This describes the process of measuring the carbon dioxide emitted by the behaviour of an individual or organisation and taking action to remove that carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or prevent it reaching the atmosphere.
ICECAP was initially founded in 2002 to be at the forefront of the nascent (at that time) Clean Development Mechanism. This is a scheme regulated by the UN which encouraged clean development (ie lower carbon) in developing countries. Initially ICECAP developed a fund offering whose task was to identify, develop and risk manage such projects to enable the fund participants (utilities and commodity houses) to meet their carbon obligations. ICECAP went on to develop its own carbon trading books and then, as the market matured, its own carbon project under a group company, 3 Rocks Limited.
For the uninitiated, distinguishing between the wide variety of carbon offset projects is a very difficult task. There are many projects which have not been implemented to the highest standards or relate to questionable carbon dioxide savings that would not qualify (for numerous reasons) under the most stringent standards imposed by the UN.
3 Rocks Limited distributed over 40,000 efficient wood-burning stoves to the population surrounding Katete in the east of Zambia. In doing so, the amount of wood burned and carbon emitted was drastically reduced but also there are numerous other important benefits including;
The project was audited and is registered by the UN . Its design was to support some of the poorest individuals in the world whilst producing additional, genuine, and measurable reductions. Due to the unique nature of this project, the project was then selected by the Swedish Government who purchased the credits to help meet its international obligations.
We at ICECAP have visited Katete, interviewed stakeholders from villagers to local Chiefs and helped install the stoves. We have financed the stoves, planned the logistics, and written the documents required by the UN and we are deeply engaged in the project.
There are numerous studies which look to estimate average emissions per capita in various countries. For our Jersey office the most recent study was performed in 2017 . This estimated that each Jersey resident emits 3.5 tonnes carbon per annum on average. These averages mask a huge variance from individual to individual. For example, an individual who flies long haul could emit more in one flight than his/her neighbour does in an entire year.
For the purposes of our calculations, we are drawn to use a simple and transparent methodology. The average emissions per capita of the highest EU state is 20 tonnes per capita , this is significantly higher than most developed countries including the USA and includes emissions relating to international air travel.
This we will adopt this as our baseline emissions and will retire 20 tonnes of carbon credits for each employee each year to match this.
In addition to this we feel that one major adjustment we want to include is to recognise is emissions from air travel. We at ICECAP are active flyers with a regular presence in Sub-Saharan Africa to meet our clients face to face where necessary. This travel comes at a carbon cost, for example a return flight in premium economy between London and Johannesburg emits 6.3 tonnes of CO2 .
We will maintain a flights register and will annually retire credits to match the flight emissions for our staff.
We believe this is a conservative and comprehensive assessment of ICECAPs emissions and will result in ICECAP being able to proudly state that it is carbon neutral for 2020 and thereafter. ICECAP clients can include us in their supply chains as a carbon neutral supplier of services.
For every £2,000 of revenue we receive from our clients in fees we will retire credits equivalent to 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide which equates to the activity of one person per year.
The credits that we will retire relate will be VERS (Voluntary Emissions Reductions) that were issued in the period between the stoves being installed and the registration of the project with the UN. These VERS are issued on the same basis and for the same project (and cookstoves) as the CERs (Certified Emissions Reduction) that were later issued by the UN (and purchased by the Swedish Energy Agency).