CORE offsets its carbon emissions

By Giacomo Piccoli | 14 January 2021

CORE is aware of the importance of protecting our planet from the effects of climate change and is committed to playing its role. We are doing so in two ways. Firstly, CORE staff are contributing to this goal by reducing their carbon footprint and working in environmentally responsible ways. For example, we promote virtual participation to events whenever possible. After travel, usage of electricity is the second largest contributor to CORE’s footprint. To find efficiencies in our usage in 2021 we will collaborate with CORE’s web developer, Bravand, to optimise the performance of CORE’s website and hosting solution and minimise the environmental impact of its servers.

Secondly, CORE has made it its policy to always offset the whole of its carbon footprint. We have committed to paying £70 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emitted, to account for the true social cost of emissions. We chose this price following estimates from different trusted sources. Gold Standard suggests a price between $62 and $123 per tonne of CO2 for a discount rate of 2.5%-3% in 2020. The IMF recommends a price of $70-75 per tonne for countries such as the UK to meet the pledges made in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, the Greater London Authority (CORE operations are based in London) suggests a price between £65 and £90 per tonne for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050.

CORE calculates its carbon footprint by using the Carbon Footprint calculator. Our carbon footprint between 2013, the year of CORE’s inception, and 2020 was estimated at approximately 40 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This includes air travel by CORE staff, use of office space (mostly electricity usage) and website operation and hosting.

When determining how to offset CORE’s CO2 emission we were guided by the principle of a ‘value-driven’ model that accounts for the full environmental, social, and economic impacts of a specific project. In addition, the projects we are supporting should follow gender-sensitive design principles and deliver impact toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Guided by these principles we chose to support projects in the Gold Standard portfolio. Gold Standard is a non-profit foundation established by WWF and several other international NGOs that launched a best practice standard for climate and sustainable development interventions. We chose six of their projects to support, to ensure diversity in geographical location, gender balance and breadth of objectives:

Contributions to each project were made to ensure that each tonne of CORE’s CO2 footprint was paid at the £70 rate.