Here you will find answers to a number of frequently asked questions about carbon offsets and Tradewater’s process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a carbon footprint?
As individuals and organizations, our daily actions and choices lead to the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The sum of your emissions is your carbon footprint.

How can I calculate my own carbon footprint?
We have built a simple tool to help you figure out your personal carbon footprint. You can use our calculator to calculate your personal impact or the impact of your business.

Will my purchase make an impact?
Absolutely! Sure, individual actions make a small dent. But people and organizations working together can make a real impact. We all have to do our part. Our focus is on one of the most critical solutions to address the climate crisis. When you purchase offset credits from us, you are joining our community to support the collection and destruction of potent refrigerants that would otherwise emit harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and accelerate climate change. We collect refrigerant one pound at a time and it all adds up to a very big impact. By purchasing credits from us, you can help increase this impact and fight the climate crisis.

How are my dollars being used?
We are a mission-driven, for-profit company. We only make money if we destroy greenhouse gases and sell the resulting carbon offset credits. With the money that we make, we employ more people, and develop more projects. That turns fighting climate change into an engine for economic growth. The jobs we create are precisely the kinds of jobs we need moving forward – jobs that help the planet.

Why are refrigerants so harmful to the environment?
The refrigerants we collect and destroy are up to 10,900 times more potent than carbon dioxide. These harmful greenhouse gases accelerate climate change and also deplete the ozone layer. Many of these refrigerants have been banned from production globally. However, there was never a plan to responsibly collect and destroy them. If we don’t do this work together, these harmful gases will leak into our atmosphere and cause irreversible damage.

How do you destroy the materials?
All of the refrigerants we collect are destroyed in highly regulated incinerators with continuous monitoring equipment to ensure that their operation meets strict international, federal, and local environmental regulations. The most important of these regulations is a requirement that at least 99.99% of the refrigerant is destroyed. Once destroyed, all of our work is reviewed by third-party verifiers through a rigorous auditing process to confirm that we followed these rules. The result is a cleaner, healthier planet.

What is a carbon offset credit?
A carbon offset credit is, in essence, a certificate that confirms that greenhouse gases were either collected and destroyed or sequestered from the atmosphere. Carbon offsets are typically generated by independent organizations like Tradewater. Carbon offset projects are verified by third-party verification bodies and result in carbon offset credits that are issued by a non-profit carbon offset registry. A carbon offset credit represents the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide that was either prevented from being released into the atmosphere or was removed from the atmosphere.

Why are carbon offsets important?
We are in the midst of a climate crisis. Significant increases in human activities that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have caused this crisis. Winning the fight will require the attention and work of the entire global community to reduce and destroy greenhouse gases as much as possible.

By purchasing a carbon offset credit from us, you are supporting our work to find, collect, and destroy potent greenhouse gases around the world, ensuring that they will not be released into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.

What does it mean to be carbon neutral?
Being carbon neutral means the net greenhouse gas emissions from all your activities are zero. For most people, this involves buying carbon offsets. Each of us should take all of the steps we can to reduce our carbon footprint, such as driving less, receiving your energy from renewable resources, eating less meat, wasting less food – and many other lifestyle strategies. But, it will be impossible to reduce all of your greenhouse gas emissions. That’s where carbon offsets come in. Each credit you buy ensures that Tradewater destroys enough refrigerant to balance out – or offset – your remaining greenhouse gas emissions.

What does Tradewater do?
We collect and destroy old refrigerants – some of the most potent greenhouse gases ever produced. Leading scientists from the nonprofit Project Drawdown rank the management of these refrigerants as one of the most strategic solutions for fighting climate change.

Though these harmful refrigerants are banned from production, there was no plan created to manage quantities already produced. It is estimated that there is the equivalent of 9 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the form of these refrigerants still scattered around the world1. If we don’t identify, collect, and destroy them, they will leak into our atmosphere. So far, we have collected over 1 million pounds of old refrigerants that represent the equivalent of 4.3 million tons of carbon dioxide. But with your help, we can do much more. Your purchase directly funds our collection and destruction activities and contributes to meaningful greenhouse gas reductions all over the world that will help to prevent a climate crisis.

1) Lickley, M. et al. Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate. Nat Commun 11, 1380–1380 (2020).

What is an offset project type, and why should I choose yours?
There are many different types of projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate a carbon offset credit. Some of the most common examples include preserving forests and preventing them from being cut down or getting communities to replace coal burning stoves with cleaner fuels. Collecting and destroying refrigerants at risk of leaking into the environment is another project type. You should purchase a Tradewater offset credit for the following reasons:

Permanence - The harmful greenhouse gases found in the refrigerants that we collect are destroyed - permanently.

Additionality - Our work is additional. The refrigerants that we collect and destroy are banned from production. However, nobody will work to find and pay to destroy these refrigerants unless a company like Tradewater does it.

Verification - Tradewater credits are third-party verified and issued by the leading carbon registries, the American Carbon Registry and Verra.

Responsible Conduct - In addition to eliminating harmful greenhouse gases, Tradewater’s projects create economic benefits. To date we have injected over $32 million dollars into local communities through our work.

Ease - We make all project documentation available for you to confirm the quality of our work. We also provide you the tools to easily offset in one payment, or in monthly installments of any amount.

We are also focused on one of the most impactful projects to address climate change, as noted by leading scientists at Project Drawdown.

You can learn more about the latest commonly accepted standards for carbon offset quality and the effectiveness of different offset project types in our latest white paper, “Evaluating Carbon Offset Credits: Why Credits Generated through the Destruction of Harmful Refrigerant Gas are Among the Highest Quality Available."