Own climate protection project

Challenge ahead: emissions trading

Many airlines believe that emission allowances that comply with the EU Emission Trading System can only be obtained through purchase. Does your airline know that it is possible to invest in its own custom CDM Gold Standard projects to produce its own CO2 certificates?

Buy Gold Standard CERs or Gold Standard micro-scale VERs

atmosfair develops and finances energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that fulfil the stringent CDM and Gold Standard criteria. After being carried out successfully, these projects produce emission reduction certificates. The process is controlled by the UN.

These certificates are primarily used to compensate the specific emissions of atmosfair donators. Furthermore, atmosfair offers additional Gold Standard CERs or VERs from micro-scale Gold Standard projects from time to time.

Make your own CERs

Buying certificates is not the only option. In fact, it is actually not the most cost-efficient option. Instead of purchasing certificates on a volatile market, atmosfair facilitates your company in investing in its own project in order to produce its own certificates that are eligible for the EU ETS. Such projects are adapted to the individual needs and characteristics of each company.

The benefits:

  • Savings: Companies that produce their own CERs benefit from substantial savings and price stability in comparison with purchased allowances. Projects developed by atmosfair can yield CERs for around 10 EUR.
  • Safety: atmosfair projects are located in the world's least developed countries and are therefore eligible for the EU ETS after 2013; this ensures the long-term stability of the certificates.
  • Flexibility: Your company's own CDM project provides valuable benefits in the emissions allowance sourcing process, such as secure access and a large degree of scalability.
  • Double benefits: CDM Gold Standard projects can be used in two ways: in compliance with the EU ETS and in voluntary offsetting by passengers. These can also be used in combination.
  • Marketing: Compared to purchased allowances, your company's investment in its own project fosters authentic B2C communication and provides a credible pillar within its CSR strategy.

Your own CDM project – what does it mean?

As a partner of industry, atmosfair offers companies access to CDM Gold Standard projects with the option of investing in them and thereby owning the CERs created by the project. To begin, atmosfair develops and plans the projects. When the projects are ready for investment, atmosfair presents them to companies. Typically, a local partner implements the project, while atmosfair is responsible for all tasks related to the CDM process up to the final CER issuance. This cooperation continues over the 10 year CDM project period.

Benefit: Production of your company's own certificates, eligible for the EU ETS.

Our record: atmosfair has developed CDM projects for customers since 2005. Some of them have set CDM standards, some were the first of their kind and have received acclaim from UNFCCC. Among others we developed a CDM Gold Standard project for global logistics market leader DHL. DHL now produces its own CERs and reaps the benefits outlined below.

Savings: make or buy

By investing in its own CDM project, your company can save significant costs due to the lack of financial intermediaries. Your company's own project affords it independence from market prices, which are projected to increase.

Buy CERs or EUAs

  • Current market price ≈ 15 EUR per ton CO2
  • Expected shortage of available certificates will result in rising prices

Sample forecasts by respected institutions:

Institution             Forecast 2020
Barclays Capital             24 EUR
Citi Bank             25 EUR
Point Carbon             26 EUR
UBS             35 EUR

Make your own CERs

  • Calculatory price ≈ 10 EUR per ton CO2 in a project with atmosfair technology
  • Independence of market fluctuations
  • Long-term CER price stability

The following rough calculation demonstrates the basic data of an atmosfair CDM Gold Standard project in Africa. With an efficient wood stove project, your company can produce CERs for around 10 EUR:

  • Stoves: 40,000
  • Investment: 8 million EUR
  • Financing period: 10 years
  • Expected CERs per stove and year: 2.0
  • Total CERs: 800,000
  • Calculatory CER price ≈ 10 EUR


The EU Emissions Trading System is the result of a policy process. As always, policies are amended from time to time. From our experience working at the interface of project development and regulation, we know that CDM Gold Standard projects in developing countries are the most secure investments for ensuring the long-term usability of certificates.

Future restrictions by the European Union

1. From 2013 onwards, the EU ETS will only accept CERs that are

  • generated by projects registered before December 31, 2012
  • generated by projects in the world's least developed countries (LDCs), and probably in sub-Saharan Africa as well
  • not generated by gas projects such as HFC or N2O from adipic acid plants

Our projects are located in Africa, mostly in LDCs.

Investments in such CDM projects ensure compliance with EU ETS until 2020 and thus long-term structural independence.

2. The EU reserves the right to restrict the use of CERs that are not ecologically or socially sustainable. In light of this, CERs generated by Gold Standard projects are a wise investment because they meet the highest sustainability criteria and therefore guarantee additional planning dependability.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat recently honoured atmosfair's efficient wood stove project in Nigeria as one of the world's best CDM projects due to its additional focus on sustainable development.


There are few industries facing planning circumstances as difficult as the aviation branch does. All factors are changing rapidly, from fuel prices to regulatory frameworks and political conditions. However, airlines have a choice between dependence on price fluctuations and planning stability when it comes to EU ETS compliance.

atmosfair offers your company stability and flexibility:


Your company's own CDM project leads to valuable benefits in the emission allowances sourcing process.

Availability: CERs from LDCs are rare and currently not available on the market. Your own project ensures the constant supply of such CERs, which are eligible long-term in the EU.

Scalability: atmosfair projects are scalable to some extent, i.e. it is possible to increase CER production.

Double benefits

Many airlines are already involved in voluntary offsetting. Some of them support carbon-offsetting retailers, and some donate to specific mitigation projects. However, as of yet, almost no airline combines voluntary offsetting with CERs generated for the purpose of emissions trading. Investing in a project with atmosfair allows for the combination of these two options:

  • Voluntary offsetting: our airline's passengers finance the project's setup and maintenance through donations. All certificates that are financed in this way are used to create CERs that are retired for the benefit of the atmosphere, thus offsetting the passengers' emissions.
  • Compliance: When the project is up and running, your airline will be able to expand the project in order to generate its own CERs in compliance with the EU ETS. As project owner, this approach minimizes your airline's risk of project failure.

Your airline can easily enter into a compensation project free from additional costs and risks; it is easy to integrate the ready-to-use atmosfair offset box in its online sales system.

Note: since 2005, atmosfair has been internationally ranked the number one quality offset provider a total of seven times.

atmosfair offsetting cycle (click on graphic to enlarge)

atmosfair offsetting cycle (click on graphic to enlarge)


In an environment in which business partners and customers are increasingly aware of the ecological impacts of travel, your company's own CDM Gold Standard project is a unique selling point.

Unlike the purchase of EU emission allowances (EUAs) from the EU Trading System or CERs from unknown sources, the investment in your company's own CDM offset project demonstrates its commitment to tackle climate change. Such an investment lends credibility to your airline's CSR strategy.

This is one of the reasons why global logistics market leader DHL commissioned atmosfair to establish a DHL-owned CDM Gold Standard project in 2010.