What sustainability initiatives do we have in place?
We have taken steps to ensure the environmental footprint of this event is as small as possible. By running it virtually, we have avoided generating greenhouse gas emissions from venues, travel and catering. However, even a virtual event has a footprint so in order to address this, we will measure these unavoidable emissions and offset them using carbon credits. This means that this year’s Better Futures Forum will be climate neutral, with thanks to our climate action partner South Pole.
What does it mean to be climate neutral?
We have partnered with climate action expert South Pole to measure and offset our event emissions. They will measure the greenhouse gas emissions generated from our event to calculate our footprint. For a virtual event, the largest source of emissions is the electricity consumed for our audience to attend. Hopefully one day soon all our offices and homes will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.
Once we have our final emissions footprint, South Pole will compensate for this by retiring an equivalent amount of carbon credits from an emissions reduction project on our behalf. See which projects we have chosen to support below.
We have used the term “climate neutral” rather than the more common “carbon neutral” because South Pole’s process measures both carbon emissions and emissions from other greenhouse gases.
Emissions offsetting is an important tool in the fight against climate change, although preventing and reducing emissions should always be the first priority for businesses and consumers. Having the option to offset greenhouse gas emissions allows organisations to take immediate and tangible action to reduce emissions whilst also channeling funding into climate action projects which support communities, improve livelihoods and protect biodiversity.
Which projects are we supporting?
Our emissions are offset by supporting the Changbin and Taichung Wind project in Taiwan. This project harnesses the strong prevailing winds along Taiwan’s west coast. The wind farms consist of 62 wind turbines that generate over 480,000 MWh of clean power on average each year, which is supplied to the local electricity grid.
As well as contributing to global climate change mitigation efforts through emission reductions, the project is engaged in several activities that help to preserve the local ecosystem such as regular beach clean ups and guided tours that raise awareness about climate change, pollution and other environmental issues. The project has also supported the reforestation of 2,400 m2 of land, which is encouraging local biodiversity. Read more about the project here.
What else are we doing in Australia?
In addition to supporting global emission reductions, we are also supporting a biodiversity project here in Australia. Located on the traditional lands of the Ngarrindjeri people, Traditional Custodians of the Coorong, Mount Sandy is a rare pocket of intact native vegetation in a region now dominated by farmlands. The 200-hectare project site features a unique mix of coastal shrublands and saline swamplands that provide strategic habitat for iconic native wildlife, such as the short-beaked echidna, purple-gaped honeyeater and elegant parrot.
Over thousands of years, the Ngarrindjeri people have cared for Coorong country, developing an intimate connection to the land that sustains them. Project management itself is made possible through close collaboration with local Ngarrindjeri Elders, Clyde and Rose Rigney, who oversee the ongoing management and conservation of vegetation at the Mount Sandy site. Read more about the project here.
Who is South Pole?
South Pole is a global profit-for-purpose company and certified B Corp which develops emissions reduction and biodiversity projects and works with the private and the public sector to drive decarbonisation. Since 2006, South Pole has mobilised over US$15 billion clean energy investments, saved over 170 million tonnes of CO2 and positively affected 20 million people around the globe. Read more about South Pole here.