Institution-catalyzed carbon offsets are generated by what are commonly referred to as “local offsets” programs. In such programs, institutions offset their greenhouse gas emissions by implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the local community.
For example, a local offsets program may engage students in weatherizing homes in the surrounding community. As part of the arrangement with the homeowner, the institution would “own” the emissions reductions that result from the program. Local projects that are to be used as offsets must be third party verified or, at minimum, quantified using a method that is consistent with the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol for Project Accounting.
This metric is looking for how many metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent the institution managed to reduce through their institution-catalyzed carbon offsets (i.e. local offsets) program during the performance year:
For WikiRate researchers:
Institutions who report to the STARS program are listed on the STARS Participants & Reports website.
Use the institution Index, CTRL F, or Command F to search for the institution you want to research
By clicking on the hyperlinked name of the institution, you will be redirected to the page where all their STARS reports are listed. You can select either the most recent report, or one of the older reports to start tracking their performance over time.
NB: While the values in the reports might apply to different points in time (performance year, baseline year, most recent, etc.), the submission date of the report should be listed as the “year” on WikiRate. This is to ensure that reports of the same submission year can be compared. Any time specific information for the individual values should be included in the comment to that specific metric value.
To narrow down your search, navigate the reports’ index using the Reporting Category - Operations - and Credit Category - Air & Climate - to finally select the Credit Title: Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
You should now be on the report page that discloses how many metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent the institution managed to reduce through their institution-catalyzed carbon offsets (i.e. local offsets) program during the performance year. To locate the exact value you can search the page using CTRL F or Command F with keywords like institution-catalyzed, local offsets program, and carbon offsets program.
Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value
the start and end date of the performance year
STARS compliance guidance for institutions:
Institutions should report the most recent data available from the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission. Institutions may use the most recent single year for which data is available or an average from throughout the period. Institutions may choose the annual start and end dates that work best with the data they have (e.g., fiscal or calendar year), as long as data are reported from a consecutive 12-month (or 3-year) period.
Institutions may choose the start and end dates that work best with the data they have (e.g., fiscal or calendar year), as long as data are reported from a consecutive 12-month (or 3-year) period.
Sampling and Data Standards
Institution-catalyzed offsets that are to be counted as offsets must be third party verified or, at minimum, quantified using a method that addresses all of the following accounting issues:
Selection of a baseline scenario (i.e, what would have happened in the absence of the project?);
Demonstration of additionality (i.e., the project has resulted in emission reductions or removals in addition to what would have happened in the absence of the project);
Identification and quantification of relevant secondary effects (i.e., small, unintended GHG consequences of a project, include leakage and changes in GHG emissions up- and downstream of the project);
Consideration of reversibility (i.e., assessing the risk of reversibility, together with any mitigation or compensation measures included in the project design);
Avoidance of double-counting (i.e., the reductions giving rise to the offset must occur at sources or sinks not included in the target or cap for which the offset is used).
To account for Institution-catalyzed offsets institutions may pursue third party verification or else use a credible methodology that addresses all of the accounting issues outlined in B. Criteria.
GHG Protocol for Project Accounting (World Resources Institute)
Forest Project Protocol (Climate Action Reserve),
Framework for Forest Management Offset Protocols (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers)
The Compliance Offset Protocols (COP) adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).