In January this year we published a bold statement around working towards becoming carbon neutral in 2020. So, how have we gone so far?
Firstly, to recap what we see the issue as and why we’re working towards this. We see the global challenges facing us summarised below;
- Carbon Dioxide is up 412 parts per million and are at the highest levels in the last 650,000 years
- Global Temperatures are up by 1.9 °F since 1880
- Arctic Ice minimum has reduced by 12.8% per decade
- Sea Levels have risen by 3.3 mm per year
- 11% of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rising
According to WWF Australia, the three key causes to this rapidly growing problem include;
- Burning fossil fuels – Electricity generation is the main cause of carbon pollution in Australia, as 73% of our electricity comes from burning coal and 13% from burning gas
- Deforestation & Tree-Clearing – 11% of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation, comparable to all cars and trucks on the planet
- Agriculture & Farming – Australian farming contributes 16% of our total greenhouse gas emissions
At Calibre One, we want to work together as a team, with our staff, customers, partners and overall the community of people we touch to see how we can effect change for good, and do our part to hopefully not only lower our footprint, but do our best to reverse it in the near future.
Part of this has been a focus around waste management, looking at how we can ‘Reduce, Re-use & Recycle’. We recently wrote an article on how we were measuring up from a waste management perspective and are excited to say that only 5% of waste we manage now goes to landfill.
The second key part to our sustainability plan though has been to look at how we can deploy a strategy to neutralise our carbon footprint for good.
How do we measure up?
Our plan to achieve this goal was going to happen by several different mechanisms, these included;
- Building a process & system by which we could create data points on all the areas that emitted carbon into the atmosphere. So far we have data points on energy, travel (flights), and logistics (our fleet of vehicles).
- Integration of data points into live reporting for management and our staff to see how we were tracking against actions taken
- Set a cost of carbon and self-enforce a carbon tax that would be used to deploy green projects and offset carbon emission through carbon gold credits
- Green Project #1: Deploy solar and battery infrastructure into office site locations
- Green Project #2: Transition our fleet of vehicles to hybrid electric
- Green Project #3: Find an Australian partner to work with for carbon offset credits and tree planting program
By January this year, we had successfully ticked the box for the first 3 tasks. We had data points on each of the main carbon emitters and were successfully enforcing a carbon tax across them all.
Deploying our Green Projects
Like most businesses, due to restrictions in travel and self-isolation, we have seen a downturn in emissions which is great for the planet. However, when things ultimately do return to normal, our key mission is for our physical emissions to lower by 70%. In June and July this year we completed the first of our two green projects.
We deployed 51.76KwH of solar panels across the roofs of our offices, and we deployed 40 KwH of battery storage. We estimate that this will be able to supply roughly 70% of our power needs per year. In the last month we have generated over 4.32 MwH which equates to 100% of energy consumption, and so far we have saved over 2.2 tons of carbon entering the atmosphere.
In June of next year we will be switching the majority of our fleet from fossil fuel to hybrid electric. We are targeting a further 50% reduction in emissions through this change.
Partnering with Carbon Neutral
Ultimately, we knew that even through a series of changes we could make, it would simply not be possible for us with current technology available to cut our emissions by 100%, at least not yet.
Calibre One wanted to find an Australian partner that could supply carbon Gold Standard credits for us to offset any leftover emissions, and we wanted to work with a partner where that money would be invested back into Australian jobs, and the national landscape.
Calibre One is excited to announce our partnership with Carbon Neutral. Carbon Neutral are passionate about the native Australian landscape, and specialise in biodiverse reforestation plantings and carbon sinks. The Carbon Neutral group has planted over 29+ million trees so far. They’re recognised as a market leader in carbon management and advice. Carbon Neutral have built a reputation over the past 19 years as a trusted and experienced environmental partner.
Calibre One has offset over 90 tonnes of emissions in last financial year, which offset 100% of the 87.58 emissions we recorded. The funding from these Gold Standard carbon credits go towards the biodiverse reforestation project in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. The Carbon Neutral team have estimated that 90 tons of carbon offsets equated to between 900 and 1,350 trees planted throughout this biodiversity corridor in Western Australia.
The Gold Standard carbon credits is a global certification initiated by the World Wildlife Fund (and others) in 2003. Having Gold Standard ensures that a project is implemented following best practice rules, must involve consultation with local stakeholders, must continually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environment and people’s lives.
Where to next?
Calibre One are committed to a continuous improvement program when it comes to sustainability. We see this as a journey rather than a destination. Calibre One are always keen to work with our customers on helping them within their own sustainability projects.
If you have any questions about the different programs we are running or how we can help you with you e-waste management in your IT environment, please visit our E-Waste services page.