Specialist asset management boutique KBI Global Investors has offset its emissions for 2020, purchasing carbon credits in the Vichada Climate Reforestation project.
Located in the Orinoco river-basin, on the Colombia-Venezuela border, the project is in an area that was previously a savannah and lacked investment due to its marginal, hard-to-reach location.
It combines both reforestation and afforestation activities with biodiversity protection and ecosystem regeneration, transforming degraded savannah lands into close-to-nature forests that produce high quality hardwoods and sequester large amounts of carbon.
The inevitable impacts of climate change will result in a decrease in plant yields, parched crops and deteriorating soil, increasing water contamination and pollution, shrinking reservoirs, increasing droughts as well as rising water levels."
These forests offer a natural habitat for native wildlife, enrich the soil, save and filter water, and help mitigate the greenhouse effect by acting as a carbon sink.
The project is one of more than 700 developed and financed by South Pole, which reduce carbon emissions and protect biodiversity. Each project is designed to deliver proven impacts aligned with the aims of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals - creating healthy ecosystems, thriving communities and prosperous economies.
For 2020 KBIGI elected to measure the emissions from all flights taken by its staff, company car usage, and all the electricity and gas consumed at its Dublin offices.
In earlier years it offset only its emissions for business travel. In measuring its operational emissions for 2020 (and by way of comparison, 2019), KBIGI partnered with specialist consultancy Clearstream.
In 2019 KBIGI measured its emissions and in response planted 6,000 trees in Ireland, via the Irish Woodland Environmental Fund.
In 2018 the Company worked with the Vita Green Impact Fund, a non-governmental organization operating in Eritrea and Ethiopia, to replace inefficient and unhealthy charcoal burning stoves used to cook and boil water with more modern stoves, which use far less wood and thus reduce emissions.
Having recognised the inherent source of alpha to be derived from investing in companies providing solutions to sustainability challenges related to the provision of food, energy, water - the mitigation of and adaptation to the impacts of climate change too - KBIGI launched strategies in these areas as long ago as 2000.
Its commitment to the Vichada project is therefore entirely consistent with its climate change strategy (launched 2007), its sustainable impact agribusiness strategy (launched 2008) and its sustainable impact infrastructure strategy (launched 2017).
Sean Hawkshaw, chief executive, KBI Global Investors said, "There is almost unanimous agreement that, without a significant reduction in carbon emissions, global temperatures will escalate beyond the targets agreed in Paris in 2015. The inevitable impacts of climate change will result in a decrease in plant yields, parched crops and deteriorating soil, increasing water contamination and pollution, shrinking reservoirs, increasing droughts as well as rising water levels. Here at KBIGI we recognise the responsibility we share for our local environment and the wider global community.