Monthly Archives: March 2015

Associated Engineering – supporting families in Ghana with ClimateCare

Canadian engineering firm Associated Engineering has chosen ClimateCare to offset its unavoidable carbon emissions. Associated Engineering is fully committed to incorporating sustainability into its everyday operations as well as the projects it designs for clients. The company has adopted its Carbon Neutral Policy as a visible measure of its commitment to the environment since 2007 and working with ClimateCare helps to mitigate its environmental impacts. This year the company has chosen to offset through ClimateCare’s efficient cookstoves programme which not only reduces indoor air pollution, but also cuts fuel costs for families, creates local jobs and helps tackle climate change.

Associated Engineering CEO Kerry Rudd said “As a consulting engineering firm we are involved in building communities; but we take it beyond the ‘bricks and mortar’ to address community needs and support those who are less fortunate than us. Projects like the Gyapa Stoves programme not only reduce emissions but also create jobs in the efficient cookstoves market in Ghana.”

Find out more about Associated Engineering’s commitment to sustainability on its website.

If you too would like to offset your unavoidable carbon emissions and support projects that protect the environment and improve lives, use our online calculator or contact a member of the team today on +44 (0)1865 591000.

Companies who offset lead the way in carbon management says new report

If you offset your carbon emissions with ClimateCare, then you are in good company.

A new report: The Bottom Line: Taking Stock of the Role of Offsets in Corporate Carbon Strategies, shows that organisations who offset emissions are more likely to:

  • Have a comprehensive carbon management strategy in place
  • Establish an emissions reduction target
  • Engage customers and employees with sustainable behaviour change
  • Switch to cleaner transportation
  • Design more sustainable products
  • Install low carbon energy
  • Make buildings and processes more energy efficient.

The typical offset buyer cut almost 17% of their scope 1 (direct) emissions in 2013, while the typical non offset buyer reduced scope 1 emissions by less than 5% in the same year.

The report highlights that companies offset for two main reasons. Some ‘use offsetting as a last resort, squeezing every last tonne of carbon dioxide out of their own operations before investing externally’. Others use offsets as a bridge to buy time, while they work out how to reduce emissions directly. Either way, the report explains that offsetting is ‘an indicator that a carbon management strategy is in place‘.

Whilst not everyone shouts about their offsetting activity, 265 leading businesses reported that they offset their carbon emissions, based in 32 countries and across every continent. Four out of five of these offset buyers are voluntary rather than driven by regulatory obligations – the top 100 companies are listed in the report.

Read the full report here.

You might also be interest in reading about the positive economic, environmental and social impacts offsetting delivers here

Find out how your organisation can benefit from offsetting carbon emissions by contacting business@climatecare.org or calling +44(0)1865 591000. 

 

Tom Morton: An innovative fund for supply chain resilience

Food supply chains face a volatile future. Resilience means looking outside of the box to build long-term wellbeing in the producer communities as well as the crops. What’s often lacking is a way to invest in supply chain projects that improve health, tackle poverty and fight climate change, at scale. For instance, how can the cost of health solutions for Kenyan farm workers growing food and flowers for sale across UK and European supermarkets be factored into the financial model of the supply chain?

This article was originally published on Forum for the Future – Futures Centre on March 25 2015.

 

This is a question that we are exploring with food and beverage grower Finlays, through its Horticulture Fairtrade Association. Together, we are creating a funding model that food retailers and manufacturers can follow to deliver similar impacts around the world.

In this instance, the solution we are funding is efficient cookstoves. The Finlays workforce that these supply chains depend on, face a life-threatening challenge in the cost and health implications of cooking on traditional, inefficient stoves or open fires. These emit toxic fumes that kill 15,000 people in Kenya every year, and damage the health of many more. The UN endorses the provision of modern, efficient stoves to address this issue, but for most farm workers the latest efficient stoves are out of reach financially.

Our project makes efficient cookstoves available to agricultural workers by subsidising the initial cost of a stove and creating a revolving fund which provides an interest free loan to assist purchase. As loan repayments top up the revolving fund, the money is used again allowing the project to expand and support more families.

 

Finlays-Blog

Over two years, this project will improve the health and disposable
income of 8,000 supply chain workers

That’s not all. The fund has an innovative second source of income, beyond the loan repayments. Cleaner cookstoves help to save carbon by reducing deforestation for charcoal, and so we are generating and selling carbon credits to boost the fund. This will ensure the long-term sustainability and expansion of this project across the farm workforce community. Setting up these projects is complex. You can’t design the solution and then add on a financial model; they need to be developed hand in hand. From our offices in Nairobi, we ran extensive testing and market research with groups of workers to select the best possible stove within the budget constraints and to develop an effective distribution and retail network. At the same time, we set up a mechanism to manage the loan and repayment facility and arranged for upfront investment by DFID, Kenya.

The project is now launched and at least 8,000 agricultural workers are set to take advantage through 2015. They will benefit from the positive health impacts of a more efficient stove, and will each save approximately £125 in fuel costs every year.

And, the business benefits from a healthier, happier workforce – without which no supply chain is resilient.

To find out how to develop similar projects within your own supply chain contact Tom.Morton@ClimateCare.org

 

 

Tom leads our project development team, specialising in activities that deliver environmental and social development outcomes. Under Tom’s leadership, ClimateCare has won numerous project development awards. His team also provide consultancy services to development agencies and NGOs and advise governments on clean energy and development policy. Tom is based in the ClimateCare Africa office.

 

Shortlisted for 2 degrees Social Value Award

ClimateCare is helping to create a new market for clean burning ethanol cookers in Kenya. As well as cutting carbon emissions, this will help entire communities leapfrog traditional development pathways, by making ethanol cookers affordable.

This work has been shortlisted for a 2 degrees Social Value Award. Read more about how ethanol stoves have the potential to save lives and protect the environment.

And, if you like what you read, please show your support by voting for this project!

Tackling climate change and ending poverty must go hand in hand, says Lord Stern

In a new paper, released ahead of global conferences on financing sustainable development and tackling climate change, Lord Stern highlights the need for integrated action to tackle climate change and alleviate poverty. He argues that climate finance could act as a catalyst for trillions of dollars of low-carbon investment – read more in this article in Business Green

It’s great to see growing support for the integrated Climate+Care approach that has been central to our business model for 18 years. In his latest blog, 5 ways to care for the climate and people, Edward Hanrahan highlights some of the synergies that are possible when you tackle these issues together.

Edward Hanrahan: 5 Ways to Care for the Climate and People

Since 1997 ClimateCare has specialised in projects that tackle climate change and deliver sustainable development outcomes. Winners of a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development, ClimateCare recently announced targets to cut 20 million tonnes of CO2 and improve the lives of 20 million people by 2020. CEO Edward Hanrahan shares his thoughts about what makes a successful climate and development programme. This article was originally published on Connect4Climate on March 11 2015.

 

1. Use a business approach

 

There are many excellent initiatives out there, but to be most effective we must take a business approach, selecting solutions that deliver the best return on investment for people and the environment.

Rigorous assessment of value for money has demonstrated time and again that enormous synergies are possible if you tackle multiple issues such as health, poverty and climate change together.

And whilst innovation is interesting and newsworthy, focusing on proven, low risk, cost effective and scalable solutions (which are admittedly not always the most exciting), can often deliver the greatest results in the shortest time.

 

2. Unlock mainstream private sector investment

 

Why? There simply is not enough public sector budget available to meet the scale of the challenges we face. Unlocking mainstream, private sector investment and developing blended public/private finance is essential.

At ClimateCare, this is a major part of our work and we have pioneered new funding mechanisms, like carbon finance, that offer investors a low risk, results based payment method and a measurable return.

As an industry, we need to apply this type of thinking more broadly. The issues that we tackle are emotive, but to be successful in tackling them our response has to be objective and measured.

 

3. Connect people

 

Public/Private sector partnerships are much discussed, but for many years our work has relied on connecting private business, financial markets, policy makers, NGOs and project partners worldwide, to design and deliver integrated climate and development projects.

What have we learnt?
That you need a focus on shared results and that someone has to make the first move, acting as a catalyst and partnership broker to make things happen. Once they do, the results speak for themselves. Our partnerships with major global enterprises such as The Swedish Energy Agency, DFID, Aviva, Jaguar Land Rover and The Co-operative mean we now run some of the largest and most successful climate and development programmes in the world.

 

Wycliffe Omoga receives a new ethanol cooker from DFID’s Lisa Phillips at the launch of a programme to kick-start a market for clean cooking, that will
save lives and help tackle climate change.

 

4. Design in robust measurement at the outset

 

Businesses and investors want to see results that stand up to scrutiny. This means agreeing deliverables up front and designing a project around this.

One example is the world-first LifeStraw Carbon for Water project. ClimateCare partnered with manufacturer Vestergaard to distribute simple water filters to the entire Western Province of Kenya, providing over 4 million people with safe drinking water. Emissions are reduced because people no longer need to boil water on open fires to make it safe to drink.

The project was designed according to a UN approved methodology and every year, filter usage is monitored at a household level. Results are independently verified so that carbon reductions can be calculated and reported. The monitoring and reporting continues year on year, as the project is paid by results – based on the carbon reductions achieved.

 Women-demonstrating-the-LifeStraw-filter-near-Butere,-Kenya
 The LifeStraw Carbon for Water project provides safe drinking water to more than
4 million people in Western Kenya, and cuts carbon emissions.

 

5. Make activity relevant to funders

 

Increasingly we are working on bespoke programmes that meet multiple targets, for example designing projects to meet an organisation’s carbon neutrality, environment and CSR targets in a cost effective way, while at the same time building supply chain resilience, supporting development in emerging markets and building skills for future growth.

Making projects relevant to a business increases buy in and allows different departments to work together and pool budgets. The end result is greater value for people and the environment.

 

 

Edward has managed ClimateCare’s development since 2007 providing financial rigour and strategic direction across all activities. Edward has structured carbon finance for large scale projects including LifeStraw Carbon for Water. He advises banks, international DFIs, and is seen as the voice of the voluntary carbon market by stakeholders and media alike.

 

Empowering Women on International Women’s Day

This Sunday it is International Women’s Day and the theme this year is Making It Happen.

ClimateCare partners, from businesses to NGOs and governments are already doing just that – helping to empower women across the globe through integrated Climate+Care programmes that improve lives and tackle climate change.

Many ClimateCare partners support safe water projects, meaning women and girls no longer need to spend hours every day, collecting firewood to boil water and make it safe to drink.

While the provision of treadle pumps can increase crop yields helping to create greater prosperity which in turn helps to pay for children’s food, education and health care.

Modern, efficient stoves cut indoor air pollution meaning women and girls are less likely to suffer from respiratory disease. They also cook food more quickly and require less fuel and   saving money that can be put to better use.

Read more about how Climate+Care programmes are empowering women around the world and read our latest blog to find out why empowering women is such a central part of sustainable development.

 

Marie Le Page: Why Women?

With International Women’s Day coming up on the 8th March, ClimateCare’s Marie Le Page asks why empowering women is an essential part of sustainable development.

 

It’s widely recognised that creating opportunities for women is essential to build stronger economies, achieve development goals, and improve the quality of life for whole communities. The OECD state that Women’s Economic Empowerment is a prerequisite for sustainable development, pro-poor growth and the achievement of all the MDGs[1]. But, what do we mean by ‘Women’s Empowerment’?

 

Defining empowerment

 

The Institute of Development Studies [2] defines economic empowerment as “the capacity of women to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic activities, on terms which recognise the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible for them to negotiate a fairer distribution of returns.”

Across all economies and cultures women perform the bulk of unpaid care work [3]. Oxfam America [4] estimate that across the world, 66% of work falls on women’s shoulders, yet they earn only 10% of the world’s income. Why is this?

Many societies dictate that girls and women have the main responsibility for the care of children, the elderly and the sick, as well as for running the household, including the provision of water and energy supplies. And, whilst some of this work, particularly looking after family members, is valued by those undertaking it, much – such as water and fuel collection – is classed as drudgery and takes time away from school or generating secure incomes and better working conditions

 

Free up time and you will tackle poverty

 

Unlocking time and relieving the burden and drudgery of household tasks is the most important first step to economic empowerment [5] for women in the world’s poorest countries. And it can act as a stepping stone to tackling poverty and improving life for the household and community.

Time Poverty and Income Poverty reinforce each other [6]. Time poverty prevents women expanding their capabilities through education and skills development that could improve their ability to generate income. Lack of time also makes women less able to take part in income generating activities. So how can we free up time?

 

The need for clean energy

 

In the developing world, where 3 billion people [7] still cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves – time spent collecting fuel is a major issue. In Zambia [8] for example, women spend more than 800 hours a year collecting firewood, compared to less than 50 hours spent by men. Fuel gathering limits time for other productive and income generating activities and takes children away from school. In less secure environments, women and children are also at risk of injury and violence.

Improving access to alternative sources of clean energy through improved cookstoves, clean energy and safe water programmes frees up time by eliminating the need to walk long distances to gather fuel. It also reduces exposure to indoor air pollution – a deadly killer, responsible for the death of over 4 million people every year – and affecting the health of many more. At the same time these programmes reduce deforestation and help tackle climate change by reducing emissions.

 

Find out more

 

The provision of clean energy or safe water is just one example of how integrated Climate+Care programmes are empowering women – freeing up time, creating jobs, generating prosperity and improving health – as well as protecting the environment. Check out our case studies to find out more.

 

Marie-LePage

Marie Le Page is ClimateCare’s Corporate Partnerships Manager. Marie works with national and international organisations to design business relevant climate and social impact programmes. She specialises in creating programmes that deliver measurable outcomes to meet both CSR and sustainability agendas, whilst also delivering business value.

 

 

References

[1] http://www.oecd.org/dac/povertyreduction/50157530.pdf

[2] The Institute of Development Studies, in their report on Empowerment and Participation: bridging the gap between understanding and practice

[3] The unpaid “care economy”, an analysis by the OECD, Women Economic Empowerment

[4] http://www.internationalwomensday.com/oxfamamerica

[5] Women’s Economic Empowerment: The OECD DAC Network on Gender equality: http://www.oecd.org/dac/povertyreduction/50157530.pdf

[6] World Bank Working Paper No.73: Gender, Time Use and Povery in Sub-Saharan Africa

[7] World Health Organisation March 2014

[8] ICW

 

ClimateCare helps to put sustainable business on the map!

At today’s Supply Chain Summit in London, the 2degrees network launches its Global Collaboration Map – a unique tool that aims to help corporates tackle the major sustainable supply chain issues through collaboration.

Since its formation 18 years ago, ClimateCare has specialised in projects that protect the environment, improve people’s lives and deliver measurable return on investment. These integrated Climate+Care programmes, delivered within supply chains,  are exactly the kind of collaborative projects that  feature on the map.

When the Co-operative identified a lack of access to safe water as a key issue for their Fairtrade tea pickers, they worked with ClimateCare to develop a bespoke insetting project to provide safe water to 14,000 people within  their supply chain. As well as improving lives, increasing productivity and strengthening relations with communities the business relies on, this project is also delivering measurable emission reductions.

Similarly, ClimateCare developed a project within the UK supermarket supply chain. Using funds from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund (FICCF) programme – this programme  provides efficient cookstoves to 11,000 farm workers in Kenya, who  supply flowers and vegetables to major supermarket chains in the UK and European markets. These stoves cut toxic fumes that kill 15,000 people in Kenya every year,  improving the health of Finlays’ supply chain workers as well as cutting around 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

To learn more about how ClimateCare can  create similar  projects in your supply chain then contact our team today on +44 (0)1865 591000.

New Video: What our partners think of Climate+Care

At a recent event to celebrate our Queen’s award, we launched our new vision for 2020. We also took the opportunity to ask some of our partners what they thought of our integrated Climate+Care approach. Here’s what they have to say:

If you would like to protect people and the environment through our Climate+Care programmes then contact us today: +44 (0)1865 591000