SMR has a broad sustainability strategy to address our environmental footprint, including:
SMR purchased 420 tonnes of Carbon Credits, 200% of calculated CO2e generation. Carbon Credits were purchased from a variety of high-quality vendors that fund projects globally and locally.
The best climate science says that we need to fully decarbonize the global economy by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Very soon we have to address all emissions directly, not pay someone to reduce emissions in another place to allow us to continue to pollute directly. For that reason, it is critical that using carbon credits is done as a part of an overall strategy where we do everything we can to directly reduce emissions and only purchase credits to address those emissions that are particularly difficult to tackle directly today.
Transportation to and from our retreats is particularly hard to address directly today. There are steps that we can take, including carpooling and using electric vehicles powered by renewable energy. Where electric transportation is not possible and where flying is needed to reach our retreats, emissions remain which we plan to address through well-considered carbon credit purchases. Recognizing the remaining uncertainties of carbon credit programs and the need to rapidly reduce global carbon emissions, we have decided to purchase twice the number of carbon credits as our calculations suggest are necessary to address the transportation emissions from our retreats. We also plan to regularly review options to more directly reduce these emissions.
The following description is quoted from The Sierra Club who has partnered with NativeEnergy, a popular carbon offset retailer:
There are two sides to the carbon offset equation: On one side, you calculate how much carbon a certain activity emits. Let's use as an example a flight from San Francisco to Paris. Your personal share of carbon emissions for that flight equals approximately 4.5 tons.
On the other side of the equation, the folks at NativeEnergy have identified a potential wind energy project that needs additional funding to be built. They calculate how much wind energy this project will generate over its lifetime and assign a dollar figure to each kilowatt-hour based on the cost of generating it. NativeEnergy reasons that every kilowatt-hour of clean energy generated by its project replaces a kilowatt-hour that would have otherwise been generated by a ‘dirty’ energy source, e.g., a coal-fired power plant.
The idea of ‘offsetting’ is that your monetary contribution is responsible for a share of the wind project that equals the amount of carbon you've emitted by your activity. In the case of our flight to Paris, you would pay $70 to NativeEnergy to help fund the building of a wind farm.
Investing in Carbon Offset projects builds demand for Renewable Energy and other carbon emission reduction projects, so that the ultimate goal of a world without human carbon pollution can be achieved.
The Carbon Credit market provides a way for individuals and organizations to invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions on the planet. Sometimes these credits are referred to as “offsets” because people or companies purchase credits equal to an amount of their carbon emissions footprint that they aren’t able to reduce directly.
The term ‘offset’ is sometimes controversial because it implies that by purchasing carbon credits we are fully addressing the carbon pollution we emit. In truth, carbon credits are at most a ‘last resort’ solution and a temporary way to address emissions that are hard or impossible for us to resolve directly at this time. To truly decarbonize our transport system will require policy changes in our larger transportation systems.
Purchasing Carbon Credits does NOT:
The Gold Standard
Price per tonne CO2e: currently $10-18 depending on specific project
Projects exclusively in developing nations
The most highly regarded verifier and retailer of carbon offset projects. Endorsed by many social and environmental justice organizations. Most stringent verification process along with multitudes of co-benefits for each project
80% of carbon offset revenue goes directly to projects
Price per tonne CO2e: $15.50
Projects around the globe
Verified by Gold Standard and Climate Action Reserve
Top retailer for environmentally-conscious corporations
Purchase offsets to “bridge financial gap” for projects that have yet to be completed. Most offset revenue from other retailers goes to completed projects to pay back the capital that investors laid out to get a project completed. NativeEnergy’s unique niche in the market is community-derived projects that lack big-time investors and so they are trying to “crowd-source” these projects by selling offsets.
Price per tonne CO2e: $11
Projects exclusively in USA
Verified by Gold Standard, Green-e and Climate Action Reserve
Purchase is not project-specific.
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Price per tonne CO2e: $10
Projects exclusively in USA and Canada
Verified by Green-e and Climate Action Reserve
Purchase offset from Foundation, who then determines which projects to fund
More details about SMR's methodology in calculating emissions in this PDF.
Much thanks to Shannon Anderson, Lou Leonard and Kalen Jones for their work on this project.