Carbon offsetting is used at Earthwatch to partly compensate for the emissions we produce with an equivalent carbon saving. This involves purchasing carbon credits or emission reduction credits, which have been generated by projects that have reduced carbon emissions. These projects involve renewable energy, energy efficiency, and forest restoration projects. Earthwatch requires that the offset provider show that real reductions in CO2 are being made, are verified, are additional, and are not double-counted.
Earthwatch Offset Providers:
Earthwatch acknowledges that carbon offsetting is not the solution to climate change, but it can reduce the organizational impact we have from travelling to project sites and in delivering life-changing experiences to volunteers and fellows on our expeditions. Offsetting is seen as a mitigation action to offset the remaining carbon emissions for Earthwatch after minimizing our travel as much as possible.
In our approach to minimizing our carbon footprint we:
- Support people who wish to travel locally.
- Seek to place corporate employees involved in our programs on projects geographically close to their businesses.
- Operate a carbon accounting system to track and monitor our emissions.
- Educate and inform staff, stakeholders, and customers of the effects of air travel, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and ways to minimize one's impact on the environment.
- Orientate our scientific field research to understand and contribute to climate change solutions. Find out more about our climate change Research Area.
Carbon Offset Management
Carbon offsetting activities are managed by an internal working group at Earthwatch called the 3CMG (Climate Change & Carbon Management Group). The 3CMG is the entity for which all Earthwatch offices address the issues of carbon management, offsetting, and environmental markets.
Earthwatch (Europe) currently offsets the following:
Mandatory offsetting of all air travel since 2005.
Mandatory offsetting of all air and rail travel since 2006.
Optional offsetting of all air travel since 2005.
Mandatory offsetting of all air travel since 2006.
Mandatory offsetting of all new fellowship contracts since 2006.
Earthwatch is currently developing a comprehensive international carbon management strategy that will stipulate how each office will offset, the methods by which this is achieved, and timeframes involved. Earthwatch aims to go 'beyond the basics' with any carbon neutral programme undertaken. This involves not only ensuring the appropriate amount of carbon sequestration needed to offset the organisations' emissions, but to ensure that long-term sustainable development and ecosystems benefits are also secured.