Urban Earth offsets it carbon emissions for 2012

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

<p>Urban Earth purchased carbon credits from the Hout Bay Recycling Co-op, a project which involves residents of the township Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay who sort and sell recyclable waste (Image Source: Credible Carbon).</p>

Urban Earth purchased carbon credits from the Hout Bay Recycling Co-op, a project which involves residents of the township Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay who sort and sell recyclable waste (Image Source: Credible Carbon).

Urban Earth has offset its carbon footprint of 6,469 kg CO2e for the 2012 year by purchasing carbon credits on the voluntary market from Credible Carbon, a South African based voluntary market carbon registry.

Hout Bay Recycling Co-op

Urban Earth purchased carbon credits to the value of 6.47 tCO2e from the Hout Bay Recycling Co-op, a project which involves residents of the township Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay who sort and sell recyclable waste. By sorting the waste and selling it to recycling organisations, the residents of Imizamo Yethu are assisting with the diversion of waste from landfill and preventing further methane from being emitted at landfill. This project has provided Imizamo Yethu residents with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. 

Purchasing carbon credits

To make a decision on which carbon project to support, we used the following criteria:

  • Is the project based in South Africa?
  • Have the carbon credits been verified by an independent auditor?
  • Are the results of the audit publically available?
  • Does the project have a social upliftment component to it?

Based on the above criteria we decided to purchase carbon credits from the Hout Bay Recycling Co-op project as the project is based in Cape Town, is benefitting local people and the carbon credits saved have been independently audited. The results of the audit are available online.

Reducing emissions

Whilst purchasing carbon offsets does help an organisation to achieve carbon neutrality Urban Earth advocates that reducing emissions should be the priority of the organisation and carbon credits should be purchased for the emissions that cannot be reduced in the short term. In this regard we have implemented a number of mitigation strategies to reduce their carbon emissions which include:

  • Avoiding travel and conducting business via telephone and computer where possible.  
  • When travelling by car Urban Earth staff car pool with others to attend meetings where possible.
  • Using non-motorised transport to travel to work.
  • Using non-motorised transport and public transport for business travel.
  • Not using office air-conditioners and switching off appliances at the end of the day to reduce electricity usage.

Amanda Botes