In 2013, Greenferd Construction announced it was one of the first commercial construction companies in Canada to manage climate change by investing in environmental offset projects. On February 12th, 2013, our corporate operations were certified carbon neutral in an effort to support sustainability and counteract current GHG (Green House Gas) emissions.

“We took a long, hard look at the best way we could make a meaningful contribution to environmental concerns. And it was decided carbon offsets were the most effective approach” said Mr. Scott Heldin, Partner at Greenferd. “We understand climate change is a complex matter but rather than focus on a discussion about its cause, we feel everyone can agree doing something is better than doing nothing.”

Our decision to use carbon offsets came with some very strict conditions. We mandated the following four criteria:

  1. Unique Ownership: Carbon offsets need to be high quality. It is better to buy fewer high quality offsets, rather than a larger amount of lower quality ones.
  2. Permanance: Prioritize offsets from renewal energy and energy efficiency projects. There create a permanent climate benefit.
  3. Additionality: Offset projects must not have happened without the incentives arising from the offset market. It is essential that the reductions are not simply reductions that would have happened in the “business as usual” scenario.
  4. Certified Standards: Carbon offsets need to be certified to a recognized standard such as the Gold Standard, CDM, VCS, Climate Action Reserve, etc.

Starting in 2020 we continued our climate change efforts by offering to have our construction projects certified carbon neutral for utility usage during construction and contactor travel during construction.

At Greenferd, we are on a mission to elevate our sustainability. We recognize climate change is not a passing fad. It is not going away. We have a responsibility to the planet and future generations. We are proud of our commitment to managing climate change.


Do you have a Green Story? Please let us know so we can share it with our community. Email Scott at

To download our Earth Day desktop screensaver, click on the photo. The download will start automatically.



For Windows: Download Picture. Open Picture. Click right side tool bar. Select -Set as – Set As Background.

For Apple: Download Picture. Click top left apple logo. Select “Desktop and Screensavers”. Locate in downloads and select.

Here is the link to the Time Magazine article we referenced in our email, “Global Air Pollution Has Fallen Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak, but Experts Warn It Isn’t a Silver Lining.


What is a carbon offset?2020-03-10T18:14:22+00:00

Carbon offsets are real and verified reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Their purpose is to assist in the mitigation of global warming by compensating or “offsetting” an emissions-producing activity by investing into offsets that improve efficiency, conserve energy and biodiversity, and change in behaviour. Offset purchasers are taking immediate action on climate change by being responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions they are unable to reduce. Offsets can be created when projects are undertaken to permanently reduce GHG emissions such as building retrofits, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, or the displacement of non-renewables into energy sources such as wind and solar. Offsets can also be created through the sequestration of carbon into forests. However these offsets should be adequately verified to take into account Permanence, Additionality, Accurate Quantification, and Verified. Projects that are mandated by law, occur during the normal day-to-day operations or have a strong return on investment, do not qualify as offsets. Offsets must be “additional”, which ensures the projects that created them would not have occurred without the funding provided by the sale of the GHG reductions.

How do carbon offsets work?2020-03-10T18:14:51+00:00

In order to offset the emissions that you create, it’s necessary to quantify or measure your carbon footprint. Once you know the amount of CO² you produce, you can purchase a carbon offset. Next carbon offsets are sourced from projects that support entities in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. All credits purchased by Greenferd are certified as additional, quantified, verified by independent third parties and registered on the Canadian Standards Association CleanProjects registry or similar. This ensures that the carbon offset Greenferd has purchased is retired and not being double counted by other offsetters.

How does climate change differ from global warming?2020-03-10T18:15:16+00:00

Global warming refers to the rise in the average surface temperature of the earth. The effects of this include the melting of glaciers and mountain show caps that are a large source of fresh water used for drinking and irrigation. Consequently, the rising of sea levels caused by melting ice sheets may cause coastal areas and islands become exposed to storm damage or potentially underwater. Climate change takes into account the alteration of regional climate characteristics and is more complex than global warming. Factors that contribute to climate change include humidity, precipitation, air pressure, and temperature. More specifically, changes in our climate may affect severe weather events, agricultural productivity, risk of vector-borne infectious diseases, and extinctions of higher level species due to loss of habitat. The global temperature has risen 0.6°C since the end of the 1800’s. There is concern in the scientific community that the temperature change from now to the end of the century will be roughly the same as the difference between now and the last Ice Age, which occurred 10,000 years ago, resulting in dramatic changes in temperature, weather patterns, water tables, land and biodiversity.

If I reduce my carbon footprint, does that count as a carbon offset?2020-03-10T18:15:37+00:00

Not exactly. If you reduce your carbon footprint, you reduce your contribution to climate change (which is a great thing!). To create a carbon offset, certain criteria and standards must be adopted in a manner that takes into account such things as leakage, permanence, additionality and unique ownership. See Greenferd’s four criteria in the section above.

Are carbon offsets a substitution for conservation?2020-03-10T18:16:07+00:00

Not really. Through the calculation of your carbon footprint, it is evident that the activities that create the greatest amount of emissions can be reduced through conservation. Conservation is encouraged to decrease our planet’s reliance on fossil fuels and wasting of our natural resources. However, no matter how much you conserve, it is necessary to keep your home warm in the winter, to cook your food, and travel to work to provide for your family. Carbon offsetting provides a way for you to neutralize the emissions you create, even after you have conserved as much as possible. Conservation and offsetting go hand-and-hand in a lot of cases, for a lot of people. Many people want to take responsibility for their actions that affect the stability of our planet. Offsetting provides a solution to individuals and organizations that produce emissions that cannot be reduced through day-to-day conservation.

What does carbon neutral mean?2020-03-10T18:16:28+00:00

Carbon neutral means contributing net zero addition of carbon dioxide (CO²) into the atmosphere. To claim carbon neutrality, it doesn’t mean producing no emissions, but the net addition of emissions into the atmosphere is zero. This is primarily achieved through the purchase of carbon offsets.

Can I be carbon neutral without using offsets?2020-03-07T18:31:43+00:00

It is possible to become carbon neutral without offsetting, but to do so will most likely be very difficult and/or prohibitively costly. The reality of today’s world is that any energy use, including heating, cooling, electricity and transportation, emits carbon at some point. Though it is possible to provide transportation and energy completely carbon free, it would require technologies that are unaffordable for most of us, or do not yet exist.

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