Thursday, 17 May 2018

Carbon Zero and Sustainability

When we set up West Wind Projects, one of the goals we had ticking over in the back of our mind was, how do minimise our impact? and secondly, how can we give back?

At the start of our third year we have started to find our feet and a clearer direction of where the business is heading. While reviewing how the second year progressed, these two thoughts came to the surface again …

It was time to look at what impact we were having … what our carbon footprint was.
Working from home certainly helped but made it difficult to dived what was work and what was personal in terms of our CO2 emissions. In the end, I just dealt with home and work as a single identity.

Step one was to calculate our emissions.

Seven and a half tonnes of CO2 emissions!

Due to the nature of our work and that we have to visit sites away from the office there will always be an impact, sometimes I am able to plan site visits that are close to each other in the same trip but that is rare.

Step Two, was to purchase Carbon Offset credits to neutralise this.

We decided that we would purchase them from the Rameka Forest Restoration Charitable Trust.

  • ·         The Trust is a Non-Profit organisation which means that all the dollars we spent go back in to maintain and growing this forest.

  • ·         It is a local project, near Takaka, Golden Bay, so it is easy to visit and see for ourselves where our money is being spent.

  • ·         The Rameka Track, which goes through the property is a historic trading track in the area, which flows from Cannan Downs on top of Takaka Hill to Takaka township, so has historic value.

  • ·         The track is one of our favourite mountain bike rides.

  • ·         The property is open to walkers and mountain bikers to use, so everyone benefits.

So, what did it cost? $25.00 per tonne, 8 tonne cost just $200.00.

Step Three, this is a bit trickier … What can we do to minimise that in the next 12 months?

Basically, it is finding small gains … (remember this is for work and home)
  • ·         Asking yourself … Do I really need to print that document out?
  • ·         Using refillable ink cartridges in the printer
  • ·         Finding paper which is recycled or from a sustainable source
  • ·         In my testing instruments using rechargeable batteries.
  • ·         Recycling old batteries
  • ·         Not using or accepting plastic bags when purchasing items.
  • ·         Using low power lights e.g. LED’s
  • ·         Separating the rubbish out
  • ·         Recycling soft plastic, aluminium, tins, glass, paper/cardboard, etc
  • ·         Composting green waste
  • ·         Selecting cleaning products which are recognised as good for the environment

That is just the start as the list goes on, but most important is creating an awareness of your actions, creating good habits to leave the world in a better place than when we entered it.

Step Four, came about from the second thought, how can we give back?

At this point we are only Carbon Neutral.

In the past we have helped out at Rameka Trust planting trees or building bridges, and that in itself is rewarding. How does a Trust like this grow? It either buys more land with trees on it to absorb more carbon or it plants more trees, and it has done both in the past.

This is when we came up with the idea, of donating One Tree for One Report. Very simply for every report we write throughout the year we will donate a tree to the Rameka Forest Restoration Charitable Trust to be planted.

So, we have gone from being Carbon Positive to Carbon Neutral to Carbon Negative and everyone benefits.

1 comment:

  1. Good work Brett and West Wind. If all can contribute in some way and often it is just simple small steps and changing of habits then we can make a difference towards making planet earth a healthier place to live.