How Carbon Offsets Work

There are a wide variety of projects that reduce the amount of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in the air or prevent such emissions from being produced in the first place.  Some of the most common of these projects focus on supporting the production of renewable energy, on limiting methane gas leaks from landfills, or on forestry and land use.

Many leading environmental organizations have carbon offset efforts.  Still, some environmentalists express the concern that the offsets won’t reduce carbon emissions by the claimed amount.

In response to that concern, a serious accreditation process has developed, which should become even stronger as the science of carbon offsets is perfected.

NetZero is committed to only funding offsets that would reduce emissions by the amount claimed.  This means NetZero will only select projects that have been approved by widely-respected accreditation mechanisms – such as those that meet the Verra standard ( or the Gold Standard (

Any offsets funded through NetZero will also be retired so that they cannot be resold or traded again.  This ensures that NetZero’s efforts will produce real reductions in carbon emissions and help preserve the environment.

The NetZero initiative, along with other NGO, business, and government carbon offset initiatives, will also encourage the further development of innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Now and likely into the future, a carbon offset approach is a necessary complement to efforts that address global warming by preventing emissions from being produced at all, as well as to the presumably more costly efforts focused on responding to the consequences of global warming.

The vigilance that NetZero will bring to any carbon offsets it uses as well as the demand for offsets created by those taking the Pledge will help improve the operations of the carbon offset market. 

Take the NetZero pledge

To determine the amount of carbon offsets required for you to go NetZero, you can use average U.S. carbon emission levels, or you can estimate your carbon footprint more precisely with our calculator.

Thank you for signing up.
Go NetZero now.