See all publications

In Finland, the Compensate Foundation is building a carbon negative everyday life in partnership with companies

The non-profit Compensate Foundation, founded by Antero Vartia (a former member of the Finnish Parliament) wants to offer a new way to combat climate change. The Foundation, together with partner companies, provides concrete means to halt climate change, aiming at systemic and structural reform on a global scale: a carbon negative world where each of us can make a real difference with our consumer choices.


The core idea of ​​the Foundation is to make it easy for anyone to fully compensate for the carbon emissions of a product or service when paying for it.

The climate is changing because there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A radical reduction of emissions is the most important thing we have to do to stop climate change, no doubt about it. However, that is not enough. Carbon dioxide must also be removed from the atmosphere. There are effective ways to do this - for example, afforestation. The problem has been that there are not enough resources for afforestation.

Our goal is a global change of mindset. It is not enough for us to be carbon neutral in the future; we have to aim for carbon negativity now. There is no excuse for us to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As long as we continue with the emissions, the least we need to do is clean up the mess we make. People are willing to take responsibility, but it must be made possible and simple for them", Vartia opens Compensate's thinking.

Experts to help in using assets in the most effective way to reduce carbon from the atmosphere

At present, one of the most effective ways to bind carbon from the atmosphere is to plant and protect forests. The first step in the Foundation’s operations is to fully and transparently allocate the collected compensation funds to carbon-binding projects. Overcompensation is used as a way to ensure that significantly more carbon dioxide is always removed compared to the emissions generated by consumption.

The Compensate Foundation works with the University of Helsinki's INAR research unit to develop more reliable and cost-effective ways to bind carbon dioxide. The partnership is led by Markku Kulmala, a member of the Academy of Finland. He directs the effort to build a global panel of experts to assist in finding more efficient carbon binding tools.

“I'm happy to work with Compensate because I'm worried we will come to an ugly end if we do not do enough to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The better we can inform the public of this, and get them to pay for carbon sequestration, the more we can invest in measuring carbon bonding and creating a market for it. If we want to combat climate change, carbon sequestration must be made profitable", says Kulmala.

The number of partnership companies is increasing

The Foundation is currently conducting negotiations on cooperation with several (Finnish) companies in various business sectors. The companies include Accountor, Finnair, L&T, Kyyti, Nordea, Reima, Ruka, St1, OP Insurance, Tamro and Ylva. The first Compensate products are already available: Ylva offers the "compensate as you pay" service to their customers at UniCafe restaurants on the campuses of the University of Helsinki where you can now easily compensate for the carbon footprint of your lunch, paying for both at the same time.

The Compensate Foundation now invites companies to engage in climate work by making it possible to integrate the compensation component in the purchase process or the product itself and, by doing this, giving consumers the opportunity to assume more responsibility in a simple, easy way.

Every purchase decision is climate action. #WeCompensate

The Foundation's logo and the word "Compensate" are protected by an EU-wide trademark.

Additional information: Antero Vartia, 045 899 2550

Interview and image requestst: Sofia Seivo, 040 706 4645