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52 The Carbon Market: A Primer for Airports Similar considerations should be made with offset credits. Offset credits represent one tonne of CO2e avoided. If an airport sponsors an offset project to lower their own carbon footprint, they must retain and retire that offset credit. Selling the offset credit gives credit from the reduc- tion achieved by the project to the purchaser of the offset credit. 6.2 Overview of Carbon and Environmental Instrument Trading Key Takeaways for Airports Airport owners and managers need to identify potential avenues for selling their offset credits and RECs. Entering into a bilateral contract with a REC or offset credit purchaser can provide an airport with a fixed or guaranteed revenue stream. If the decision is made to sell environmental credits associated with a project, several options exist for doing so. The prominent methods to trade environmental instruments are: Exchanges, Wholesale brokers, Retail brokers, and Bi-lateral transactions. The optimal means to transact the environmental credits will largely hinge on (1) the total vol- ume of credits to be sold, (2) the type of environmental instrument (i.e., offset credit, REC, white tag, etc.) and (3) the presence or absence of a known buyer (typically called an "off taker"). There is no minimum transaction volume per se, but the economic benefits of monetizing should be weighed against transaction costs. Table 11 presents a summary of the applicability of different paths to sell environmental instruments. This table should be interpreted as "rules of thumb," noting that every project has unique characteristics that may not directly align with these recommendations. Table 11. Best uses of environmental instrument transaction methods. Transaction Best Use Pros Cons Method Exchange Large transaction volumes of Low per unit cost Does not support volumes commonly traded to transact for less than 1,000 carbon instruments (greater than large volumes, offset credits or 100 RECs 1,000 carbon offset credits or efficient 100 RECs) Wholesale Moderate to large volumes of Customized Not an option for small Broker a wide variety of transaction volumes (less than 1,000 environmental instruments support at carbon offset credits or moderate cost RECs) Retail Small volumes (less than Option for small Costly on a "per unit" basis Broker 1,000 carbon offset credits or volumes RECs) Bi-lateral Off taker pre-defined, any No transaction May need outside (direct) volume or instrument fees guidance for off taker identification and contract execution