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Carbon offsetting

With carbon offsets, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in one place compensates for emissions made elsewhere. BP is a leader in developing and using offsetting programmes. And, we will use offsets to underpin our low carbon ambitions

Carbon offsets are created through investment in activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). That could be initiatives that provide lower carbon alternatives, like renewable energy or cookstoves to replace open fires. Or it could be projects that protect or enhance natural resources that soak up CO2 from the atmosphere – such as land and forests.


Carbon offsetting is essential for reaching the Paris goals – and we consider it a valuable supplement to our own emissions reduction activities.


Our Target Neutral programme provides a means for individuals and organizations to reduce their carbon footprint through offsetting. Over the past 10 years, we have built up significant expertise in carbon management projects around the world.


We plan to offset any increase in our operational emissions above 2015 levels that’s not covered by our sustainable reductions activity. This means that, out to 2025, we’ll have no net increase in our carbon footprint, even as our production grows.


We currently offer more than 20 carbon neutral products and services to our customers, using Target Neutral to offset the emissions.


And, we are helping to grow markets for carbon credits through the sale and purchase of credits and by increasing their overall supply. We are able to use our powerful market insights and innovative platforms to help companies meet their own emissions reduction commitments, while providing income to the people who run the projects. In 2017 alone, we financed low carbon projects that resulted in emissions reductions of more than 12 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

How offsetting works

Carbon emitters – graphic

BP helps people and companies reduce their carbon footprint for:

  • Compliance needs
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Individual choice
Carbon reduction investments – graphic

BP supports a diversity of projects, including:

  • Forest protection
  • Biogas initiatives
  • Cookstoves
Carbon offsets – graphic

BP uses carbon credits to:

  • Offset our own operational emissions growth
  • Make some of our products carbon neutral
  • Trade with companies to meet their compliance and voluntary needs