Our Path to Climate Neutrality: Reducing and Offsetting Our Corporate Carbon Footprint

July 8, 2020 news category

We all produce greenhouse gas emissions

Though Persistent only invests in climate-positive companies and substantially contributes to the development of clean technologies, we still produce a significant corporate carbon footprint. In normal times, flying to visit our partner companies several times per year, participating in conferences, powering our computers with electricity, using the coffee machine, getting take-away food over lunch, using the toilet, washing our hands with water and even commuting to work every day – we all produce greenhouse gas emissions by working at Persistent, whether we realize it or not.

“Do your best…”

As a company envisioning a greener and fairer world, we see it as our responsibility to start at the very source – by reducing our own corporate carbon footprint as much as possible. We want to achieve this by taking simple, yet effective measures, in our daily routines (climate-neutral post service, recycled paper, energy-saving mode), but also driving our operations, carefully considering the climate impact when deciding on any necessary travel, flying economy and implementing energy efficient solutions whenever possible.

“…and offset the rest!”

However, some of our emissions are simply unavoidable. Therefore, we decided to find a credible partner organisation that develops climate protection projects, to compensate our remaining emissions through financing climate action. Based on a detailed analysis of different climate protection organisations, we chose to partner with South Pole, a leading provider of global sustainability solutions. In this analysis, we considered different criteria, such as standard and certification used, types of projects available, transparency of information and price-performance ratio. As South Pole offers a very varied range of projects, such as safe community water supply in Rwanda or forest protection and sustainable agriculture in Zimbabwe – both of which are verified and certified by the most reputable international standards, like Gold Standard and REDD+, which require ecological as well as social benefits – we found it was a perfect match.

Alaska – the web-based GHG Accounting tool for climate neutrality

In order to annually account for our corporate carbon footprint, we use South Pole’s web-based tool Alaska. At the end of every year, our GHG emissions are calculated and then verified by South Pole, so that emission “hot-spots” can be identified and constant reduction measures can be put into place over the course of several years. As the Alaska tool is evolving, the analysis of our footprint is getting more and more detailed and precise over time. In order to meet the strict label guidelines from South Pole – and as not 100% of all necessary emission sources are yet included in Alaska – an uncertainty buffer of 20% has been added to Persistent’s footprint for the first year, 2020. For the renewal of the climate neutral company label in 2021, Persistent and South Pole are working on further improving the data basis and thereby the accuracy of the footprint.

As part of developing its GHG emissions reduction plan, Persistent has set clear targets and is putting efforts to reduce GHG emissions. These reduction measures are reviewed annually by South Pole, in order to be able to receive the climate neutral label again in 2021.

Please click here for more information on why carbon offsetting is a valuable way of taking responsibility for our effects on the climate – and to find out how you too, can take climate action!