What is it?

Climate change is the long-lasting alteration of the global climate. While the process may occur naturally, the current changes are chiefly due to human activity. The average global temperature increased by 0.74°C in the past 100 years (essentially in the years following the industrial revolution). The northern hemisphere is now considerably warmer than in any other period in the last millennium. In addition, eleven of the past twelve years (1995-2006) posted the highest temperatures recorded since 1850.

What causes climate change?

 

Scientists have advanced that the main cause of climate change, the greenhouse effect, is a natural phenomenon that is accelerated by human activity. The greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the atmosphere increase the effect’s potential to capture heat (greenhouse effect), leading to higher global temperatures. Today, the atmosphere contains 32% more carbon dioxide (CO2)—one of the major GHGs—than it did at the start of the industrial age. This is largely attributable to the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Deforestation and intensive modern agricultural methods also contribute to the problem.

 

What are the effects?

Even a small increase in the earth’s average global temperature (0.74°C) has already had significant impacts:

  • In the Arctic and Antarctic, warmer than average temperatures have led to the acceleration of the melting rates of permafrost and polar ice sheets. Northern peoples and animals are already dealing with major problems—houses with foundations built on once-solid permafrost are collapsing, the number of days per year that there is sufficient freezing to allow vehicle travel on ice roads is shrinking, and the disappearance of sea ice is forcing polar bears to swim long distances in open water to catch their food.
  • In British Columbia, slightly warmer winters and hotter and drier summers have created ideal conditions for the mountain pine beetle. The result is the devastation of the interior forests. Currently, 9.2 million hectares are affected, and the beetles are moving into Alberta. This has important consequences for natural biodiversity and the communities that are dependent on these forests as a source of income.
  • The oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, absorbing both heat and carbon dioxide, which transforms into carbonic acid. Degraded coral reefs in the Caribbean and off the coast of Australia mean reduced marine biodiversity and economic losses for fisheries and tourism.
  • Extreme and unusual weather events are becoming more and more common: the droughts in Australia, lack of snow in the Alps and central Canada in the winter and more intense tropical storms and hurricanes are just a few examples.
As global warming increases, the impacts will become more acute. It is important to understand that even a rise of a few degrees in the average global temperature will have a dramatic effect on the earth’s climate, triggering unpredictable feedback cycles and processes that will likely be far more impactful than what has been observed to date.

 

And greenhouse gas emissions?

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are atmospheric gases that have the ability to trap the sun’s heat and warm the surface of the earth. The presence of a certain amount of these gases make the earth habitable, since it would otherwise be covered in ice. However, human activity has dramatically increased the concentration of certain greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, by releasing additional carbon that was previously stored in the ground as coal or unrefined oil.
 
The result is global warming. The Kyoto Protocol attempts to avert harmful climate change by creating a framework for the international regulation of the six most important greenhouse gases resulting from human activity: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons, (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride.

 

What you can do!

Take action

Footprint

We all have an impact on the climate. This impact mainly stems from our energy consumption: our road and air travel and our consumption of electricity, fuel oil and natural gas.
 
Reduce
What you can do? Each one of use can contribute to the global actions against climate change. Here are just a few ideas:
 
The first and most important thing to do is reduce your greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible: turn off the lights when you leave the room, use energy efficient appliances, turn down the thermostat, carry out an energy audit for your home, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, take public transit whenever possible, buy a fuel efficient car, vacation close to home, fly less.
 
Offset
You can also neutralize all or part of your greenhouse gas emissions by investing in carbon mitigation projects. The idea is to pay an organization that will tangibly and verifiably curb its own GHG emissions to neutralize yours and make you carbon neutral. The process is known as carbon offsetting. The offsetting is achieved through the purchase of carbon credits. Each credit represents one tonne of CO2.
 
Purchasing carbon credits is investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects and help to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
 
But to be sure that the investment has a real impact on the climate, the reductions must be tangible and verified by a third party. The market is full of carbon charlatans, and it’s important to purchase credits from organizations that only offer Gold Standard certified credits, which meet the highest standards on the carbon market.
 

Use the calculators on this site to determine your CO2 emissions per source (home and travel) and take action to reduce and offset them. 

 

 

Air travel

  1. Use videoconferencing for meetings. You’ll help curb GHG emissions, achieve significant savings and avoid the stress of traveling and being away from home.
    1. Minimize the number of flights by combining trips. For example, plan several meetings at the same location to avoid more air travel. It’s easier on the planet and your wallet.
    2. Take the train. It only emits about one third to half of the greenhouse gases that a plane does. From Ottawa to Montréal or London to Paris, you’ll discover how comfortable it is to travel by train.
    3. Economy really means economy. It’s not only cheaper but also better for our climate, because more people per plane means fewer emissions per person. A return flight from Toronto to Beijing via Vancouver generates the equivalent of 7.4 t of CO2 emissions in economy class, 11 t in business class, and 17.7 t in first class. That makes first class 2.4 times more damaging than economy.
    4. Choose the most direct route possible. Take-off and landing require the most fuel. So the more stopovers, the more greenhouse gases you emit. Not to mention the hassle of waiting at airports.
    5. Vacation close to home. When living in Winnipeg, a holiday in the Austrian Alps with a plane change in Toronto emits about 7 times more greenhouse gases than a flight to Calgary to see the Rockies.
    6. Plan to use public transit when you arrive at your destination. It’s usually quite easy…and cheap.

 

 

Road Travel

    1. Style matters. Accelerating quickly, stopping abruptly and driving aggressively increases fuel consumption by up to 37%. Look ahead and drive defensively. It’s good for the environment, and good for your wallet.
    2. Slow down! Increasing your cruising speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h will increase  your fuel consumption by about 20%.
    3. No idling. When a vehicle idles longer than 10 seconds, it burns more fuel than when restarting the engine.
    4. Getting hot? Open the window. Turning on the air conditioner in city traffic increases fuel consumption by as much as 20%.
    5. Inflate the tires. One tire under-inflated by just 56 kPa (8 psi) can increase fuel consumption by 4%. So check the tire pressure monthly.
    6. Feeling deflated in the winter? Cold temperatures decrease the air pressure in tires, adding to the rolling resistance caused by snow and slush. Each tire that is under-inflated by 2 psi (14 kPa) causes a 1 % increase in fuel consumption. So check tire pressures regularly, especially after a sharp drop in temperature.
    7. Take control. Maintaining an even speed when traveling on dry, flat wide-open highways helps improve fuel efficiency. So use cruise control.
    8. Stay in shape. A poorly maintained vehicle consumes more fuel, produces more emissions, requires expensive repairs and has a lower resale value.
    9. Take public transport. Each year, a single city bus can take the equivalent of 40 vehicles off the roads, save some 10 000 litres of fuel and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 25 tonnes.
    10. The math is simple. Carpool with another person and reduce your emissions by half. Pool with four others and reduce your emissions to one fifth. Not to mention that your costs go down by the same amount. Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax are among the Canadian cities that have van pool programs.
    11. Is your car freezing? Our winters are harsh, but one solution to the cold-engine dilemma is to use a block heater to warm the coolant, which in turn warms the engine block and lubricants. The engine will start more easily and reach its peak operating temperature faster. In temperatures below 0°C, block heaters can improve overall fuel economy by 10% or more until the engine reaches its operating temperature. Of course block heaters are best used with a timer to ensure that they don’t consume electricity all night.
    12. Shift it up a notch. When driving a standard vehicle, it’s best to change gears quickly, increasing to the highest and remaining there. Unless you’re passing or accelerating to merge onto a highway, change gears as soon as you hit 2 000 rpm/minute. Most modern cars can be driven in fourth or fifth gear once they reach 60 km/h.
    13. Put the car on a diet. It could stand to lose a few pounds. Each additional 100 kg uses about 0.5 L/100 km more gas.
    14. Buying a new vehicle? Check the EnerGuide label for its fuel consumption rating. EnerGuide labels are now included on all new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada. Fuel consumption ratings for all new cars, light-duty trucks and vans sold in Canada are also available in Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption Guide.
    15. Grease the wheels. When buying engine oil, make sure it is rated "energy conserving". Using the lowest multigrade of oil recommended in your owner's manual can improve the fuel efficiency of the engine, particularly when starting it cold.
    16. Short is not sweet. Avoid short car trips. Over the first four kilometres, a car uses around 30 litres/100 km while the engine warms up. By leaving the car behind for two of those trips per week, you will emit 50 kg less CO2 per year.
    17. To buy or not to buy? Consider a car sharing service: it can make a big difference to the climate.
    18. Skiing and biking? Roof racks increase fuel consumption by 10 to 50%, depending on the speed.
    19. How small is small? In normal driving conditions, smaller engines provide better fuel economy than larger engines. Choose the smallest engine that meets your everyday needs.
    20. Raise to the challenge at roulezmieux.ca !

 

Home

  1. Energy efficiency pays. An average Canadian home has 30 light fixtures that consume close to $200 worth of electricity every year. Replacing just five bulbs with ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs in rooms that require more than three hours of light per day saves approximately $30 a year.
  2. Every little bit helps. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a 20-watt compact fluorescent in every Canadian household (more than 12 million of them) would save up to $73 million a year in energy costs. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by almost 400 000 tonnes—the equivalent of taking 80 000 cars off the road!
  3. Use a lid when cooking. Turn down the dial on the stove and use one third less power.
  4. Keep up the pressure. A pressure cooker is great for cooking times longer than 20 minutes. It requires 30% less energy than a conventional pot.
  5. Use the convection setting, choose a lower temperature setting and reduce the temperature by 20°C.
  6. Depending on the baking time, you can turn off the oven up to 15 minutes before the end of the total indicated time.
  7. Turn off the water heater when on vacation.
  8. Install a timer on your water heater. That way you can switch it off or turn it down at night or when you are away.
  9. Wear a sweater. Every degree lower will save about 7% of energy. That’s up to 400 kg of CO2 per year for every degree, depending on the heating system.
  10. Existing buildings use up to three times more energy as new ones. Energy-focused renovations can reduce the amount of energy required for heating rooms and water by up to 80%.
  11. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Even a quick 10-minute shower can use up to 190 litres (42 gallons) of hot water with a conventional showerhead. A low-flow showerhead can reduce this amount by half or even up to 8 or 9 litres while preserving the pressure and "feel" of the shower. Replacing the showerhead is simple, and you’ll still be able to enjoy a great shower to wake you up in the morning.
  12. When buying a new appliance choose ENERGY STAR qualified models and get the smallest appliance that meets your needs.

  13. Don’t worry, your laundry won’t freeze. Studies have shown that your laundry will come out just as clean if it’s rinsed in warm or cold water. Remember that the cold cycle uses a lot less power.

  14. Remember the 3R? Buy recycled products: they require less energy to produce than new products. Making recycled paper, for example, requires between 30 and 70% less energy than making paper from virgin sources. Recycled paper also helps reduce the paper’s methane emissions when it rots in landfills, and methane is a GHG that is 20 times more impactful than CO2.

  15. Be a control freak. Programmable thermostats control temperature fluctuations better than conventional ones. You could save up to 10% on your heating costs and recoup your investment in two to four years.

 

The carbon   credits  

Carbon credits

A carbon credit (or offset credit) is a unit of measurement that is equivalent to one tonne of CO2. The unit is used to facilitate transactions to reduce the climate impacts of human activities.
 
Purchasing carbon credits is investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects and helping to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
 
It’s important to be smart when purchasing carbon credits. The market is full of credits and pseudo-credits that don’t really help protect the climate. This is why Planetair only offers Gold Standard credits, which meet the highest standards on the carbon market. Gold Standard credits ensure that the investment will lead to a tangible reduction in your climate impacts: purchase one credit and there will be one tonne less of CO2 in the atmosphere.
 
The Gold Standard certification ensures that the credits are real, measurable, unique, verified by an independent third party, permanent and additional. A public registry retraces the carbon credits by their serial numbers, from their creation to their withdrawal from the market.
 
The David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute created a carbon credits guide for consumers and businesses.

 

Gold Standard Credits

Planetair’s project portfolio contains carbon offset certificates that carry the Gold Standard. Gold Standard carbon credits are the highest quality carbon credits currently available for voluntary offsets, and the projects they fund constitute the premium projects on the market. The method requires that renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies also lead to sustainable development for local communities (such as better living standards, knowledge transfer, job creation and pollution reduction). All Gold Standard projects are rigorously tested for environmental quality by registered third parties.
 
The Gold Standard Foundation only awards its label after a third-party validation and verification of the project. The Gold Standard is supported by WWF International, Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Pembina Institute and 80 other NGOs.
 
The Gold Standard includes foreign renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Forestry projects were recently added.

 

About us

Launched by the Unisféra International Centre, Planetair was created to support individuals, businesses and organizations seeking to evaluate, reduce and offset their ecological footprint and especially their climate impact.
 
Planetair enables individuals, businesses and organizations to quantify their greenhouse gas emissions and determine opportunities to reduce and offset their climate impact through carbon credits.
 
Planetair also certifies the carbon neutrality of activities, events and organizations, creating value for its clients, and assists its clients in their strategies to disseminate and communicate their climate efforts.

 

Main areas of action

  • Disseminate of information on climate change.
  • Build awareness of climate change for different target audiences.
  • Market high-quality carbon dredits.
  • Support businesses and organizations in their climate change efforts
    • Quantify GHG emissions
    • Dévelop tailored quantification tools
    • Carry out GHG balances.
  • Support event organizers in their climate change efforts.
  • Support businesses and organizations in their internal and external communications on their climate change efforts.

 

Business Benefits

Planetair makes certain that its clients’ efforts meet the most rigorous standards to ensure the optimal use of offsetting investments and guarantees the quality of the carbon credits it distributes by collaborating exclusively in Gold Standard certified projects. The addition of the CarbonFix certification to the Gold Standard portfolio attests to the quality of the certified forest credits.

 

 

Planetair’s carbon credit portfolio therefore offers a wide range of varied and exclusive credit programs based on the market’s most rigorous standards.

 

Mission

Planetair has set out a three-fold mission

 

First, Planetair aims to raise awareness of climate change and the climate change impacts of day-to-day activities in individuals, businesses and organizations.
 
Second, Planetair works to foster the changes in behaviour required to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

 

Finally, Planetair markets carbon credits of the highest quality to counterbalance non-reducible carbon emissions.

Vision

 

Planetair strives to establish itself among the most recognized, credible and effective actors tackling climate change.

 

Our clients and partners

Our clients

 
Our clients include large, medium and small businesses in various sectors, government institutions, non-profit organizations, events organizations and citizens committed to the fight against climate change.
 
Our partners
 
Planetair has created international partnerships with leading providers of the highest quality Gold Standard carbon credits from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries. These international organizations specialize in greenhouse gas reduction and the development of innovative climate-friendly solutions.

 

Communicate Your Commitment

The carbon neutral certification developed by Planetair is first and foremost an awareness-building and communication tool for stakeholders.

 

The certification attests that all GHG emissions were calculated and offset by Planetair. Recognized across Québec and Canada, the Planetair carbon neutral logo may be included in your internal and external communications.
 
Planetair’s services involve the development of promotional tools and adapted strategies to meet specific needs, enabling organizations to communicate their commitment and raise awareness among their clients.
 
With your needs and objectives in mind, Planetair will also assist you in creating tailored content for your communication tools (e.g. web sites, press releases, newsletters, conference programs and other means).
These certifications are aimed at businesses and events offsetting types 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Type 3 sources are offset on a voluntary basis since they are optional under the GHG Protocol set out by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WRI/WBCSD). However, since these emissions can constitute a significant share of an organization’s total emissions, they should be considered whenever applicable. 
 
Contact us for further information.

 

Carbon Neutral Business

A growing number of innovative businesses consider their climate footprint to be an integral part of their corporate responsibilities. Planetair has developed a carbon neutral organization logo for companies seeking to reduce their emissions and offset their irreducible emissions through the purchase of carbon credits.

 

 

Planetair has gained extensive experience in GHG inventorying for corporate clients. Be sure to contact us for further information. If you have already drawn up a GHG balance, Planetair will carry out routine audits to issue a carbon neutral certification.

 

Carbon Neutral Events

An increasing number of festivals and event organizers are seeking to support sustainable development by enhancing the environmental performance of their activities. In fact, accounting for an event’s climate impacts is among the most important sustainability strategies. Like businesses, events and festivals may work towards carbon neutrality to curb their climate impacts by reducing their GHG emissions to a minimum and then offsetting their irreducible emissions through the purchase of recognized carbon credits.

 

 

Planetair possesses extensive experience in creating GHG offsetting programs for all types of events, including festivals, conferences, meetings, weddings and high school reunions. Contact us for more information.

 

Carbon Neutral Services, product and business activities

In addition to its overall emissions, an organization’s partial activities (e.g. transport), products and services may also obtain carbon neutral certification.

 

Festivals and events

Planetair produced and released a guide entitled Carbon neutral festivals: A guide for festival organizers

 

 

Thi Guide provides an overview of climate change issues as they pertain to festivals and events. The document also guides the reader through the various steps to follow in order to reduce an event’s ecological footprint, from emissions calculations to offsetting. It also provides a methodology and interactive tool to collect data and calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by festivals and events.
 

Download the guide (in French only)

Download the tool (in French only)

 

Eco-driving

Planetair launched the eco-driving campaign to foster better choices on the roads. The program was first made available to the general public and has since attracted businesses seeking to develop in-house campaigns to raise awareness of eco-driving.

 

 

Planetair created the campaign as part of a project supported by the Fonds d'action québécois pour le développement durable and its financial partner, the government of Québec.
 

Planetair would like to thank CAA Québec and Natural Resources Canada for their contributions to the development of the campaign.

 

Contact us to adapt the campaign to the needs of your organization in order to raise awareness of eco-driving among your employees.

 

 

The projects in which you will be investing

International Projects
Planetair acquires high-quality Gold Standard carbon credits from international partners. These credits stem from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects carried out in developing nations.

  

Locally-sourced Projects
Planetair is the reseller of the first and only carbon credits to date to be certified Gold Standard in North America—the most stringent standard for forest projects. Those carbon credits originate from reforestation of urban and semi-urban areas in Québec.

 

Projects description

Planetair’s portfolio

$ 26.80 /tonne

Prony

Wind farms

$ 30.93 /tonne

Though rich in wind resources, New Caledonia is reducing its dependency for energy generations using fossil fuel. The two wind farms of Prony and Kafeate are using world first technology to green-up the national grid and provide positive socio economic Improvements for the communities

Find out more >

InfraVest

Wind power

$ 23.14 /tonne

Two wind parks are contributing to the further development of renewable energy generation in Taiwan, a country that still depends on fossil fuels for the large part

Find out more >

BFB

Wastewater treatment

$ 30.93 /tonne

This project is engaged with mitigating global warming and local air pollution at a Thai starch plant by capturing methane and generating sustainable energy and social benefits for local communities.

Find out more >

Everbright

Energy from landfill gas

$ 23.14 /tonne

This project captures the methane emissions from a landfill and uses it for clean power generation, im - proves the lives of locals and contributes to sustainable development in China.

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Antai

Energy from waste gas

$ 23.14 /tonne

In China’s so called “coal pit”, in Shanxi province with its heavy industries, a waste gas recovery installation at a steel plant gives an example of how sustainable development can generate both climate and social benefits.

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Yingxin

Energy from waste heat

$ 23.14 /tonne

In an effort to lower the carbon footprint of its energy-intensive glass production, the Yingxin company has implemented a modern waste heat recovery system to reduce its fossil-fuelled power consumption. In addition, the company is supporting local sustainable development

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Myrador

Efficient cooking stoves

$ 34.14 /tonne

The Honduran cooking stove project significantly reduces demand for wood on a multi-household level, lowers fuel cost for families and has a positive impact on the global climate via forest recovery and reduction in carbon emissions.

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Ugastove

Efficient cooking stoves

$ 34.14 /tonne

Fuel use from increasingly scarce firewood is a growing problem in the Uganda. In order to address this problem, an emission reduction project has been set up to distribute modern, fuel-efficient cooking stoves to private households at reduced prices.

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Paradigm

Water purification and clean cooking stoves

$ 31.99 /tonne

This is the first and only project encompassing both cooking stoves and water purification devices to support local communities. It’s aim is to provide safe water and clean indoor air to improve livelihoods in East Africa, while at the same time limiting deforestation and delivering a multitude of community benefits.

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Reforestation in Montreal metropolitain area

Reforestation

$ 22.00 /tonne

These forestry credits come from the first and only Gold Standard project in Canada.

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Zhongshan

Micro run-of-river hydro

$ 23.14 /tonne

Three micro hydro plants provides China’s rural and mountainous South with emission free energy. Without the need for a retaining dam, the plants use natural height differences to generate sustainable power.

Find out more >
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