Exactly how does Enviromail work? Your questions answered.
A carbon footprint is the representation of your impression on the planet presented in the form of your carbon emissions. The emissions of an organisation are converted into a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq). This is the standardised measurement for understanding the climate impact of a person or organisation .
Calculating a carbon footprint can be achieved several ways and depends on the company’s environmental ambitions. This includes assessing the Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions of the company and deciding which aspects of the value chain you want to include in your calculation (at a minimum this should include the inhouse emissions- Scope 1 direct emissions- and Scope 2- indirect emissions through energy consumption) as these are the easiest emissions to control. The most ambitious companies will also cover Scope 3 emissions (emissions indirectly related to a company’s activities along the value chain) however, these are difficult to control though often contribute significant quantities of CO2-eq . A footprint’s emissions calculation should include 100% of Scope 1 and 2 emissions and must include Scope 3 emissions which contribute to greater than 1% of an organisations total carbon footprint to adhere to PAS 2060 Standards . This is considered a robust calculation.
Webmart follows the carbon footprint calculations recommended by INTERGRAF. There will always be unavoidable emissions no matter how rigorous a company’s mitigation strategies to reduce their footprint, therefore purchasing carbon credits to offset said emissions is necessary to become climate positive as an organisation. To achieve carbon neutrality your carbon footprint needs to be zero tonnes CO2-eq .
PAS 2060 Standards “enable organisations to demonstrate that their carbon neutrality claims are credible and verified”. The standards were published by the BSI (British Standards Institution) to provide a framework for accuracy and certification of organisational carbon neutrality and are the only internationally recognised certification . This allows companies to demonstrate a voluntary and ambitious commitment to climate action.
The basic principles as defined by the standards are to set measurement targets (calculating a carbon footprint using internationally recognised methodologies) and reduction targets for your company and receive official documentation for carbon neutrality verification once achieved.
There are multiple types of carbon offsetting schemes and the projects they support but there are 4 key types [5,6]:
1. Forestry and conservation: carbon capture by new trees (reforestation/afforestation) or avoiding emissions through protection of forest systems (preventing deforestation). The conservation of peatland.
2. Renewable energy infrastructure: helping to build and maintain solar, wind and hydro sites around the world. These avoid emissions and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for many developing nations and increase the quantity of renewable energy on the grid. No emissions are released.
3. Community projects: These are in developing communities helping to introduce energy-efficient methods and technology such as biogas cooking equipment. These assist in the achievement of the UN SDGs and provide empowerment and independence raising communities out of poverty.
4. Waste to energy: capture and conversion of methane (from landfill, human or agricultural waste) into electricity.
The Oxygen Farm is one of Webmart’s eco-assets, a pine forest located in Coldingham on the Scottish Borders. Full of rich biodiversity it is a wonderful asset with intrinsic value and the potential for large quantities of carbon sequestration.
However, though deforestation has significantly contributed to climate change, tree planting is not going to be the solution for the climate crisis. It takes decades for trees to sequester ample carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and if the tree dies, rots, or is burnt in a forest fire, the same quantity of carbon dioxide is re-released. Thus, carbon reduction projects (not emitting carbon in the first place) are a more sustainable and effective choice.
These projects provide quicker and more permanent savings than forestry schemes with additional social responsibility.
The longevity and success of a project is in large part due to the pricing of their carbon credits, yet there are many factors which effect this. This includes (though not extensively) :
The broader sustainability goals and value the project delivers beyond carbon reductions e.g., working towards internationally ratified targets like the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), community empowerment and a reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
Webmart is ISO 14001, PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified. Webmart regularly donates to registered charities through their CCCP (Community and Charitable Cash Pot). Charities can apply for donations through the Webmart website.
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