Firm offsets carbon emissions by sponsoring Indian renewable energy project
A Swiss-based investment company is to offset its carbon dioxide emissions through a project in rural India converting diesel-powered generators to run on biomass.
The amount of carbon dioxide that is being produced by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) during its day-to-day operations, is calculated by the carbon neutral consultancy firm Future Forests, so that they can be offset through a project run by the NGO Women for Sustainable Development, which introduces renewable energy sources that create local employment and provides a fuel source to rural poor. SAM’s project is located in Karnataka, Southern India, using coconut husks and rice husk, certain weeds – especially a variety that grows near the rivers and can be sustainably harvested, and planted biomass crop, and will be inspected to ensure that the standards required by Future Forests are maintained.
“Our success in establishing voluntary carbon neutral initiatives across blue chip companies demonstrates that the demand exists within the business community to identify and implement standards of ethical and environmental behaviour that extend beyond those set within the boundaries of national and international law,” said CEO of Future Forests Jonathan Shopley.
“With ‘gold standard’ technology offsets we have an offer which delivers and encourages reductions sequestration,” said Shopley. “Companies purchasing Future Forests offset programmes are demonstrating their commitment to best practice environmental solutions. In developing regions, NGOs and community organisations are looking for support and funding to establish or extend renewable energy projects.”
The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management, scientific advisors to Future Forests, is currently evaluating several projects in order to establish their suitability for inclusion in the scheme, the majority of which are in developing countries, benefiting local communities. Other projects being considered for inclusion in Future Forests’ programme include a scheme to convert certain hotels and public buildings to combined heat and power, in the UK, and ‘eco’ homes in South Africa, using solar electricity, a Future Forests spokesman told edie. However the process of thoroughly examining each project to ensure that the have the sustainable criteria required by the organisation is rigorous and will take time, the spokesman said.
Future Forests is currently managing carbon neutral projects for 90 businesses, including Barclays, Hilton Hotels, the N&P Building Society (see related story), and the RAC, as well as for 10,000 members of the public, and a growing number of celebrities.
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