Recommended Carbon Offsetting Projects

McGill has created a shortlist of recommended offsetting projects for McGill community members who wish to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Bayano-McGill Reforestation Project

Project Type: Carbon sequestration from reforestation

Project Location: Alto Bayano Watershed, Panama

Suggested Contribution: $35-$65/tonne (via interfund transfer only)

This action-research project is a collaboration between McGill, an Indigenous women’s NGO, and the Emberá traditional authorities in eastern Panama. Over three years, participating landowners planted 44,500 trees. Students in the Panama Field Study Semester help monitor the trees and the carbon stored for social acceptability and environmental integrity. The project is closely tied to McGill's research and education mission while supporting sustainable livelihoods and cultural revitalization for the local communities.

Contribute to the Bayano-McGill Reforestation Project.

Bourse du Carbone Scol'Ere

Project Type: Avoided emissions from climate education & action

Project Location: Québec, Canada

The project aims to educate young people and their families in Québec about climate change and GHG emissions arising from daily choices.

Carbone Boréal

Project Type: Carbon sequestration from forestry

Project Location: Québec, Canada

Experimental forest plantations of are established in poorly regenerated areas (e.g., after successive forest fires) of the Canadian Boreal Forest or on portions of agricultural wasteland unsuitable for cultivation. Please note that research is ongoing into the trade-offs between carbon sequestration and surface albedo at higher latitudes.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are typically achieved when third parties develop projects beyond the offsetting institution’s physical boundaries. Offsets are generated and sold through the voluntary market; purchasing them is not a regulatory requirement. Investing in offset projects is a way for an organization to reduce its net emissions beyond its own direct emission reduction efforts and can often lead to collateral benefits (co-benefits) for partner communities.

How were the recommended projects selected?

Not all offset projects are equal in terms of their quality, transparency, impacts, and co-benefits.  

Applied student research teams in the Bieler School of Environment and the Desautels Faculty of Management reviewed best practices, established pre-requisite criteria, and gauged the interest of our community in purchasing offsets.  

The Offset Selection Committee, composed of students, faculty, and staff, then developed additional criteria that align with our mission and values at McGill. The committee reviewed projects against these criteria to make their recommendations.

Can I offset emissions using funding from the Tri-Agency (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR)?

As of April 2022, the Tri-Agency considers carbon offset costs to be an eligible travel-related research expense. However, the agencies encourage grant recipients to consider the necessity of grant-funded travel, and to reduce this when possible. See the Tri-Agency carbon offset statement.

Can I offset emissions using funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ)?

In their general rules published in June 2019, the FRQ included offsets as an eligible expense. Under Section 8.5, “Travel and subsistence costs”, it is noted that ground travel costs may include the cost of carbon offsetting.

Back to top