Want to do your bit without a subscription? Offset your emissions through our Nii Kaniti project.
Our philosophy of taking a holistic view of climate solutions leads to a fundamentally different approach to offsetting than most companies.
Firstly the climate crisis is about a lot more than just carbon dioxide emissions (though admittedly, that is kind of the core problem). Human development and consumption is simultaneously the cause of biodiversity, pollution and climate justice crises.
The only way we will be able to tackle them is by taking a holistic approach to the solutions - which is where the concept of HALO was born.
Secondly carbon offsetting is inherently a negative concept - and when done wrong creates perverse incentives. At HALO we believe in flipping the carbon offsetting narrative to something more positive and regenerative.
So carbon offsetting plays a key part in our offering but is only used as part of a broader, more holistic suite of projects that can help us regenerate the planet.
We use a figure of 12 tonnes per year for an individual's carbon footprint.
You will, no doubt, have seen many references to carbon footprint. It's likely none of the numbers will have been the same as there are many different ways of measuring carbon footprint. For instance, the UK government's annual carbon emissions report cites four measures ranging from about 5.5 tonnes per person per year up to about 12.5 tonnes per person per year. The differences arise principally from whether the figures measure only emissions in the UK, or include all emissions associated with activities in the UK, including imports and aviation.
A figure of c. 10.6 tonnes captures the carbon footprint of a typical individual's consumption. based on ONS figures examined by the excellent team at CarbonBrief.org and we feel this is a sensible benchmark. We choose to add a bit extra in our assessments. We're ultimately more concerned with direction of travel than attempting to measure precisely carbon emissions based on the imprecise recall and expressed intentions of conducting our daily lives.
As with carbon, estimations of an average person's plastic footprint vary drastically. We take the average single-use plastic footprint in the UK to be about 44 kg per year, a figure somewhere in the middle ground. That’s equivalent to 2,200 half-litre plastic bottles. We get this figure from a comprehensive study of global plastic waste conducted by the Minderoo Foundation.
We believe in delivering as much of your money as possible towards solving the climate crisis.
82% of your purchase goes towards our climate impact projects. When we assess projects we look closely at how the money is used - projects where the money goes directly to the communities score the most highly.
3% goes towards payment fees - these are an unavoidable cost of handling money but they do allow us to get your money to where it can have the most impact.
The final 15% we take to keep the lights on (renewable tariff of course), run the website you are reading this on and make this a sustainable way of creating impact.
Traceability and verification are key elements we look for when assessing projects - only projects we can be sure of the impact of pass our assessment process.
The carbon verification process is a curious beast. Fundamentally, any offset we purchase on your behalf will be verified by one of the internationally recognised standards: Gold Standard, Verra VCS and the UN Clean Development Mechanism. We hold these certificates on your behalf and you can see them here.
Our plastic partners Empower.eco and Plastic Bank both verify their ocean plastic clean up using block chain technology. At the moment we hold certificates on your behalf (here) as proof of impact, but we are working to incorporate a more granular portrayal of your plastic clean up impact soon.
As with all our projects, our tree planting partners must pass our rigorous assessment process. We will only select partners that follow best practice, look after the trees beyond their planting and keep track of survival rate. As with carbon and plastic we currently hold certificates on your half but will soon have a more interactive tool to track our tree planting.
We like to find projects that supply regular updates with images and stories from the communities affected which we then pass on to you.
This is where the HALO Matrix assessment tool comes into play.
All projects must go through the HALO Matrix, which you can read more about here. Only projects we can be confident of their impact do we decide to fund. This can be in the form of block chain tracing, geo-tagging or a history of following best practice and producing results.
No - well, not quite.
We are currently set up as a private limited company. This gives us the flexibility of a start-up: to raise funds, to pivot our product offering and to attract and retain talent.
As part of this 'business with purpose' model we are laying the groundwork for us to gain certified B-Corporation status. This process includes incorporating our mission and purpose into our founding documents.
We are fundamentally based very much on a charitable model, the 15% operational cost we charge is aligned with charitable best practice.
A study by the Civil Society Institute indicates that UK charities on average spend only 70% of their income on chartiable activities.
We are currently exploring the best way to set up a charitable vehicle which we anticipate will be able to deliver more impact on your behalf.