The collective vs. plastic bags - how we do our math

You may have seen our ads: by joining Co-Benefits, in one year you can save the same amount of emissions from the atmosphere as 1620 kiwis using reusable bags at the supermarket, 118 kiwis committed to recycling, or 92 kiwis constantly composting. 

How? 

Joining the collective = reducing emissions 

By joining Co-Benefits, you are reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by funding low-carbon projects. 

Low-carbon projects, things like solar panels and reforestation projects, reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. They need funding to go ahead and, provided they meet specific criteria; they can be issued with offsets to sell by international standards bodies as a type of climate finance. 

The criteria a project must meet is strict and includes things like being able to demonstrate to regulators that its emissions savings are real, quantifiable, additional, verifiable, monitored and permanent. 

We purchase offsets directly from international standards bodies, helping to finance the certified low-carbon projects and fund their emissions reductions. We then pass on the emissions reductions to you in exchange for your contributions. You can keep track of what projects you have helped finance and the emissions savings you are responsible for, by logging in to your dashboard. 

For more on how this all works, see the How it Works page and the FAQ. 

How significant a reduction?

After bank and regulatory fees, every $5 weekly contribution leaves us with just over $4.00 to spend purchasing offsets from low-carbon project developers. The average price of purchasing offsets from the projects in our portfolio (as of November 2020), is $20 per 1000kg CO2e. 

So, with every Co-Benefactor, we are offsetting an average of:
  • 28.5kg of CO2e per day;
  • 199.5kg of CO2e per week; and 
  • 10,402.50kg of CO2e per year. 
If 5000 Co-Benefactors sign up, we’re saving 52million kg of CO2e from the atmosphere per year. 

How does this compare to other climate actions?

To put this impact into perspective, we’ve ranked the emissions savings from other climate-friendly actions. These come in at the following totals (all in CO2e per year): 

  • 6.28kg = using your own bags at the supermarket 
  • 88.48kg = recycling 
  • 102.45kg = buying bulk and avoiding packaging
  • 112.91kg = composting
  • 1127kg = going vegetarian
  • 2924kg = swapping from a petrol to electric car 
  • 10,402.50kg = donating to low-carbon projects via Co-Benefits
This means that joining the collective is 99x more effective at reducing emissions than buying bulk food. Or you’d have to compost for 92 years to have the same climate impact as joining the collective for one year. 

Imagine if you did all of those actions on that list? You’d be saving a whopping 14,763.62kg of CO2e from the atmosphere every year. That’s nearly 2x as much as the average kiwi emits in a year. 

If 5000 Co-Benefactors signed up and did all of the actions on that list, we’d be saving 148million kgs of CO2e from the atmosphere in a year. That’s the equivalent emissions savings as 50,000 kiwis swapping to electric cars for a year.   
 
What are these amounts based on? 

We have extensively researched the carbon footprint of various actions and have tried to rely on New Zealand data where possible. If you want to nerd out, our calculation bases for the above actions are:
  • Composting - the Toitu NZ calculator
  • Swapping to an electric car - the Toitu NZ calculator

Join the collective

Low-carbon. High-impact.