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Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates

Collage of three photos. The top circular photo shows two wind turbines standing in a line at sunset. The middle square photo shows a mustached man in a suit standing in an office setting holding a renewable energy certificate. The bottom square photo shows a fluffy cloud against a blue sky with the sun shining through.  Gray square-shaped icon graphic with a white balance scale symbol in the center representing carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets are typically less expensive than installing hardware or undertaking large capital improvements; although offset costs could increase in the future as more countries adopt climate reduction targets. While research campuses should not rely on carbon offsets long term, they can provide bridging strategies to "top off" programs to meet reduction targets.

Carbon offset programs involve buying the environmental attributes associated with a unit of energy produced from renewable energy sources. Campuses can also develop local programs to reduce climate impact and boost community relations through these reductions.

To understand options for climate action plans, evaluate the following: