Happy Earth Day! It’s a fact, we all need to make changes to save the planet. Scientists have warned that we have no more than a decade to avoid the horror story of what is referred to as “runaway climate change” – when natural systems start shifting so fast that there’s nothing we can do to stop things getting worse and worse. In those warnings there is a moral imperative that now affects each and every one of us : whatever we can do to avoid that horror story, each in our own way, then we must do it.
Robson Laidler is fully committed to becoming a more sustainable company. There’s a lot to figure out and we’re only at the beginning. But as today is Earth Day we are pleased to announce the following initial measures towards that goal:
To offset and exceed our carbon footprint as a business, starting from this month, every month, through our partnership with B1G1 we will be:
- planting 72 trees;
- rescuing 8kg of food, and
- providing 2 months of access to a solar lamp to family in need
How we derived the numbers:
According to research by Trees.org, an acre of trees (comprising of approximately 2,500 trees) can offset approximately 144.64 tonnes of CO2. Hence, between 17-18 trees are required to offset each tonne of CO2. To be more conservative with our calculation, we will round this up and plant 18 trees to offset 1 tonne of CO2. However, one caveat to note is that newly planted trees will take a significant amount of time to reach maximum efficacy at sequestering CO2. It is for this reason that we have decided to include a couple of other projects that would create a more immediate impact towards to reducing CO2 emission.
The first of these other projects is to provide solar lamps to families in Kenya. According to research, people in Kenya still primarily use kerosene lamps for lighting. However, this produces a staggering amount of CO2 (200g – 250g of CO2 per kWh). On the other hand, solar energy sources only produce 40g of CO2 per kWh, meaning that a switch to solar lamps could help bring about an 80% reduction in CO2 emission. Studies also show that there is an average monthly consumption of 3 – 30 litres of kerosene per household for lighting, which translates into around 80.35kg of CO2 emitted per household per month. By switching to solar lamps, we can reduce this amount by 80%, which equals to around 67.49kg of CO2 per month.
The second project we want to incorporate is to reduce carbon emission reduction by alleviating food wastage. Research shows that a ton of food waste can emit up to 2.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (usually through the emission of methane gas). Hence, reducing food wastage would have a significant impact towards reducing carbon emissions as well. With the above mind, we have included the solar cooker project and food waste reduction project.
By combining projects that plant trees, provide solar cookers to families and reduce food waste, this creates an impact with short- and long-term solutions to reduce CO2 emissions.