02 Sep Why Carbon Reduction in Real Estate Matters
Carbon reduction is a very important topic in today’s society. It is a way for businesses to protect the environment and improve their reputations. Countries can also profit from carbon reduction by trading in carbon credits.
But it’s not just industrial processes that contribute to air pollution and climate change. The real estate sector is also a major source of carbon emissions. In fact, buildings in the United States have a bigger carbon footprint than both industry and transportation.
In Latin America, the building sector is responsible for 25% of the region’s carbon footprint. The numbers are only marginally better in Canada. There, the building sector accounts for 12% of carbon emissions in the country. That puts it in third place, behind the gas and oil industry and the transportation sector.
The Role of Real Estate in Carbon Emissions
In 2013, the real estate sector was responsible for almost 45% of carbon emissions in the United States. This amounted to 2,358 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide per year. That’s 500 MMT more than transportation and 1,240 MMT more than industry.
This, of course, has to do with the fact that buildings use a lot of energy. Electricity, in particular, is a large source of carbon dioxide emissions. But a general lack of awareness also plays a major part.
In the last 10 years, businesses have taken part in various carbon reduction projects. They’ve managed to reduce their carbon footprint and make up for the rest with carbon offsetting. In contrast, there were no such initiatives in the real estate sector. Seeing as there are at least a million new buildings going up each year, it is no surprise that its carbon footprint has become so big.
And while it may be easy to blame the real estate sector, we are all responsible for these alarming results.
How Big Is Your Carbon Footprint?
Recent statistics show that every American uses 2216.5 metric tons of carbon per year. The numbers in Canada are very similar, with 15.1 metric tons of carbon per capita. This includes all the emissions that they individuals are responsible for – those from their car, home, and travels.
With 1.6 metric tons per year, Costa Rica is among the countries with the lowest carbon emission rate per capita. The numbers vary in other Latin American countries, but one thing is certain – everything we do impacts our carbon footprint.
For example, eating a single cheeseburger can amount to 3.5kg of carbon emissions. Each can of Coca-Cola that you drink has a carbon footprint of 170g. In fact, every single food that we eat contributes to our carbon footprint. The main culprits include meat, dairy, and eggs.
Of course, giving up on food isn’t an option. But there are other things that you can do to contribute to carbon reduction. The first step is to adopt more environmentally friendly habits. After that, you might want to consider carbon offsetting.
How Carbon Offsetting Works
Carbon offsetting involves the purchasing of carbon credits. Each credit equals one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Although it’s mostly companies that buy carbon credits, individuals can do it too.
First, you need to calculate your carbon footprint. This allows you to determine how many carbon credits you need to buy per year. Each credit that you buy goes toward some carbon reduction project that helps protect the environment.
Take for example a forest restoration project. Depending on how much you invest, it could be enough to plant hundreds or even thousands of new trees. You can also choose to direct your funds toward renewable sources of energy.
No matter what you choose to invest in, anything you do can make a difference.
Carbon Reduction and Real Estate in Costa Rica
As you may know, Costa Rica plans to become carbon-neutral by 2100. To achieve this goal, all sectors need to make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. These include industry, transportation, and real estate, the sectors most responsible for carbon emissions.
If you own a property in Costa Rica, you can offset your carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits here. As a rule, they will go toward projects in the country or elsewhere in Latin America. If you want to, you can also buy credits for projects in other countries.
Because of the many benefits that the government offers, Costa Rica is very popular among foreign investors. If you’re planning to buy real estate here, you should also plan for carbon reduction. Even if you’re only renting a property here, it is still an important thing to consider.
How Calvur Consulting Can Help You
There are companies that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. There are also real estate companies that can help you buy, sell, or rent properties. But there is not one company that helps you do both. Except for Calvur Consulting, that is.
On our website, you’ll find the latest listings of properties in Costa Rica. We list residential and commercial properties, both for sale and for rental. When you buy, sell, or rent through our site, we give you the option to buy carbon credits for the property.
If you opt to buy or sell a property, our carbon offset programs will cover your carbon footprint for a year. If you opt for rental or vacation properties, you will only compensate for the time you spend there.
Calvur will provide you with an internationally recognized carbon reduction certificate. We provide only high-quality certificates that comply with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Gold Standard. The document will always be available online and show the exact amount of carbon dioxide you are offsetting. What’s more, it will be easily traceable to its root registry.
The Final Word
Are you looking to buy, sell, or rent a property in Costa Rica? Do you also want to compensate for its carbon emissions? Calvur Consulting can help you do both.
Click here to visit the real estate section of our website and learn more about the services that we offer.