How we offset ourselves
In order to become carbon neutral, we need to ‘offset’ all the emissions we produce as a company via something known as ‘carbon credits’, which are allocated when an organization takes steps to reduce their emissions or invests in initiatives that have a positive environmental impact.
We worked with Ecofye ↗, an independent climate action advisory. They undertook a circular assessment of our business operations – everything from our roasting, production, and shipping practices to office practices like daily vegan meals, team commutes, and business travel.
We then asked Climate Partner ↗, to assess our carbon footprint and recommend programs we could support which would offset that footprint with the biggest impact. We have been able to gather enough reliable data to offset our emissions retrospectively from July 2018. The total we produced and needed to offset was 1,588.90 tCO2e - which is equivalent to the carbon footprint of flying from London to New York some 1,200 times.
The emissions are split in two categories: products ↗ and corporate emissions ↗. Corporate emissions represent the team’s emissions, such as our collective commutes to the office, the vegan meals we cook daily, utilities, paper, flights, trains, and other modes of transport we take. It really is as extensive as it sounds!
To offset our CO2 emissions, we invested into two Gold Standard Carbon Projects: Biogas in Vietnam, and Clean Cookstoves in Peru. We chose these projects because they work at a grassroots level and have a tangible impact on the daily lives of local communities, especially those most directly affected by the negative effects of climate change. These offsets help generate work and improve livelihoods, which in turn improves education, local economies and all of the good stuff.
Shade Grown Coffee Project, Nicaragua
Coffee farming is threatened by climate change, with rising temperatures expected to reduce the size (and output) of coffee farms by 50% in Latin America. Degraded land over periods of time have left farms more susceptible to pests and diseases, prolonged draughts, landslides caused by heavy rains, and a loss of natural pest control. But new forests create habitats for animal and plant species, and opportunities for local people. Shade grown coffee reduces erosion and landslides by improving the soil while often improving the quality of the beans.
By supporting this project, we are helping to provide coffee farmers with technical and financial support; they’ll invest in high value crops and get premium prices for their coffee. This project removes carbon by enabling farmers in Nicaragua to reforest their own land and restore the areas at higher elevations which are degraded by climate change by cultivating shade-grown coffee. To date, there are 445 farming families participating and together they have reforested 915 hectares of land.
Bamboo Afforestation Project, Nicaragua
Bamboo is one of the most efficient biological tools for fighting climate change because it grows so fast. Unfortunately, it’s often used in places where it’s not native and ends up causing disruption to local ecosystems. But not this time! because Bamboo is a native species to Eastern Nicaragua
Supporting this project will help plant 1 million native giant clumping bamboo trees; transforming a degraded landscape into a flourishing, biodiverse ecosystem. The bamboo trees are harvested for use in fibers and building materials to create livelihoods for vulnerable communities in a low-carbon economy. In contrast to cutting trees, harvesting giant clumping bamboo does not kill the plant, so they can have a lifetime of 80 years. So far, the project covers 2,361 hectares while protecting an additional 1,000 hectares of old forest as a conservation zone.
Chinchiná River Forestry Project, Colombia
The rapid expansion of agriculture and cattle grazing has put Colombia's Andean watersheds under threat. Reforestation of watersheds is critical for Manizales and surrounding municipalities who are highly dependent on sufficient water supplies provided by the Chinchina River watershed.
The Chinchiná River Forestry Project involves reforestation, agroforestry and silvo-pastoral systems in order to increase biodiversity and connect strategic ecosystems in the area. Selected species are reintroduced to the areas for assisted natural regeneration, watersheds are restored, and the habitats of significant wildlife in the area are improved, such as spectacled bears and yellow eared parrots. The project also improves the supply of freshwater for local communities, promotes sustainable conservation, research and ecotourism, and generates additional income sources for local farmers and small-scale local industries.
Helping to supply Vietnam with clean energy, this initiative contributes to 14 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Clean Cookstoves, Peru
This project provides clean, energy-efficient cookstoves to households across Peru who would otherwise depend on open fire in enclosed spaces.