting?
What is the difference between voluntary and mandatory carbon offset schemes?
Voluntary carbon offset markets enable organisations and individuals to offset their emissions by purchasing offsets that were created either through the Clean Development Mechanism (a UN led initiative born out of the Kyoto Protocol) or in the voluntary market. Voluntary credits help to serve micro projects that are too small to warrant the administrative burden or not covered under compliance schemes. Credits generated under these schemes are called Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs).
Pure Leapfrog helps organisations and individuals to reduce carbon footprints by supporting communities to develop carbon reducing projects through the voluntary market. All the projects Pure Leapfrog supports reduce carbon emissions – both via the Carbon Fund and through carbon offsetting.
Who are ICROA?
ICROA is working with leading academic institutions to understand the drivers of the voluntary market, and to research and demonstrate the additional non-carbon benefits of voluntary offsetting. For example, a recent study by Gold Standard finds that for every carbon credit issued from a clean cook stove project, £219 in economic value is created. For domestic biogas projects, the average value created is £380 per credit.
About Pure Leapfrog
What is Pure Leapfrog's role?
We work with organisations who align with our mission to tackle climate change and address poverty. Our partners support communities to develop carbon reducing projects and obtain the necessary independent verification. The reason for independent verification is so that we can be sure that the reductions have actually taken place. The projects we support must demonstrate that the funding will enable the projects to either happen or scale (“additionality”).
Upon receiving your contributions, we purchase credits in the projects specified. The credits provide funding for the project.
We maintain a ‘registry’ account that ensures the credits we purchase are ‘retired’ from the market and cannot be purchased by anyone else, as is required by the International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance’s (ICROA) Code of Best Practice.
What is Pure Leapfrog’s relationship with British Airways?
We have been offering carbon offsetting to British Airways’ customers for a number of years and the carbon calculator provides a simple way for BA customers to offset their flight emissions.
How does your relationship with British Airways for offsetting work?
We have developed our approach in consultation with British Airways to ensure the website, process used, projects selected and customer receipts meet their standards.
All offset contributions are handled directly through Pure Leapfrog. British Airways is not involved in processing transactions or aquiring credits and receives no income from the offsetting process.
Why work with British Airways?
Cost & Pricing
What are handling fees?
As part of covering our costs we charge a small administration fee to take account of transactional costs (processing your transaction through banking and accounting systems). The handling fee is 30p for transactions up to £10 and 50p for transactions above £10. We track our transactional costs and the fees we charge and any ‘profit’ made on handling fees passed to the British Airways Carbon Fund on a regular basis.
Why do you charge a minimum fee?
Why might my cost per tonne/mile vary?
– The project you select – projects vary in price
– Handling fees – see FAQ about handling fees
– Emissions factors – see FAQ ‘why is it cheaper to go internationally via somewhere in Europe than direct?’
Why is it cheaper to go internationally via somewhere in Europe than direct?
This is because the emissions factors that are applied may differ. Please note the following:
- For flights between the UK and a European destination, the UK government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) emissions factors for short haul air travel are applied to calculate emissions. Flights originating in the EU are subject to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and we have therefore applied a discount to ensure that your emissions are not double-counted. For more information about this please read the FAQ entitled “How do we calculate the EU ETS reductions applicable to your flight?”
- For long haul flights to/from the UK we apply the UK government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) emissions factors for “long haul to/from the UK”
- For long haul flights to/from other countries, we apply the UK government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) emissions factors called “long haul to/from non UK”
In relation to long haul flights to/from other countries, BEIS notes: “aviation factors were introduced [in 2015] where aviation factors are now being presented for international flights between non-UK destinations. This is a relatively high-level analysis and allows users to choose a different factor for air travel if flying between countries outside of the UK. The international factors included are an average of short and long-haul flights, which explains the difference between the UK factors and the international ones”.
The BEIS approach reflects the need for balance between accuracy and complexity in modelling emissions factors.
How much do the carbon credits cost?
Each project has a different price depending on technology, location, carbon standard etc.
Our Carbon Calculator
Why can't I do this when I book my flight?
How does the carbon calculator work?
Why do other calculators come up with different tonnes to be offset?
Do I offset for my child?
When I choose to offset with a mix of offset projects, how do you decide which projects?
What are carbon emissions factors?
How often is the data in the calculator updated?
• Changes to flight destinations
• New emissions factor data issued by government (BEIS generally releases new emissions factor data on an annual basis in July/August).
• Other changes to emissions regimes
Our Offsetting Projects
How do you select offset projects?
We work with EcoAct and Ecosphere+ in partnership with British Airways to select projects with the highest sustainability standards and strong social, as well as environmental outcomes.
We are a not-for-profit charity so we keep all our costs to a minimum when sourcing and providing offset credits.
How do you know the projects you select are high-quality?
The above certifications are also in line with the ICROA Code of Best Practice list of quality credible standards.
How often do you purchase credits?
Do you develop offset projects?
At this time, we do not develop offset projects. Instead, we select high-quality existing projects. Our partner, EcoAct and Ecosphere+, is a carbon offset project developer and also works with other project developers.
Who are EcoAct? What are their qualifications for offsetting?
EcoAct is a co-founder of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (see below)
In accordance with ICROA’s Code of Best Practice, all EcoAct’s carbon offsets are certified by credible third parties and certification standards and are retired within 12 months of purchase. They correspond to real, measurable, permanent, additional, independently verified and unique emissions reductions. EcoAct carry out extra screening (above and beyond certification standards) on the carbon offset projects offered to ensure that the projects customers support are robust and really deliver CO2 savings.
What monitoring and reporting do you do on projects?
When I choose to offset with a mix of offset projects, how do you decide which projects?
Who are Ecosphere+? What are their qualifications for offsetting?
Ecosphere+ is a mission-driven business that helps companies create and implement nature-based solutions that enable them to succeed in a world aligned with global climate and development goals.
Ecosphere+ sell high-quality forest carbon credits, verified to two of the most widely used and well-respected standards. Whilst going even further with their industry-leading ESG and by translating tonnes of carbon into different measurable impacts that are relevant to our customers, such as number people directly supported, number trees saved, impact on women.
Flying and Carbon Emissions
How does flying create emissions?
These total emissions are divided among passengers, taking into account the fact that passengers in business and first class have larger seat room (and therefore more weight) and increased luggage allowances.
The factors that determine the amount of emissions are:
• Arrival and departure point – this determines distance and fuel consumption
• Number of passengers
• Travel class
• Carbon emissions factors
What is CORSIA?
CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, is the climate regulation agreed by the international UN body the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The regulation addresses the increase in total CO2 emissions from international aviation above 2020 levels so that all growth after 2020 will be carbon neutral.
CORSIA’s obligations have already started. As of 1 January 2019, all carriers are required to report their CO2 emissions on an annual basis. Airlines will be required to offset the growth in emissions from 2021 onwards, so after this date we will adjust the offset calculation to take account of these emission reductions.