FAQs

What is a carbon footprint? +

Our carbon footprint depends on our behaviours. trace has taken the average Australian footprint and done the maths for you. You can think about your lifestyle and pick an appropriate plan for you. For example if you travel a lot you may want to go for the 2 footprints offset plan. Read more about carbon footprints in our guide here including examples & top tips

What is a carbon offset? +

A carbon offset (or carbon credit) is generated from an activity that prevents, reduces or removes greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere. For every tonne of CO2 you emit we buy 1 carbon offset certificate for a verified project that we have chosen. You can see the projects we fund on Our Projects page.

What is the average footprint in my country? +

Our plans are designed to offset the average carbon emissions per capita in your country, grouped into high (21 tCO2/year), medium (16 tCO2/year) or low (12 tCO2/year). Our benchmarks are based on data from several sources including the UN and World Bank. We prefer to overestimate the average footprint to make sure our members are climate positive:
- HIGH emissions countries: Australia
- MEDIUM emissions countries: USA, Canada
- LOW emissions countries: New Zealand, UK, Other Europe, Asia, South America, Africa

Where does the money go? +

We work with trusted partners, Eden Reforestation, SCB, Tasman Environmental Markets, Patch and Wilderlands to source carbon credits and buy trees from high integrity climate projects around the world. We only support projects that are measurable, transparent about their money spend and verified by an external body like Verra and Gold Standard. You can check out the project we are supporting on our project page.

Carbon markets operate like the stock market, so the price of carbon credits fluctuates. As such, the exact amount we spend on offsetting varies, but we commit to spend at least 70% of your subscription payment on funding projects. Any leftover is used to cover our overheads and fuel our growth. We have a public tracker to show where we have spent our members funds. You can see this here.

Is there a receipt for the offsets we buy? +

We publish the certificates of the carbon credits we have bought each month so that you can see how many tonnes of CO2 (‘carbon credits’) have avoided. Please see these here

What happens once I subscribe? +

When you subscribe to the Trace club, you are funding carbon reduction projects every month. Trace takes your money and sends it to the partners who are running the projects. You will hear from us once a month with information on the specific project you have funded.

How do I cancel my subscription? +

You can cancel your subscription at anytime. Just log into your member portal and click on the top right menu. You should see a button that allows you to cancel your subscription. If you have any issues please contact hello@our-trace.com

How much does it cost to offset my carbon footprint? +

Your lifestyle impacts your carbon footprint; for example if you take a lot of flights your carbon footprint will be higher than someone of similar lifestyle who doesn't fly regularly.  The higher the volume of carbon in your footprint the higher the cost to offset it. The cost is also impacted by which type of project you want to offset with. Some projects are more expensive than others to offset the same amount of carbon. 

The average Australian emits approximately 21 tonnes of carbon a year. This is higher than many other nationalities because of a number of factors;
- Average lifestyle
- Energy generation
- Size of country

Is Trace a charity or not for profit? +

No we are not a charity. There are hundreds of charities doing excellent work to address climate change. What makes us different is our ability to invest in our growth and awesome experience for our members. We think this is crucial to achieving our vision - where everyone lives a carbon neutral life. We are fighting a cause that benefits society and we will do this effectively & efficiently by running a lean business. We are always trying to find ways to make our processes as efficient as possible so that we can make as big an impact as possible.

+ Why should I choose trace?

If you are ready to have a positive impact but aren't quite ready for external certification & audits then you are in the right place.
- Free footprint measurement in less than one week
- Marketing package included
- Impact page & website badges to help to tell you story
- trace only support high integrity, externally certified, projects. The trace teams handpicks the projects against set criteria.
- You will receive regular project updates so you can understand your impact and keep up to date with the projects progress.

+ What's the difference between my membership period, measurement period, and impact period?

1. Membership period: the period of your annual subscription to the Trace portal. Starts the day your membership fee is charged, and automatically renews on a recurring annual basis.

2. Measurement period: the period of activity data submitted to Trace for your CO2 assessment. You can view current and past measurement cycles in the 'Data' tab on your Trace portal.

3. Carbon impact period: represents the period of validity of your Trace badge. Begins from the day you pay to offset your emissions (optional). The expiry month is shown on the badge.

N.B. the measurement period cannot be more than 9 months old at the time the carbon impact period begins (i.e. to achieve carbon status, the CO2 assessment must represent data which is less than 9 months old).

+ Why should I offset the emissions of my business?

If you're reading this I am sure we don't need to convince you that the climate crisis is happening. It is important we all, individuals & businesses, do what we can to reduce our impact on the earth.

Offsetting is a simple & effective way to have an immediate impact on the planet. By measuring your footprint you can understand where your most carbon intensive processes are and make a plan to reduce them.

And your customers expect it! 88% of consumers want brands to help them be environmentally friendly! ‘Sustainable’ consumer products grew 5x faster than conventional products in the last 5 years.

+ What exactly is carbon offsetting?

A carbon offset (or carbon credit) is generated from a project that prevents, reduces or removes greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere (i.e. within your business or supply chain). For example, wind turbines to replace fossil fuels, water boreholes to avoid burning wood to create clean water, geothermal energy, tree planting and biodiversity restoration. 

+ How is becoming Carbon Neutral with trace different to becoming Climate Active certified?

A Carbon neutral certification under the Climate Active programme requires companies to hire an independent consultant to complete a comprehensive analysis of your operations and supply chain emissions. This is time and cost intensive and often a barrier for many companies to take action. That’s why we created trace - to make it straightforward and accessible to take climate action whatever your size & budget. You can read more about the differences between trace and Climate Active here

+ How do you measure emissions?

Our CO2 emissions model is based on Climate Active, NABERs and GHG Protocol methodology and uses emissions factors and benchmark data from auditable public sources. We believe in the 80:20 rule - 80% accuracy comes from 20% of the effort, which allows us to analyse your emissions and provide a quote in less than one week and at zero cost. 
The scope activities that we measure varies by client and can include;
- Materials and manufacturing
- Freight and logistics
- Packaging
- Customer deliveries
- Building energy usage
- Staff (remote work, commuting and travel)

You can read more about our methodology here

+ Do you integrate with my accounting software?

Trace now allows you to integrate with Xero, reducing the need for manual line item input during data collection. To get started, you need to authorise access to Xero via the Trace portal.

Don’t have Xero admin access? You can also have your Xero administrator authorise access.

Using something other than Xero? Email us at hello@our-trace.com to let us know.

+ How do I connect my Xero with Trace?

Please follow this guide below.

You may disconnect your integration at any time by clicking this button

+ What information does Trace have access to from my Xero? Will my staff see sensitive information like payroll or revenue?

Xero offers multiple APIs to access data; we are only using the Bank TransactionsInvoice APIs, not the Payroll API
- This means that if you are using the payroll system in Xero, we (and therefore your team on the Trace app) do not get access to an individual's salary.
- Wages may come through on the transactions API as one aggregated line item i.e. total wages debited with no further detail as to how that is broken down.
- As this line item is not of interest to us for our analysis we filter it out prior to Trace staff or your staff interacting with the UI.
- Other items that we would filter out include Taxes & superannuation as this is not relevant to carbon footprint analysis
- The only scenario where we may see more detail is for contractors that do not go through the payroll system, they may (depending on how you structure this in Xero) come through as single line items. It is not easy for us to apply rules to exclude this automatically but you can do this through our app afterwards.

The Bank Transactions & Invoice APIs allows us to query all transactions. The info that is relevant to our analysis is what you spend money on so we only look and display "debits" in the UI, not credits.
- This means that we do not see revenue through how we access Xero
- Neither Trace staff or your staff using the UI would see credit info.

You can find more detailed information about the data we store on our Terms of service here.

+ Will you modify anything on my Xero account?

No, this is a read-only integration, meaning we will just read and analyse the data from your Xero. We will not be adding, modifying, or deleting any data in your Xero account.

Still have questions? Email us at hello@our-trace.com

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