Responsible offsetting and our pathway to net zero

For a building to achieve net zero emissions, it is essential that built environment professionals follow a science-based decarbonisation pathway that prioritises reducing emissions in line with 1.5˚C. Once embodied carbon and energy use intensity limits have been achieved, responsible carbon offsetting has a crucial role to play in the transition to net zero carbon buildings.

However, purchasing offsets from the voluntary carbon market can be challenging due to its lack of maturity and transparency. This can increase exposure to greenwashing accusations and have detrimental impacts on climate action. For the UK’s carbon market to succeed, it is vital that the industry has access to clear guidance, is supported by a robust global governance system, and we work together to gain consensus on this complex topic.


Most recent guidance

Carbon offsetting and pricing

As part of our Advancing Net Zero programme, UKGBC has recently published new guidance to better equip our members who want to purchase offsets or make investment decisions at building asset or organisational level to do so in a way that aligns with their climate goals and supports our wider transition to net zero.

Key aims for this project

Best Practice

Increase understanding and awareness of best practice relating to carbon offsetting and pricing to drive consistency and increase creditability of net zero claims.


Provide a better understanding of carbon pricing as an approach to decarbonising economic activities and any broader aims including innovation, revenue generation, behaviour change and community benefits.


To provide clarity on market-leading approaches to offsetting.


To expand on existing offsetting guidance and provide more detail where needed, including alignment with emerging standards and guidance, such as Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM).

Related Resources


News and Blogs

Advancing Net Zero Partners

Our Carbon Offsetting work is made possible by the generous support from our Advancing Net Zero partners.