Edie goes carbon neutral

The edie website is to go carbon neutral, planning to offset its carbon dioxide emissions through a renewable energy project on the Isle of Skye.

Edie is planning to offset its carbon dioxide emissions from activities at the edie office, as well as travel by staff – including everyday journeys to and from work, hotel stays, and the use of the web server, through a Torren Energy project on the Isle of Skye which encourages the managers of large buildings such as hospitals and schools to use bioenergy to provide heat to the buildings (see related story).

Torren Energy converts the heating systems of these buildings to burning ultra-dry wood chips, retaining ownership of the boilers in order to ensure that they are correctly maintained, and charging the building’s occupants for the amount of hot water that they use, Andrew Sutherland, Managing Director of Torren Energy explained to edie. Over the period of a five year contract, prices rise only with inflation, he said.

The company also produces the wood chip fuel. The trees come mainly from Forestry Commission woods, which are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and is cut and left to dry. “We don’t buy any in from abroad, and it’s all locally grown,” explained Sutherland. The timber is then removed and chipped into a conditioning shed, where it is dried further, to 11-18% moisture content, making it a more efficient fuel.

The scheme is being co-ordinated by the carbon offset company, Future Forests, with edie’s emissions being calculated by Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management.

“I think it makes sense for us to practice what we preach,” said edie New Media Publisher Carl Myers. “We provide lots of information helping others to reduce their environmental impact. We already do it in an environmentally-friendly way, but it makes sense to look at the impact of our own activities and try to reduce those too.”

In Edie’s most recent survey of users of the website’s news service, 57% of respondents cited climate change or renewable energy as the most important environmental issue for the future, says Myers, explaining that the website is responding to this through the carbon neutral scheme.

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