Carbon Offset FAQs

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint corresponds to the whole amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced to support a person's lifestyle and activities—either directly or indirectly. Carbon footprints are usually measured in equivalent tons of CO2 throughout a year. They can be associated with an individual, a company, a product, travel, shipping, an event, or other activities.

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to address the CO2 emissions they cannot avoid by supporting climate projects - like clean-energy producing wind farms, forestry projects, or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) - that verifiably reduce, capture or avoid a proportional amount of CO2 emissions. Said another way, carbon offsetting enables travellers to balance the carbon emissions released as a result of their flight. Carbon offsetting is most effective when part of a holistic process to address global emissions which includes (1) measuring emissions, (2) reducing emissions to the extent possible and (3) offsetting those emissions which cannot be eliminated today.   When offsetting your personal carbon footprint from the event, the offset is applied to support projects that reduce or capture carbon emissions in an amount equivalent to that of their calculated carbon footprint. The funds are applied directly to reforestation projects, except for a small remaining portion used for standard administration and support services.

What is a carbon offset or carbon credit?

Each carbon offset (or carbon credit) represents 1 ton of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, that has been reduced, captured, or avoided through the implementation of a project activity that would not have taken place without the sale of carbon offsets. Carbon offsetting is performed through the purchase and retirement of third-party verified carbon credits, which are units of emission reduction used in voluntary offsetting programs.  The terms "carbon offset" and "carbon credit" can be used interchangeably. Carbon offsets are issued by independent carbon certification bodies once a project has demonstrated it has reduced, avoided, or captured emissions of carbon, following the guidance of the respective carbon certification body it is certified or registered with. Each emission reduction needs to meet basic principles to qualify as carbon offset: be additional, be measurable and auditable, be permanent, and be unique.

Which climate project am I supporting?

The reforestation project made available for Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest carbon reforestation project in the world, and was the first forestry project verified by American Carbon Registry.   The GreenTrees Reforestation Project covers one million acres of marginal farmland across seven states in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley in the US. GreenTrees was the first forestry project to be approved by the American Carbon Registry, a leading voluntary greenhouse gas registry, in 2010. By reforesting land, GreenTrees is not only sequestering carbon it is also restoring species’ habitats and cleaning the water in the local area. The project also supports the local economy through the revenue it generates. The project works in partnership with private landowners to convert marginal farmland back into forests. Overall, landowners benefit from eliminated crop uncertainty, land equity, and poverty alleviation by providing a new, alternative source of income.   All projects that CHOOOSE make available are subject to ongoing and regular monitoring, reporting and auditing to ensure that they remain in compliance with these standards and operational best practices.

Can offsetting carbon emissions really tackle climate change?

Science is clear: a quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted in one place has the same global warming potential as the same quantity of GHG emissions emitted anywhere else. It is the same thing for a quantity of GHG emissions reduced or avoided. Climate change is happening due to the increasing concentration of GHG emissions in the atmosphere and it is of the utmost importance to reduce the pace at which GHG emissions enter the atmosphere. One way to do so is to support low-carbon and modern project activities that displace high-carbon and traditional alternative activities. In many sectors and countries, these low-carbon activities are uneconomical and face barriers that prevent them from taking place. As a result, they are allowed to sell carbon offsets, which enable projects to take place and reduce emissions. By offsetting carbon emissions, an organization or individuals is contributing to emission reductions and mitigating climate change by supporting relevant project activities.

Who is Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s climate partner CHOOOSE?

Norwegian climate-tech company CHOOOSE is building digital tools so that everyone, anywhere, can more simply and easily integrate climate action into everyday life. Together with its ecosystem of industrial partners and individual supporters, the CHOOOSE platform is accelerating access and adoption of climate solutions across a range of key technologies – from nature-based solutions to carbon removal to Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Learn more at www.chooose.today