The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns that the world is expected to exceed the 1.5C temperature increase from pre-industrial levels based on current rate of greenhouse gas emissions and climate pledges. In order to achieve what was agreed upon in the Paris Accords and avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, the world must halve GHG emissions and to reach net zero by 2050. Aside from eliminating fossil fuels, the private sector has a vital role to play driving down emissions and building the zero-emissions economy. These are some useful and handy platforms to help measure and reduce company carbon footprint, from emissions to science-based targets and carbon offsets.
Blockchain technology is the name of the game at Carbonbase. This one-stop platform uses blockchain-backed tech to help individuals and businesses in their climate-fighting efforts, solutions, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes personal and operational carbon footprint calculations, Gold Standard or Vera Certified–carbon offset project investments and purchases, as well as educational tools and services to reduce carbon emissions to achieve a climate-positive future. What sets Carbonbase apart from the rest is its innovative blockchain-powered conservation platform Project Ark, built in partnership with WWF’s Panda Labs. The online marketplace for non-fungible token (NFT) art directly funds social impact projects to protect biodiversity and climate-related conservation initiatives – both registered and accredited, ensuring transparency and credibility – around the world. Sales utilises a “proof of stake” method, which uses far less power compared to traditional blockchain transactions.
As the name suggests, this digital carbon tracking and offsetting platform is dedicated to providing an accurate and user-friendly tool to calculate company carbon footprint. Commitments to sustainability and net-zero emissions is no longer a marketing strategy, but a crucial component of a business model. Based on this, myFootprint employs a cloud-based software to collect a company’s data (GDPR-compliant) to measure emissions, create an emission reduction roadmap, and identify key actions and supplies to reduce the carbon footprint. Companies will receive a Net Zero certification based on their scale of reduction aligned with what the latest climate science says we need to avoid a 2°C global warming scenario. Though the platform primarily focuses on emission reduction strategies, they also offer carbon offsetting services, allowing business to choose and support a variety of offsetting and social impact projects ranging from reforestation to renewable energy investments.
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Science Based Targets Initiative
By far the largest and one of the most well-known platforms in which companies in the private sector use to reduce carbon emissions, Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnered venture between non-profit CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The clue is in the name, the platform guides businesses on setting and approving science-based emissions reduction targets in line with the goal to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 as stated in the latest IPCC climate report. To ensure there’s no greenwashing is involved, SBTi has also launched the world’s first Corporate Net-Zero Standard, certifying companies’ net-zero targets are being translated into concrete action. To date, more 1,300 companies have adopted science-based targets while over 1,000 are committed to achieving net zero. The private sector has a crucial role to play in combating the climate crisis, and the platform has already helped cut global emissions at scale; SBTi companies have collectively reduced their annual emissions by 25% between 2015 and 2019.
Fig 1: Visualisation of Sweep’s online platform and how businesses can organised to assign and track tasks.
Sweep is a great platform that only helps companies to set and track emission reduction scientific targets, but engage employees in the process as well. Visualisation is key; the interactive digital platform allows businesses to to assign and track tasks, giving individuals or teams from subsidiaries and suppliers to their own employees tools to empower them to take positive actions for the planet. Sweep can be used to collaborate with a company’s entire value chain, securely exchange data with other companies and collaborate on credible net zero roadmaps for scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Other useful services available include custom market insights to compare companies across sectors and industries, and FinTech-inspired tools where enterprises can either automate carbon offset purchases or manually pick the climate and impact projects they want to support. This ranges from projects that supply Peru’s poorest communities with efficient cookstoves, thereby reducing the demand for biomass for fuel and protecting forests, to housing projects for families living on less than USD$2 a day to that stay cool and emit less CO2, to supporting Indigenous communities in protecting 9,000 hectares of the Amazon rainforest.
United Nations Carbon Offset Platform
This UN-run e-commerce platform offers businesses, organisations and individuals the opportunity to purchase carbon credits and offset their emissions and overall carbon footprint. Once you establish the company carbon footprint estimate using the built-in calculator on the platform, you can choose from an impressive range of UNFCCC-certified climate friendly projects to compensate for the firm’s greenhouse gas emissions or simply provide finance for climate solution projects around the world. Users can choose from projects that tackle agricultural emissions (especially nitrous oxide in fertilisers), renewable energy investments, waste handling and disposal, reforestation and afforestation as well as transport electrification initiatives. The carbon offset platform also features a Green Events Tool, developed jointly by UN Climate Change, UN Environment and the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), which allows businesses or individuals to calculate an event’s carbon footprint.