Cawa’s Innovative Approach to Carbon Credits

With the South of Europe suffering heat wave after heat wave, it’s becoming clear to almost everyone that climate change is no longer a future threat. The increasing intensity and frequency of these disasters make it clear that taking climate action is needed now.

4 min
Kees van Santen

And of course, efforts have been made on a global scale to mitigate climate change. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, which sets the framework for undertaking climate action. Countries and companies are setting ambitious net-zero targets, striving to balance the amount of greenhouse gasses produced with the amount removed from the atmosphere.

But current efforts are not enough to reach the targets in the Paris Agreement, as indicated by the IPCC recently. 

How carbon credits can help

One of the measures to fund climate action is through carbon credits. Businesses, organizations, and individuals voluntarily purchase carbon credits to offset their own carbon emissions, beyond what is mandated by regulation. The funds generated from these purchases directly support projects that reduce, avoid, or remove greenhouse gas emissions, such as renewable energy projects, forest conservation, and reforestation initiatives.

This market provides an additional stream of finance, accelerating climate action in regions where it's most needed. It enables entities to take responsibility for their emissions and provides a tangible way to contribute to the global climate response. 

The issues around carbon credits

Despite its potential, the carbon credit system is not without its flaws. There are three significant challenges associated with it: transparency, quality of climate projects, and communication of impact.

Firstly, there is often a lack of transparency regarding where the funding for carbon credits actually ends up. We found that up to 85% of funding ends up with middlemen. Not quite the efficiency you want to see when funding climate action. 

Secondly, the quality of the climate projects funded by these credits can vary significantly. While some projects may result in tangible, long-term benefits to the environment, others may have minimal impact or, worse, unintended negative consequences.

Lastly, it can be challenging to communicate the impact of carbon credits to stakeholders. Without the transparency to back up environmental claims stakeholders might criticize well-intentioned funding.

How Cawa is fixing these issues

Cawa is building an API infrastructure through which companies can contribute to high-quality climate projects and integrate this into their business. With Cawa, we aim to build trust by transparency. And that trust is needed in order for companies and people to contribute to climate projects. We tackle the issues in the market by providing: 

  • Full traceability of funding. With Cawa, companies know exactly when and how much of the funding ends up at the climate projects. By connecting our software directly to the project developers and not using any middlemen we can guarantee the efficiency of funding reaching the actual projects. 
  • High-quality climate projects. We’ve analyzed and spoken with over 120 climate projects to select a high-quality of climate projects. Currently we offer only carbon removal projects, such as afforestation and biochar projects. 

Easy communication to stakeholders. Through Cawa companies can easily communicate their impact to individual stakeholders (such as consumers) by providing transparency on impact and funding per product sold, transaction made or per StartDock location 😉

How StartDock is taking climate action

StartDock has taken several big steps in order to improve on sustainability as part of its wider process towards becoming a B-Corp. Concretely for carbon emissions this means: 

  • StartDock started measuring the energy usage of all the locations. This required even installing multiple extra measuring devices as the cool, old buildings generally do not have smart meters. You can find the results for your location in the Energy tab in your Startdock account. 
  • Reducing the energy usage based on the insights that the measuring provided. 
  • Compensating for the remaining emissions via Cawa. StartDock has been doing this since May and soon this will be integrated in the Energy tab. This will show exactly through which climate projects the carbon is compensated and thus providing transparency to all individual Dockers. StartDock contributes to a Gold Standard reforestation project that shares a part of the benefits of the project with the community to make sure the project has local support.

By providing transparency on carbon calculations and the compensation efforts through the dashboard, StartDock is showing how companies can take credible climate action. Improving on sustainability is always a work in progress for every company and by providing transparency companies can learn fastest. Cawa is happy to be a part of StartDock’s journey and we are always open to connect around sustainability / carbon emissions topics with other Dockers. 


Contact: Kees van Santen – 



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