We see carbon neutrality as having three main benefits:
- Acting now – energy efficiency and carbon intensity reduction projects are key to tackling climate change. Over 73 projects and investigations are underway to reduce energy across the company. Nevertheless, carbon emissions will continue to be generated, and we know that each metric ton of carbon eliminated today is more valuable than one removed at some point in the future. Carbon neutrality bridges the gap between the current reality and a more sustainable future
- Quantifying carbon costs – we identify sustainability priorities by quantifying the costs associated with sustainability challenges, as highlighted in our Green Book. However, the economic cost of carbon is difficult to quantify. Carbon neutrality enables a clear cost of carbon to be assigned. We incentivize affiliates to re-double their efficiency efforts by requiring each affiliate to pay for its emissions offset
- Community commitment – supporting carbon offsetting projects which directly benefit local communities is in line with our community investment strategy.
Since 2014, we have offset our CO2 emissions through projects located in the regions SGS operates in, thus making a positive contribution in areas where we have impact. We annually offset any residual CO2 emissions associated with our operations in major countries.
To mitigate our CO2 emissions in 2015, we made the following investments in renewable energy initiatives during 2016:
In addition to the renewable energy and carbon credits purchased in 2016 (as shown above), SGS invested in three voluntary offset schemes – in China, South America and India – which support the development of local enterprise through power generation from wind and biomass energy. Specifically, we purchased:
- 199,435 credits through our investment in the newly-built Gansu Guazhou Ganhekou 200 MW wind farm in the Gansu Province of China
- 1,554 credits through our investment in the Antonio Moran Wind Power Plant Project located in Patagonia, Argentina
- 2,128 credits through our investment in the Sri Balaji 6 MW biomass power generation plant at the Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh, India
These credit purchases (verified by the Clean Development Mechanism) provide important opportunities to support sustainable economic growth, provide clean energy to regions and local communities, and protect the environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels for energy.
Since December 2014, when SGS became one of the first companies globally to sign the RE100 initiative, we have pledged to use 100% energy from renewable sources by 2020. Led by The Climate Group and in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project, RE100 is collaborating with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and others to get 100 of the world’s largest companies to commit to 100% renewable power by 2020.
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