Why TEM?

Management of risk in purchasing and retiring carbon offsets should drive a company’s offset procurement strategy. TEM is the largest voluntary offset provider in Australia and the team has over 60 years combined experience in global carbon markets. We expertly manage the following risks on behalf of our clients: 


  • Counter party risk – We undertake extensive due diligence on the project proponent and on any third-party transactions we provide transparency to the source of the credit supply and integrity of offset purchase. 
  • Price risk – We have the systems and processes to manage the fluctuation and volatility in offset price over the term of the offset supply contract managed, on individual projects and across portfolios. 
  • Market risk – we have the experience and capacity to understand the supply and demand dynamics of different carbon markets to secure a predictable supply 
  • Policy risk – we track the changes to domestic and international government policy, standards, carbon markets and certification schemes that informs future offset purchasing 
  • Supplier risk – as a specialist buyer of carbon offsets, we have the people, systems, and processes to manage client risks and we operate under an AFSL 


A partnership with TEM delivers so much more than offsets. We thrive on nurturing a relationship that exceeds expectations by developing sophisticated, creative solutions that include bespoke marketing and communications content, strategic stakeholder engagement, consumer insights on sustainability and immersive offset project experiences. 

How will my business benefit from carbon offsetting?

Offsetting plays a critical role across all businesses carbon strategies. Some of the key benefits include:  


  • Meeting customer, investor and staff expectations to cut carbon pollution 
  • Enhanced brand reputation and value 
  • Improved brand integrity
  • Increased customer loyalty and sales 
  • Meeting other strategic business goals, like Reconciliation Action Plan targets and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Establish industry leadership 
  • Marketing and geographic synergies from project co-benefits 
  • Delivering co-benefits beyond carbon reductions, including biodiversity, gender equality and Indigenous employment 
  • Meet emission-reduction targets while working towards long-term sustainability changes 
  • Inspire your workforce to engage in carbon reduction activities in house, in turn reducing your costs and supporting your goals  
But my business won’t need offsets until all emissions reduction activities are exhausted.

Offsetting belongs as a critical part of any climate risk management strategy, not just at the tail end once all other options are exhausted. Building in offsets today has the advantage of (i) building internal capacity in carbon markets (ii) prices in the cost of carbon into doing business today (iii) helps drive further investments into much needed climate finance (iv) demonstrates sound risk management in view of new regulatory operating environments, including TCFD. 

What is a carbon offset?

One carbon offset represents one metric tonne of greenhouse gas emissions reduced or removed from the atmosphere. A carbon offset is created by either a) removing one tonne of emissions from the atmosphere by for example planting forests, or b) preventing one tonne of emissions from reaching the atmosphere by for example replacing a fossil-fuel burning power plant with a wind farm.

Why do we only refer to carbon?

There are seven main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chloroflurocarbon, hydroflurocarbon, sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen triflouride.

Each greenhouse gas has a different impact on climate, called the global-warming potential (GWP). For instance, methane’s GWP is 25 while for nitrous oxide it’s 298. We convert the amount of each greenhouse gas into the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same GWP. This is called the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and makes it possible to measure the greenhouse gases and determine their individual and combined contributions to global warming. This is why carbon offsetting is transacted in ‘carbon’ or CO2e.

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon Offsetting is an activity by businesses, consumers, and groups to firstly calculate, reduce emissions where possible or practicable and then offset their emissions. This process has been made increasingly popular by entities and individuals frustrated by a lack of ambitious and effective climate action at the national and international level. 


In its purest form carbon offsetting provides a verified counterfactual price for emissions reductions. Enabling users to reflect environmental costs and also invest in removal, avoidance, or reduction activities. 



What is carbon neutral?

An activity, product or organisation is carbon neutral when its greenhouse gas emissions are equal to zero. To become carbon neutral, companies must rigorously calculate their emissions, reduce them as much as possible, then purchase and retire carbon offsets to the equivalent of the remaining emissions.

How does carbon offsetting work for flights?

As planes fly they burn fuel that releases greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. We have calculated the emissions for each flight offered by a carrier and as a passenger you can offset your share of these emissions. We then pass your offset contribution to verified carbon offset projects around the world that mitigate climate change, protect wildlife and nourish communities.

How can you tell the quality of an offset?

Offsets must demonstrate actual emission reductions compared to what would have otherwise happened, ensure the emissions they represent are not simply released at a later date, or are displaced elsewhere. Essential components used to verify the quality of offsets across different carbon offset standards include: 


Real: offsets must represent real emission reductions that have already occurred (i.e., the reduction is not projected to occur in the future). 

Additional: offsets must represent emission reductions that are in addition to what would have occurred otherwise. 

Permanent: offsets must represent emission reductions that are non-reversible or must typically be sequestered for 25-100 years in the case of sequestration projects. 

Verifiable: sufficient data must be available to ensure emission reductions can be verified by an independent auditor against an established protocol or methodology under the carbon offset program. 

Quantifiable: emission reductions must be reliably measured or estimated, and capable of being quantified. 

Enforceable: offset ownership is undisputed and enforcement mechanisms exist to ensure that all offset program rules are followed and the market’s environmental integrity is maintained. 

Where do your offsets come from?

We procure offsets from a diverse portfolio of international and domestic projects, including projects in every State/Territory across Australia and every continent in the world. All of our offsets are compliant under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. Our projects are all accredited under a strict third-party verification standard. These standards have a rigorous set of rules and requirements to ensure each project delivers real, permanent, and additional benefits.

Why are carbon offsets priced differently?

The price of offsets can vary depending on the location, size, certificate and the type of project. TEM can help tailor a portfolio of offsets that meets your budget expectations and delivers against the strategic drivers important to you and your business.


What is meant by the ‘vintage’ of a carbon offset?

Just like wine, the ‘vintage’ of an offset indicates the year that the offset was created. For example, a 2016 offset from a forest conversation project denotes the tonne of carbon measured and independently verified through the additional growth of the forest in that year. The vintage of the offset can sometimes influence the price but is part of a much larger picture such as the location, size, verification standard, and value of the non-carbon benefits. 


Isn’t buying old offsets for current carbon neutral claims disingenuous?

Carbon offset projects typically continue over multiple years and generate offsets that can remain unsold in a given year, leaving them available to buy in future years. At TEM, we work with our clients to build offsets into their climate strategy to ensure that any purchase of previous year’s offsets is done to support the forward expansion and creation of new emissions reduction projects. This helps to stimulate new climate finance in this critical decade, but also recognise the value of emissions reductions of climate finance that has been invested in prior years. We also procure offsets from projects still in operation, i.e., they are a present continuous operation, so the offset finance helps the project continue to sequester or avoid emissions.


What is the difference between carbon removal and carbon avoidance projects?

The main difference between these methods is that carbon removal captures carbon that has already been emitted into our atmosphere, such as through nature-based solutions including reforestation and blue carbon sinks.  


Whereas carbon avoidance projects prevent emissions from being released in the first place, through methods including renewable energy displacing fossil fuels and preventing deforestation. 

What does an offset project look like?

Offset projects range from those that avoid emissions with activities like funding renewable energy projects, to those that remove emissions from the atmosphere by doing things like planting trees. All of these projects sequester carbon but also offer other co-benefits to the environment, the community, and local economies.


Different types of projects include:


  • Renewable energy
  • Community projects
  • Land regeneration
  • Forest conservation and protection
  • Land management
  • Waste-to-energy


Each year, we take our partners on-site to an offset project to show you how they work and the real impacts they deliver to people and the planet.


Should I only support offset projects in my own country or countries where I do business?

Pollution and emissions do not stay within national borders. CO2 in the atmosphere spreads across the globe and is an international problem. Therefore, you can purchase offsets anywhere in the world and contribute to global emissions reduction. In many cases, carbon offset projects are located in developing countries because community and economic co-benefits from the project will have a bigger impact there. However, you may choose to purchase offsets locally due to the co-benefits that may positively impact your own supply chain or market.


Climate change is an international problem that cannot be solved without global support. We need individuals, organizations, and governments around the world to commit to climate action, because just one protected rainforest or carbon zero country cannot solve the problem. This is why supporting projects around the world through carbon offset funding plays a critical role in the solution to climate change.

How do you select projects, and how do you know the offset is really happening?

TEM only supports carbon offset projects that are verified at the highest international standards. Of course, it is critical to ensure that the emission reductions generated by these projects are actually occurring. This is the work of accreditors like the VCS Program and the Gold Standard to ensure that once projects have been certified against rigorous criteria, project developers can then be issued tradable carbon offsets. 

Can TEM help me develop my own bespoke custom offset project?

Climate Positive develops carbon farming and carbon offset projects with corporates, landholders, farmers, and industrial businesses. These projects deliver an additional revenue stream for project participants, whilst spreading risk and diversifying business.  


Climate Positive provides uniquely flexible and customised carbon abatement outcomes that deliver the highest market return. We also develop signature projects on behalf of corporate clients that wish to secure their own stream of carbon offsets from a project type that aligns with their brand or supply chain. 

Can we purchase offsets in-line with our budget cycle or does it need to be at the end of the year?

We can retire offsets whenever fits your business cycle. We typically retire on an annual basis, but can also do it more frequently – e.g. monthly, bi-annually.

What if we end up needing more offsets than we originally thought?

We structure our agreements to lock-in a price for the portfolio of offsets. This allows your organisation to be able to purchase additional offsets at the agreed price. This is useful when you might need to ‘true-up’ additional offsets at the end of a cycle.


How does TEM maintain the integrity of a project located in a region of political unrest?

TEM’s international project development team has been instrumental in establishing stringent due diligence processes across all our projects. TEM invests significant human and financial resources in auditing processes to ensure that the projects we invest in not only meets the requirements of the auditor registry, but also our additional layers of due diligence. 


TEM’s focus remains the conservation of the biodiversity-rich, climate-regulating forest area and the delivery of culturally inclusive sustainable developments for people and the planet.