This week we have some very exciting news to share - we have just become the first non-government organisation working in the climate space in Australia to go completely carbon neutral!
As an organisation we are key players for changing climate change. 10 years ago we initiated the first ever Earth Hour, we marched for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, and right now we are highly active in the fields of clean-tech and innovative climate solutions.
But, we decided to step up just that much further and keep walking our talk for greenhouse gas reduction.
The journey to become 100% carbon neutral began for us in 2015. After several years of improvements, we’ve made leaps and bounds in reducing our footprint.
These include initiatives such as ‘no-fly’ January, where for the whole of January, every staff member, including our CEO, either dials in for meetings, or takes buses and trains to meetings in Brisbane, Melbourne or Canberra instead of flying.
We also sort all of our rubbish (no individual waste bins!), have an in-house composter for all of our organic office food scraps, are mostly paperless, and are celebrating this achievement with carbon free cupcakes (delicious, by the way).
So what does being 100% carbon neutral actually mean?
Every activity has an carbon impact, or a carbon footprint. This achievement means that we have measured the carbon impact of all our activities (including the printing!), reduced this where we can, and invested into the environment an amount that is equal to our footprint - which is the definition of “offset”. This investment is over and above our ongoing conservation work.
By offsetting our own emissions, we can support development projects both locally and internationally that align with our values for environmental and social responsibility.
We’re also taking an extra step (because it’s us) of offsetting our remaining carbon-generating activities by supporting development projects under The Gold Standard for Global Goals - projects that protect our climate and benefit local communities. This year, we are supporting the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor in WA.
The Gold Standard is widely considered to be the highest standard in the world for carbon offsets.
In just one year, the average Australian's greenhouse gas emissions add up to about 28 tonnes, this is well above average compared to the rest of the world, but together, we’re hoping to lead by example and encourage a more emissions-friendly world.
Over 30 organisations across Australia have now been certified carbon neutral under the Program; more than seven million tonnes of carbon emissions have been offset thanks to certifications to date, the equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road for a year.