Monthly Archives: September 2015

ClimateCare helps Kenyan Government towards low carbon development

The Kenyan Government asked ClimateCare to help to identify the best ways to implement low carbon development projects and to tap into international funding and support available.

In response, ClimateCare is helping them develop three Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) as part of Kenya’s low carbon development program in the household energy, waste management and urban transport sectors.

Read a full Case Study here and if you would like more information about how our Climate and Development experts can help with your low carbon development plans, contact our team in Nairobi on +254 (0)20 213 3604.

Can carbon offsetting add value to your travel policy?

We can reduce the environmental impact of our travel with good planning, good travel policies and by making the most of technology, but unless we stop travelling altogether, we will still generate a carbon footprint. Once we’ve decided to make a journey, one of the only means to reduce its climate impact is to offset the carbon emissions.So whether you travel for business, or travel is your business, how do you do this, what should you look out for and what benefits does it bring? This article was orignally published on Sustain Travel on September 3rd 2015.

 

This year the world is re-focusing on how we tackle climate change. In the run up to the critical international climate summit in Paris this December, many influential organisations, including the UN are promoting the key role of carbon offsetting in allowing people to take responsibility for their footprint and help tackle climate change quickly and effectively. But how can you decide if carbon offsetting is right for you and your company and, if so, implement a robust carbon reduction scheme with a trusted supplier and be sure you’re maximising the positive impacts of your investment? Stella Bell, partnerships manager at climate and development experts ClimateCare shares some of the questions you should ask yourself when considering a carbon offset scheme.

 

1. What size is your carbon footprint?

 

If you use a travel management company, then it’s easy to find out. Most can provide you with a full carbon emissions report and some, like Portman Travel will also help you offset these emissions. But what about emissions generated through travel your colleagues have booked direct, or emissions from other business operations? The accounts department is usually the best place to start. They can provide information on routes travelled through expenses claims and will also have information on other emissions such as energy use. Once you have this information, online calculators can be a quick and simple way to measure the carbon impact of specific activities and to offset small volumes through reputable projects. Businesses requiring more in depth footprint analysis have an array of tools and information at their disposal. Technology is also playing its part and companies like CO2 Analytics offer software that can even make complex measurements, like the carbon footprint of your supply chain, more economically viable.

Our tip: Start with your accounting team – they have access to almost all of the data you’ll need to calculate emissions.You can’t make a footprint calculation 100% accurate, so make the most most accurate calculation you can afford, whilst still leaving enough budget to effectively reduce and offset it.

 

2. How do I choose the right offset partner?

 

There are different types of carbon offset provider, from those who simply sell on credits from carbon reduction projects run by third parties, to those who develop their own projects and offer a fully integrated solution. To select the right partner, consider:

  • How long has the organisation been established in the carbon offset market?
  • What type and level of clients do they have and how long have they worked with them?
  • Do they offer a broad selection of projects?
  • Do they develop their own projects?
  • Are they members of ICROA, the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance that sets strict codes of guidance for members.
  • Can they offer the support you need in terms of advice, guidance or management?
  • Can they help you demonstrate value by putting together an offsetting programme that meets your budget, resonates with your business and is engaging for stakeholders?

 

Our tip: Do your research. Choose an ICROA registered offset provider who is well established, with a strong reputation and who understands the needs of your business. Don’t treat this as a one-off transaction, but the beginning of a partnership activity.

 

3. What price should I pay for a carbon credit?

 

There is no set price for a carbon credit. The price reflects the cost of the project and the specific activities that reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. It also reflects market demand – with best practice and innovate projects commanding higher prices. However, offsetting your carbon footprint is probably cheaper than you think. For example the cost to offset a flight from London to New York with ClimateCare is just £5.75 Projects set up to reduce global carbon emissions rely on finance from sales of carbon credits. Take time to think about what you want to achieve through your carbon offset and what type of projects you want to support. Are you interested in supporting projects that reduce carbon emissions by improving industrial processes, that can be cheaper, or supporting best practice projects that may cost a little more, but which help your business deliver your business CSR and communications value? Or, do you favour a combination of the two?

Our tip: Think about what type of project is important for your business, as well as your budget. Buying the cheapest credits is not always the best value for money.

 

How can I make a business case for a carbon offsetting programme?

 

Carbon offsets are cost effective and immediate. They deliver real emissions reductions that are robustly measured and independently verified. Research shows that handled correctly a carbon offset programme can also deliver real value for your business as well as the environment. It offers the opportunity for your business to call itself climate neutral, demonstrates leadership, differentiates you from less responsible brands and can inspire your workforce to engage with carbon reduction activities in house.

Our tip: Use our business case for carbon offsetting to help make the case to management for offsetting your organisation’s travel and operational carbon emissions, or contact the ClimateCare team for help.

 

What type of carbon reduction projects should I support?

 

The answer to this question will depend on what you want to achieve and your budget. You might want to deliver maximum carbon reduction for your budget, or you might want to focus your support in specific locations. You could concentrate your support for a specific technology, like solar power, or create a programme that delivers against your company’s social and environmental outcomes addressing issues like water scarcity, women’s empowerment and health. Carbon reduction projects are not all about carbon and the environment, they can improve life for communities in developing countries. For example the award-winning LifeStraw Carbon for Water project (pictured below) cuts carbon by providing communities with safe drinking water, while the Gold Standard Gyapa Project (pictured above) manufactures more efficient cookstoves that cut carbon and in doing so tackles poverty by creating jobs and saving locals money on their fuel bills. At ClimateCare, in addition to helping clients support the most appropriate carbon reduction projects for their business, we offer bespoke project development, allowing clients to fund projects that cut carbon in their own supply chains, or in the communities where they operate.

 

Our tip: Many are excited by the possibility of developing bespoke carbon reduction projects, but in reality this takes time and most of our clients begin by supporting a portfolio of schemes that we design specifically to meet their environmental, CSR and business targets and budget.

 

Is carbon offsetting for you?

 

Whether you want to reduce your own carbon footprint, or help your business differentiate itself, carbon offsetting can be a valuable part of your toolkit – particularly where travel is concerned. And, if you want to achieve climate neutrality it’s the only option, unless you stop travelling altogether. Done right it can not only deliver positive outcomes for the environment but for the communities that matter to the long-term future of your business. Find out more at http://climatecare.org/carbon-offsetting/

 

About ClimateCare

 

From offices in the UK and Africa, ClimateCare works with businesses and governments around the world to deliver integrated Climate+Care programmes which protect the environment and improve lives. Established in 1997, to date it has improved life for over six million people whilst cutting 16.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions. It’s a Certified B Corporation and holds a Queen’s Award for outstanding contributions to tackling climate change and alleviating poverty. Find out more at www.climatecare.org

 

 

Stella helps our clients to manage their environmental impacts, advising on actions to measure, report and reduce. She devises and oversees Climate+Care programmes to cut carbon and improve lives, ensuring these deliver against our clients targets.

What does it mean to become a B Corp?

By Edward Hanrahan, CEO, ClimateCare

 

Last month, ClimateCare became a Certified B Corporation. The B Corp movement might not be something you’ve heard about yet, but it is helping to highlight the opportunity businesses have to deliver positive impacts – for communities, health, environment, economic empowerment etc., as well as profits. B Corp has most of its fast growing member base in the United States, but it is now starting to gather momentum internationally too – So what does it mean for ClimateCare and UK business?

ClimateCare’s CEO Edward Hanrahan explains.

 

What is a B Corp?

 

The B Corporation movement was born in the US. Responsible corporations wanted to redefine success in business, and the B Corp movement was born.

Unlike traditional companies, B-Corps are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only for shareholders, but also for their stakeholders – their staff, suppliers, customers and the wider community and environment.

This is not an ‘add on’ activity. B Corps must incorporate a sustainable approach into their organisation’s DNA and legal framework and are assessed and scored upon this each year.

 

How do you become a B Corp?

 

To become a Certified B Corp you need to undergo a rigorous assessment and meet a high standard of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

B Lab UK, the non-profit organisation that supports the community of B Corps, uses the online B Impact Assessment to score businesses from 0 to 200. A minimum score of 80 must be met before certification is awarded and scores are openly published on the B Corporation website.

Initial certification is just the start. What I think is most exciting about the process is that you have the ability to assess and benchmark your performance against others and see where you can continue to improve. And each spring there is a Best for World ranking, where the top performing B Corps are identified and acknowledged.

 

What does it mean for ClimateCare?

 

‘Be the Change’ is the strapline of the B Corporation and leading by example is something that we at ClimateCare firmly believe in.

For 18 years, the team at ClimateCare has been the change. We’ve been doing things differently, constantly seeking new and innovative ways to deliver positive impacts, cost effectively. When we find a formula or model that works, we then seek to replicate that – allowing us to work with leading businesses and governments around the world to deliver integrated Climate+Care projects that both protect the environment and improve lives at scale. Our B Corp score reflects this track record and is a testament to all the hard work put in by the team here over the years.

As well as our innovative project development work, we’ve created new ways to structure finance for impact, bringing public and private sectors together and developing combinations of upfront finance and payment on delivery of specified results – for example for agreed health outcomes or the amount of carbon reduced.

The Climate+Care approach we’ve created allows us to deliver multiple outcomes through a single programme. This brings great cost efficiencies and is regularly described by our clients as a ‘no-brainer’.

So where does B Corp come in? Our new certification is important for a number of reasons. For nearly two decades ClimateCare has demonstrated how to profitably deliver Social and Environmental Impact at scale. The evidence is there. But, outside our network of corporate and government partners, we’ve always felt a bit of a lone voice.

Achieving B Corp certification gives an official status to our operating model. And, it brings us together with a community of businesses who share our views and support our Profit for Purpose model. It also, provides us, for the first time, with benchmarks from other organisations who are equally committed to delivering positive impacts, without compromising commercial viability.

 

B Corp network photoClimateCare is proud to have become a Certified B Corporation, joining a global movement dedicated to using business as a force for good.

 

What next?

 

We’re seeing growing demand for our services from the US, where the B Corporation brand is already well recognised as a stamp of assurance for partners that we are the type of organisation they want to do business with.

And, as the brand becomes better known in the UK, we’ll be encouraging our business clients and partners to find out more about B Corporations and consider adopting some of the principles.

It’s not necessary to become a fully Certified B Corp to start making a difference. For a start, there’s a free B Impact Assessment Tool online, that any businesses can use to assess and compare their performance. And there’s a great network of support for businesses that want to improve their performance and take the step to certification.

As the B Corporation movement launches officially in the UK in September, I hope that we can help raise awareness of the power that UK business holds to address social and environmental issues. And of course, ClimateCare is well positioned to help companies moving towards B Corporation status, deliver on their social and environmental promises – be that helping them meet carbon reduction and climate neutrality targets, greening their energy supply or building Climate+Care projects to protect the environment and improve lives within their key markets and supply chains.

 

To find out about ClimateCare call +44(0)1865 591000 or visit www.climatecare.org

To see ClimateCare’s B Corp profile visit http://www.bcorporation.net/community/climatecare

To find out more about B Corporations visit www.bcorporation.uk

 

 

Edward has managed ClimateCare’s development since 2007 providing financial rigour and strategic direction across all activities. Edward works closely with our in-country teams to structure finance and strategic partnerships for our global sustainable development projects. He advises banks, international development finance institutions and governments to help enable sustainable development at scale.