Carbon offset, as the term ‘offset’, implies means balancing or cancelling your company’s carbon emissions usually through a carbon offset provider.
Carbon offset providers do a myriad of projects including tree planting, supporting clean energy technologies, and other carbon sequestration activities that directly soak up CO2 from the atmosphere to reduce emissions.
You may think, why do I need to do offset my company’s emissions, or how will it benefit my business?
There are many possible reasons or motivating factors for your business to do this. You may want to promote “corporate social responsibility” and help change society’s attitude towards their emissions.
Achieving a carbon-zero certificate for your business can enhance your business image – one that reflects responsibility and commitment in supporting sustainable development and preservation of the environment.
Below is an example of an NZ-based asset management consulting company that decided to offset their firm’s emissions and plans to reduce its CO2 emissions in the future. Waugh Infrastructure has achieved its Carbon Zero Certification in November 2020.
CAP interviewed Ross Waugh, Director of Waugh Infrastructure Management Ltd. about their decision to offset the company’s emissions, the steps they took to select their offset provider, and their plans going forward.
CAP: How did you select your offset provider – Toitū, among many others?
Ross: With regards to our process that led to selecting Toitū, we started with searches of carbon offsetting and carbon zero certification in NZ. There are many different providers, and we were looking for a partner that offered verified carbon zero and high quality verified carbon offsetting.
It quickly became apparent that in NZ Toitū Envirocare offered high-quality services in this area. As part of a Crown Research Institute, it also had necessary standards and credibility.
Many of our clients – local authorities and government departments were also certified with Toitū, so it was also a good fit for us.
We contacted Toitū, and after discussions and information gathering, we signed up to partner with them and began their structured process that meets international standards.
CAP: Why did you decide to offset your carbon emissions?
Ross: NZ has passed a Zero Carbon Act to meet the country’s international obligations, including the Paris Climate Agreement. All NZ government and local government entities have to meet the requirements of the Zero Carbon Act.
As we provide services to the local and central government, it was clear that we would also need to support our clients in these requirements.
We decided to act now, so we had the compliance process experience, which would assist us in advising our clients in our specialist infrastructure management services.
Our involvement with the Climate Adaptation Platform and work in these areas meant we wanted to demonstrate that we actively engaged in achieving lower emissions and zero-carbon certification. Our carbon sources measurement has enabled us to plan on how to reduce those carbon sources most effectively actively.
CAP: What is your plan going forward?
Ross: To actively manage and seek to reduce our carbon sources as much as practical as we move forward. This will start with automotive emissions, where we will transition to using battery-electric vehicles over the next few years.
We will assist our clients by maintaining zero-carbon certification. We will help our clients plan to reduce carbon emissions relating to infrastructure management, construction, replacement, operations, and maintenance.
As an asset management consulting firm, Waugh Infrastructure assist local councils with their asset management plans.
Climate change effects like precipitation patterns, increasing temperatures, and rising sea levels can negatively impact infrastructures, hence the calls to integrating climate change into asset management. To address climate change involves two critical solutions – mitigation and adaptation.
Waugh’s reducing their emissions, achieving Carbon-Zero certification in compliance with the NZ government’s Zero Carbon act helps mitigate climate change.
They are also setting an excellent example to their clients as they assist them in integrating climate change into their asset management plans and, in the future, help them with their carbon-zero compliance.
Please watch the video below to learn more:
Ross Waugh proudly announcing the Carbon Zero Certification his company received from the Toitū Envirocare