Following on from our blog that showed how carbon offset programs can benefit your CSR programme, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite Carbon offset projects that you can invest in this year.
We’ve talked before about how in the events industry, it is near impossible to eliminate carbon completely from an event. To make these events carbon-neutral, we can offset unavoidable carbon emissions by investing in carbon offset projects around the world. These projects can not only reduce carbon emissions but also offer a variety of other benefits as well as contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Many people think of carbon offsetting as just planting a few trees, but they are so much more than that and can lead to benefits such as restored and protected ecosystems and biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods for communities and local people, cleaner and healthier water systems, improved soil management, crop and fishing yields.
Carbon offset projects are typically divided into four distinct categories: reforestation and conservation, renewable energy, community projects and waste to energy.
Reforestation and conservation are some of the most popular projects and involve creating new trees and protecting existing trees to capture carbon. On top of reducing and absorbing the carbon emissions of the world, they also offer other benefits including protecting wildlife, ecosystems and improving air quality.
Renewable energy projects help to build mainly wind farms, solar energy farms and hydro sites around the world. When investing in these projects, we can increase the amount of renewable energy available whilst also creating jobs and supporting the sector’s growth.
Community projects help introduce sustainable technologies and methods to developing communities. Projects like these can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and can made advancements to eradicate poverty in these destinations.
A waste to energy project typically captures wastage such as methane and converts this into power or electricity. Some of the ways this is done is by capturing either gas from landfill or agricultural waste and turning it into clean and sustainable energy.
We’ve listed below some of our favourite carbon offset projects that you can invest in to help offset the carbon emissions of your event.
The award-winning, Plan-Vivo certified CommuniTree Carbon Program is the largest reforestation initiative in Nicaragua, working with thousands of smallholder farmers to create long-term income opportunities from growing trees on underused parts of their land.
The CommuniTree Carbon program is run by Taking Root, a not-for-profit on a mission to improve farmer livelihoods by restoring global forest ecosystems. The program is working with hundreds of communities across Nicaragua, helping farming families to reforest the under-utilised parts of their farms in exchange for direct payments over time as the trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
The program’s unique impact comes from its belief that for reforestation to be a successful solution to climate change, the trees must benefit and be valuable to local communities for the long term. As one of the poorest countries in the Americas, the program is specifically designed so that the forests improve the lives of Nicaraguan farmers traditionally earning less than $2 per day.
Find out more here: https://www.planvivo.org/communitree
Mikoko Pamoja, Kenya
Mikoko Pamoja is a community-led mangrove conservation and restoration project based in southern Kenya and the world's first blue carbon project, also certified by Plan Vivo. Blue carbon is the term for carbon captured by the world's ocean and coastal ecosystems including mangroves. This project captures this blue carbon by providing long-term incentives for mangrove protection and restoration through community involvement and benefit. The project also supports community development projects such as provision of schoolbooks, construction of school buildings and the provision of clean drinking water.
Mikoko Pamoja works to benefit the entire community. Income raised through the protection of the forest funds not only further protection and reforestation, but community projects including building of wells, school building repairs, provision of school books and local community groups such as children’s football clubs. Clean water has been provided for 3,500 people, 700 school children have received educational materials and 117 hectares of forest have been protected. Check out the short film below which highlights the work of Mikoka Pamoja and its sister project Vanga Blue Forest.
Braço Norte Plant, Brazil
The Braço Norte Plant is a small, clean, renewable energy hydro plant located in a remote region, deep within the Amazon, in a water basin of central Brazil. Unlike large scale hydrocarbon offset projects, it generates almost no environmental impact.
The region is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Previously, the energy supply to match this increase in energy demand was gas fired power plants, but this project has replaced the fossil fuels that would have been burnt. The project also avoids the transmission losses which used to happen over the long-distance connection to the National Grid and provides increased stability thanks to locally distributed generation.
These projects are promoting sustainable development, providing increased employment, diversified electricity generation, clean technologies, and conserving natural resource to meet the Sustainable Development Criteria for Brazil.
Efficient Cookstoves, Rwanda
Efficient cookstoves can reduce the amount of wood needed for cooking by up to 80%, which can significantly improve everyday life. This leaves households with more money for other important purposes such as education or better nutrition.
In this project, efficient wood stoves are manufactured in Rwanda from imported components, creating local jobs and generating income opportunities. They are then subsidised so that low-income households can afford them and thus become less dependent on price fluctuations on the wood market. The additional savings from the reduced need for wood enable households to cover other financial expenses.
The project’s partners mainly employ women in machining the components and assembling the stoves, whilst training on how to use the stove in the best way not only have a positive effect on the efficiency of the stove, but also brings households together to share experiences, knowledge or even recipes.
The design and construction of the efficient firewood stoves, called Save80, makes them as easy and intuitive to use as the traditional three stone fires. Compared to the latter, the Save80 uses 80% less wood to achieve the same performance. Replacing a charcoal stove with a Save80 results in even higher wood savings because of the high amount of wood needed to produce charcoal. Given the rising prices for charcoal due to high demand as well as rising production and transportation costs, Rwandan households can save substantially by using a Save80 stove.
Burgus Wind Farm – Philippines
The Burgos Wind Project is the largest wind farm in the Philippines and considered to be one of the largest wind farms in Southeast Asia. Located in one of the best areas in the country to generate clean energy from wind, the facility has 50 wind turbines, each with a rated capacity of 3 Megawatts, generating electricity to the Luzon Grid.
The project complies with all local and national environmental policies and maintains and monitors strict compliance to standards on land use, water and waste disposal, and noise monitoring. More importantly, the Burgos Wind Farm produces clean energy and replaces other sources that contribute pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Engaging and empowering the community is another critical objective of the project. In fact, the team hosts a local radio program that discusses various topics with the local community, informing those on the protection and promotion of the environment.
During construction, the Burgos Wind Farm generated a significant number of jobs. Now in its operations stage, it continues to benefit the local communities. The Burgos Wind Team actively leads initiatives that help the livelihood of communities, partner with local government agencies, and respond to the needs of the residents in times of disasters.
Marston Vale Forest Creation, UK
The Forest of Marston Vale is a Community Forest and Charity, planting trees and using woodlands to make life better for people and wildlife in the area of the Marston Vale, between Bedford and Milton Keynes in the UK.
The Charity has planted over 2 million trees to transform the landscape and improve the prospects of the Marston Vale. The trees help to cool and clean our air, lock up carbon, reduce flooding, provide sustainable raw materials, and help to combat the climate crisis. The Charity’s end goal is cover 30% of the Forest with trees which mean planting another 5 million trees.
The trees planted in the forest so far already remove nearly 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is equal to annual emissions of around 2,000 family cars. These trees not only help the planet, but also benefit the wildlife and people, creating habitats for insects and birds whilst improving mental and physical health for those who live nearby. Check out their work in the video below.
If you like the sound of some of the above, and would like to offset your carbon emissions by investing in some genuine and effective projects, drop us a message on email@example.com – we would love to help!