Frequently asked questions
Who audits and verifies Tricorona Green and Tricorona?
We use a widely accepted, publicy available calculation model from NTM, the Scandinavian Network for Transport and the Environment.
In addition, our internal processes are audited by Det Norske Veritas.
Finally, the projects we invest in are CDM projects reviewed and approved by the UNFCCC within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
How do you calculate climate impact?
You can read a detailed description of how we calculate here, but here is a short summary:
- We use a model developed by the Scandinavian Network for Transport and the Environment.
- We calculate the total climate impact from all greenhouse gases, not just carbon dioxide. For air travel, this means we multiple the carbon dioxide emissions by a factor known as the Radiative Forcing Index, for which we use the value 2.7.
- Where emissions factors vary from country to country, for example due to different carbon intensity in electricity production, we use values appropriate to the country the user has chosen, if available, or otherwise regional or global averages.
- Our models and our processes are audited by an independent third party, Det Norske Veritas, to ensure that our models are scientifically sound and that we apply them the way we say we do.
What happens after I make a purchase, exactly?
On a monthly basis, we add up all purchases made on Tricorona Green. We round the total up to the nearest ton of carbon dioxide, and we then allocate that number of tons of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) from one of the projects in our portfolio. This allocation normally happens within six weeks of your purchase, but can in exeptional cases take up to six months. You can find out which project your purchase was allocated from here.
This allocation is then cancelled within the UN-managed registry for CERs.
When all of the offsets from a given project for a given year are allocated and cancelled in this way, the project is replaced by other projects in our portfolio. When the original project has produced further CERs, we put it back in the portfolio again. This means that the offsets you purchase are genuine offsets that come from real, operational projects.
How do I know that my money goes to the project in question?
We always guarantee that we deliver the stated amount of carbon dioxide reduction: if you offset 2 tons, then we will see to it that 2 tons of carbon dioxide reductions from the project are allocated to you. We can make this guarantee because all the projects you can invest in through Tricorona Green are CDM projects, verified and authorised by the UNFCCC within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, with the carbon reductions calculated and audited by independent third parties. Read more about the CDM-criteria here.
Some of your money goes to cover our costs, about which you can read more here.
After you have purchased your climate offsets, usually within a week, your money is allocated to a specific project. You can trace your offsets here.
How does Tricorona Green differ from its competitors?
Tricorona Green differs from its competitors in a number of important ways.
- Calculation model: We use a widely accepted model, developed by an independent third party,
NTM, the Scandinavian Network for Transport and the Environment. This model
calculates based on actual average values for cabin factor (how full the plane is) and airplane fleets,
using real data from the ICAO. Many of our competitors make simplified assumptions that planes always fly full
or that all airlines use the newest, most fuel efficient airplanes in their maximum capacity seat
configuration, which means that they can dramatically underestimate actual emissions.
Read more here.
- CDM projects: All of our projects are CDM projects, within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
This guarantees that all projects fulfill the highest criteria for additionality, environmental benefit
and traceability (more).
Moreover, we only offer projects within renewable energy or energy efficiency.
These projects achieve genuine carbon emissions reductions now, in contrast to, for example,
planting trees, where the project owner often counts the total expected carbon savings over the projected
lifetime of the trees. We, on the other hand, only sell carbon reductions as they actually occur.
- Transparency: We invite an independent third party, Det Norske Veritas, to verify both our model and our processes to ensure that we deliver what we promise. See DNV's statement here.
Can I change my mind after a purchase?
Yes. Any time up to 14 days after you make a purchase, you may send us a request to cancel the purchase. We will refund your payment in full and your certificate will be invalidated.
What is "Climate Assured by Tricorona"?
Tricorona is the company behind Tricorona Green. You can read more about us here. "Climate Assured by Tricorona" is our full service product for companies that want to take full responsibility for thier climate impact. The service includes calculating the climate impact, reducing it, offset the remaining emissions and communicate the results. The companies that go through all of thses steps receives the "Climate Assured by Tricorona" label.
What is Tricorona Green?
Tricorona Green is our website where we provide individuals and organisations a calculator to calculate their carbon emissions, advice on how to reduce them and the option to offset them by investing in projects that reduce carbon emissions.
Are short flights worse than long flights from a climate viewpoint?
In general, the longer the flight, the greater the climate impact. But short flights consume more fuel, and therefore cause a greater climate impact, per kilometer, due to the fact that take off consumes a disproportionate amount of fuel.
So the answer is that short flights have a greater per-kilometer impact. One consequence is that you should avoid stopovers and fly direct wherever possible.
Do I need to specify the type of plane I fly with, or how full it is?
Our model is designed to take these factors into account, but when the user doesn't specify this information we use average values from the ICAO. Read more about how we calculate here.
Is there a difference between scheduled and charter flights?
Not in principle, but since charter airlines (and low-cost airlines) tend to fill their planes fuller, and have more modern fleets, their emissions per passenger are usually lower than scheduled airlines over the same distance.
What sources do you use for the data in your calculations?
We get our data from NTM, the Scandinavian Network for Transport and the Environment. NTM's data comes originally from the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), and has been interpreted by the Swedish Defense Research Agency on behalf of NTM.
How precise are your results?
The calculated climate impact is based on estimations of fuel consumption, which vary from situation to situation. For air travel, for example, headwinds and tailwinds will affect the actual consumption for any given flight. On average, however, our results give a very good estimation of the actual climate impact.
How do you calculate how much I pay?
The price you pay is based on a per-ton price and the calculated amount of emissions in carbon dioxide equivalents. We do not charge any transaction fees but we do have a minimum purchase amount of a quarter ton (250kg) of carbon dioxide, which roughly corresponds to a return flight between London and Paris.
The per-ton price is based on a number of factors, the most significant of which is obviously the construction and running costs for the underlying project (such as a windfarm). Other factors include the costs for registration, certification and auditing. The price is an average price for the projects in our portfolio, and as we expand the portfolio, the per-ton price will change since costs vary from project to project.
Prices are stated inclusive of value added (sales) tax for individuals and exclusive of tax for organisations.
Why do I have to pay sales tax (VAT) on my purchase? Isn't it a gift/charitable donation?
When you offset on our site, you are purchasing an actual carbon reduction, which we then cancel on your behalf. Both the offsets themselves (Certified Emissions Reductions), and the service we provide in selling and cancelling them, are subject to VAT in all EU countries. In other words, even though it may feel like you are making someone a gift, you are in fact purchasing a VAT-liable service. No, we don't like it either, but we have to follow the law.
Does the calculation vary based on what class I fly?
No, we do not take account of what class you fly, but our model is under constant evaluation and we have an ongoing discussion with experts on questions such as these.
Does Tricorona allow me to fly as much as I want with a clean conscience?
No, Tricorona does not legitimise air travel or any other form of carbon emissions. A long-term solution for global warming will require significant emissions reductions from our current levels, in both developed and developing countries. Reducing your own direct emissions, for example by flying less, is the best way you can help fight global warming. But for those emissions that remain, Tricorona Green provides a way for you to compensate by causing emissions reductions elsewhere.