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Money habits

Cogo explains: What is carbon offsetting?

17 July 2023


Suncorp Bank has partnered with climate fintech Cogo to help customers get an insight into the estimated carbon emissions associated with their eligible transactions in the Bank’s Carbon Insights Account. Each eligible transaction is matched to an industry and spend is multiplied by an average emission factor for that industry. In this article, Cogo explains how carbon offsetting works.

A carbon offset is a way to compensate for carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere by matching them to a reduction or removal of carbon in the atmosphere. While this does help compensate for our own impact, there’s a cost involved: you have to buy the offset. To stay within the 1.5 degree Celsius limit set at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), carbon emissions need to be reduced as much as possible and then offset the remaining unavoidable emissions.

How does offsetting work?

For individuals, companies and governments that generate carbon emissions they cannot reduce, there are specific programs and organisations that match carbon emissions to carbon reduction or removal projects.

In Australia, there are some sizable carbon reduction programmes focusing on carbon removal projects (for example growth of new forests and the protection of existing forests from logging) or carbon avoiding projects (for example, investing into a renewable energy plant). They can offer a carbon offset to someone who wants to compensate for the emissions they’ve generated elsewhere. These offsetting projects create measured, reported and verified carbon benefits through reduction and avoidance of carbon emissions. Not all projects are the same, and the cost of purchasing carbon offsets can vary by project.

Is offsetting the solution to climate change?

Offsetting provides opportunities to invest in environmental projects around the world to compensate for unavoidable emissions and help them on the road to achieving carbon neutrality.

Cogo is working with Suncorp Bank to focus on empowering customers to get a better understanding of their estimated carbon emissions through their eligible transactions in the Carbon Insights Account. 

Cogo believes reducing your estimated carbon emissions can have the direct and long-term positive impact needed to affect real change and will be using their behavioural change and climate action expertise to support Suncorp Bank to empower their customers to better understand their carbon emissions through use of the Carbon Insights Account. 

While offsetting has some value, Cogo suggests reducing carbon emissions as much as possible first before offsetting your emissions.


Neither Suncorp Bank or Cogo offer the functionality to purchase carbon offsets. The information in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared by third party provider Connecting Good Australia Pty Limited (ABN 42 647 475 107) (Cogo) without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Estimated carbon emissions data is only available with the Carbon Insights Account. The carbon emissions data provided is an estimate only and calculated using data provided by Cogo relating to industry averages of carbon emissions per dollar spend for different merchant types (Industry Data).

Deposit Products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd (“Suncorp Bank”) ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882. Please read the Product Information Document & Terms and Conditions  for the Carbon Insights Account before opening an account. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request.


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