Yorkshire-based charity United Bank of Carbon (UBoC) is helping businesses to offset their carbon emissions by offering a bank of carbon credits which can be purchased in small quantities. Career coaching and information business Workmaze in Harrogate has become its first customer.
Set up in 1999, Workmaze helps people to find their perfect career. It has links with over 45 business schools throughout the world, delivering career services and information products. The company, which is committed to reducing its carbon emissions, has taken the initiative a step further by joining forces with UBoC to offset its carbon footprint by supporting a small rural community development project in Malawi. Working in a heavily deforested region of the country, the project works with farmers enabling them to plant trees on their farms, trains them to monitor the amount of carbon stored and through doing so, creates the carbon credits that have been bought by Workmaze.
In addition to receiving income from the sale of carbon credits, local communities will also benefit from the growth of the trees on their land through increased access to fruits, medicines and wood for fuel and construction. In this way, the project works with some of the poorest people in Africa to improve local livelihoods and protect biodiversity. The carbon offsets are certified against the Plan Vivo Standard.
Jonathan Wild, trustee of UBoC and Jane Barrett of Workmaze
Jane Barrett of Workmaze explained:
The nature of our work means that our consultants do travel the world and we appreciate that there are very positive business benefits to be gained by taking positive action to offset our carbon emissions.
UBoC was able to help us to calculate our carbon footprint, give us advice about ways of reducing our energy usage and enable us to purchase the relatively small number of Plan Vivo credits we needed to offset our footprint, enabling us to become carbon neutral. It’s fantastic to know that by supporting this project we will also be helping to improve the livelihoods of some of the poorest people in Africa.
Jonathan Wild, trustee of UBoC and former chairman and chief executive of Bettys Taylors Group, said:
Jane started her career as one of my shop assistants at Bettys. Twenty years later, she has built a fabulous international consultancy business. It’s wonderful to be working together again, bringing strong business and social leadership together to impact in parts of the world where trees are not just a nice-to-have amenity, but a matter of life and death.
UBoC is able to offer Plan Vivo credits to offset as little as 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide which costs about £80 to offset. All of the carbon offsets are from the community based reforestation project in Malawi which is run by a local organisation called Trees of Hope.
Founded by Bettys and Taylors Group, the University of Leeds and Deloitte, UBoC enables businesses to play a part in tackling climate change by matching them with verified rainforest projects from around the globe. Businesses are able to choose from the largest bank of verified rain-forest protection projects in the world and find a specific environmental project to partner which has synergies with their own organisation.
Plan Vivo projects is now operating in Mexico, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mozambique and Bolivia. For more information.