How to Multi-Purpose Assets to Increase Sustainability
For many businesses an energy efficient retrofit or installing renewable power is not practical, physically or financially at this time. Options such as renewable energy credits are pure expenses. There is way to quantifiably demonstrate sustainability by multi-purposing the company’s assets.
Using a method developed by Carbon Xprint, a company’s carbon footprint can be offset by investing in clean energy debt instruments. The unit price of these bonds or term deposits match the cost of one ton of greenhouse gas. The carbon footprint of 500 tons can be counteracted with the purchase of 500 units of the investment. The investment is dedicated to finance certified new clean energy projects. The company measurably demonstrates climate responsibility, finances clean energy, and they still have an asset. This investment is needed. The IEA estimates that $44 trillion is needed by 2050 to keep the average global temperatures below a 2 degrees Celsius rise. The fuel savings on this investment is estimated to be $115 trillion. Unlike renewable energy credits where the money goes to existing clean energy, this method finances new clean energy and moves mitigation forward.
Large corporations as well as Mom and Pop stores can employ this method. Some industries can counteract a portion or all of their carbon footprint with a small percentage of cash and investments. The company still has an interest bearing asset. Some examples of what it would take for some companies to offset emissions using carbon at $40/ton:
Although this method would not work for all types of businesses, it can work for a good portion of our service economy. The challenge of transportation and utility companies will be discussed in a future blog. The method could also be used by individuals; multi-purposing a percentage of their savings to take responsibility for their footprint.