|CARE committed to reducing its carbon footprint|
CARE is especially concerned about climate change due to its disproportionate impacts on poor people. As a result, CARE staff members in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America are taking important steps to minimise their organisations’ emissions in ways that are robust and address ethical as well as substantive challenges. These steps are described in more detail in the ‘Guide to Taking Responsibility for CARE’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ found in the Tools for Action section.
In working towards carbon neutrality, PECCN supports the following initiatives already being implemented by CARE staff around the world:
Establish Green Teams
CARE International Members and County Offices – such as CARE Canada, CARE Netherlands, CARE Germany, CARE Vietnam and CARE USA – are building committed groups of CARE employees who advocate for, and enable, practical small, medium and large steps to becoming carbon neutral organizations. Green Team members serve a resource and sounding board for practical changes at the individual and organizational level through emissions reductions and off-setting.
Assess greenhouse gas emissions
CARE members and county offices are actively pursuing carbon neutrality by taking emissions inventories and calculating their carbon footprints. In this pursuit, CARE offices - including our International Secretariat, CARE Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany the Netherlands and USA - are looking at how activities such as water, energy and paper use, domestic or international travel and current modes of operation that might impact emissions. For example, CARE USA received an assessment grant for an audit of its headquarters' energy and water use that will provide recommendations for making the building greener. Through better inventories and calculations, CARE offices are actively reducing their emissions.
Implement emissions reductions initiatives
CARE Members and County Offices are looking at win-win solutions that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. Success stories include the fact that CARE Brazil has been carbon neutral since 2008, CARE Austria was just certified as a ‘climate friendly' in 2009 by the Climate Alliance Austria, and CARE Canada is pursuing common-sense emissions reductions and reinvesting the economic gains from increased energy efficiency and conservation into further greening initiatives.
Consider offsetting for neutrality
CARE Members and County Offices are seeking the most ethical options to offset their emissions. In order to make informed decisions, they look at cost, donor constraints, standards and the prospects for ‘purchasing' internally generated credits. For example, CARE Netherlands decided to explore how it could offset its emissions through CARE projects benefiting communities that are especially vulnerable to climate change. Their assessments of opportunities for pro-poor credit generation, coupled with the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Project Design Standards, guides their strategy for developing Agriculture, Forestry and other Land Use (AFoLU) projects.
Refine calculations and continue investing in emissions reductions
CARE members and county offices are implementing the final step in CARE's carbon neutrality strategy through a feedback loop whereby savings from reductions are reinvested to refine footprint calculations, rather increasingly comprehensive emissions data, and finance more investment in energy efficiency and emissions reductions.