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Nova sells VERs to individuals, families, congregations and corporate entities that choose to offset their carbon footprint.

What is a VER?

VER stands for Voluntary Emissions Reductions or Verified Emissions Reductions. Both refer to the emerging market, that is structured to make it possible to support energy efficient and renewable energy projects by buying carbon credits. One VER is equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2e emissions. When you buy a VER, you choose to voluntarily compensate for your Green House Gas emissions and by doing so you provide an additional contribution to mitigating climate change.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service. A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas in the atmosphere that can absorb and emit infrared radiation. This process is the cause of the greenhouse effect. Global warming is believed to be the result of a strengthening of the greenhouse effect mostly due to human-produced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

What does it mean to offset my carbon footprint?

If you decide to offset your carbon footprint it means that you have taken the responsible decision to mitigate the impact that your activities has on our planet. If you further choose to offset with VERs emanating from a Nova project, it means that you invest in a project that has additional benefits. Nova projects do not only result in GHG emission reductions, it also has significant sustainable development benefits to low-income households in South Africa.

One of the greatest advantages of this mechanism is that you can be assured that you don't invest in a fictional idea or a good intention but in a benefit that has already materialized, making it possible to generate further similar benefits. You buy a VER that has been verified and validated by an independent trustworthy third party. For each Nova BM VER that you offset you have made it possible for Nova to go and demonstrate a cleaner method of lighting a domestic coal fire to plus-minus one family in South Africa. Each family sustainably saves more than R300 and up to R600 annually on coal and has much less hazardous emissions in and around their household.

How to offset your carbon footprint

We now provide a brief step by step guide on how to offset your footprint with some of the best VERs you will ever find! You may offset smaller quantities (maximum of 1000 tons) on the Nova website. If you wish to offset your carbon footprint you do it as follows:

STEP 1: Go to OFFSET my carbon footprint.
STEP 2: You will see a calculator which will enable you to calculate your footprint.
STEP 3: Once your footprint has been calculated you will also see how much it would cost to offset your footprint with VERs from a Nova project. When you choose to offset you will have the option to pay online. All transactions take place on a secured website.
STEP 4: You will receive an electronic certificate that certifies that you have invested in a verified reduction of GHG gasses.

You can now be assured that you not only mitigated your calculated footprint but that you also helped in the process that low-income families in South Africa has a cleaner, safer environment.

This mechanism of VER trading creates an opportunity to give practical expression to the fact that we have a common destiny. We believe that this is the way to go!

Standards

All VER vintages up to 2009 have been verified according to the WBCSD/WRI GHG Project Protocol and have been verified by an as independent third party (KPMG Service Inc.).
See: http://www.ghgprotocol.org/standards/project-protocol

All VER vintages from 2010 onwards are issued according to the GS Gold Standard. The Gold Standard Foundation is a non-profit organization under Swiss law that operates a certification scheme for premium quality carbon credits.
See: http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org

References:
http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/cut-carbon-reduce-costs/calculate/carbon-footprinting/pages/carbon-footprinting.aspx
http://www.tfsgreen.com/global-markets/voluntary-emissions-reductions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_Emissions_Reduction