A few weeks back I realised it was my one year work anniversary at Climate Friendly! In looking back and wondering how the time flew so fast, I wondered what the impact of my year was in terms of the giant global issues of sustainable development and climate change.

Restoring the balance with Climate Friendly carbon credits (Source: Climate Friendly)
Restoring the balance with Climate Friendly carbon credits (Source: Climate Friendly)

20,000 tonnes. 4,650 MWh.

I helped my clients offset 20,000 tonnes of carbon and 4,650 MWh of fossil fuel energy. This is more than the carbon footprint of the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands (according to Wikipedia via the United States Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center for the United Nations).

(x) number of lives improved.

The voluntary carbon market makes projects that prevent carbon viable and able to run. Carbon projects also provide significant broader sustainability benefits to the communities they exist in. That is what makes carbon finance a highly measurable and successful mechanism of sustainable development. The industry is working hard to quantify these benefits into “lives improved”. Chances are that by next year, I will be able to estimate how many peoples lives my work will have positively impacted.

Yuxian Baiyantuo Wind Project in China (source: Climate Friendly)
Yuxian Baiyantuo Wind Project in China (Source: Climate Friendly)

This year, many of my clients sourced carbon offsets from Chinese wind and small hydro projects. Such projects (such as pictured) provide China with clean energy, helping the country move away from fossil fuels. This improves air pollution – a huge issue in China these days, especially Beijing – and in turn reduces risk of respiratory health problems. Also by stimulating the renewable energy industry in China, employment (green jobs) are created, which helps to boost local economies.

Another renewable energy project is the Rural China Grouped Small Hydro project, which is in a remote area of the country. The project actually involved the construction of transport infrastructure. This, on top of a stable electricity supply, contributes greatly to the ability of these rural communities to develop in a sustainable way. Furthermore, the project also improves sustainable agriculture, natural disaster relief and sanitation in the community!

A material portion of my clients’ offsets were procured from these projects. Another major project was the Tasmanian Native Forest Protection Project. This project prevents carbon emissions by avoiding deforestation. The project has enabled farmers to avoid logging their forests. The co-benefit to this is that native flora and fauna has been able to thrive. The landholders have noticed an increase in the populations of Tasmanian Devils and Wedge-Tailed Eagles, both endangered species. Scientists researching the nearby area have identified brand new insects, spiders and species. It is very motivating personally to be able to ensure funding for a fantastic Australian project like this.

Tasmanian Native Forest Protection Project in Australia (Source: Climate Friendly)
Tasmanian Native Forest Protection Project in Australia (Source: Climate Friendly)

Chinese renewable energy projects and the “Tassie” project each comprised roughly 25 percent of my clients’ portfolios. I would love to provide more material support to holistic sustainability projects in Africa, like Kariba REDD+ and Toyola Cookstoves, and Asia, like Antai Waste Gas Recovery and Viet Nam Household Biogas. These projects touch the lives of more people in more ways, covering a large list of sustainability issues. Something to aspire to in my second year!

Over 60 organisations.

I did business with more than 60 organisations. This included a quasi-government corporation, one of the global leaders in corporate sustainability and creating shared value, leading performing arts venues in Sydney, one of the biggest insurance companies in Australia, two of the leading city councils in Australia, two of Australia’s most ethical superannuation funds, a major bank, the tertiary education sector and a sustainable coffee company.

Importantly, I worked with about as many if not more potential clients to help them understand the commercial benefits of mitigating their carbon footprint including carbon finance.

↓ carbon.

In addition to carbon finance, I have been supporting businesses in improving their sustainability operational efficiency by reducing energy costs through lighting, monitoring and optimisation energy projects.

Other great things.

A demonstration of my facilitation and strategy experiences at IMD Business School and AIESEC International, I ran a full-day workshop for Climate Friendly to develop its long-term direction.

Excitingly, I became the company’s Sustainability Manager, where I am responsible for the Sustainability & Environment Policy, ISO 14001 compliant Environmental Management System, running the Sustainability Committee and improving our office NABERS ratings, among other things. It is an opportunity I value highly!

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