Co-op backdates carbon pledge

Co-operative Financial Services has become the first organisation to go beyond a carbon neutral pledge by promising to offset some of its historic emissions.

The company will offset all emissions from its operations and business travel, as well an extra 10% to cover carbon emitted before its 1 March announcement.

Carbon dioxide emissions have already been cut by 43% since 2002, says CFS. The cuts have been made through improvement in energy efficiency, procurement of green electricity from Ecotricity and investment in renewable energy technologies at some buildings.

The remaining 16,000 tonnes of carbon emitted annually through operations and travel will be offset by Climate Care.

Eighty per cent of this will be offset through investments in manual irrigation pumps in India, reducing the need for farmers to use fossil fuels for irrigation.

The remaining 20% will be cut through continued reforestation in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. The company has raised concerns that the government’s proposed code of practice for carbon offsets does not recognise the use of reforestation as carbon sinks.

The draft standard is also opposed by Climate Care (ENDS Report 386, p 57 ).