Faber Daeufer & Itrato recently took steps to neutralize the firm’s past and current carbon footprint. With its 2020 donation to Cool Effect, a nonprofit organization working to reduce carbon pollution worldwide, the firm successfully offset its carbon footprint dating back to its launch in 2003. Founded in 1998, Cool Effect is a globally recognized non-profit platform that works with corporations, organizations and individuals to reduce carbon pollution.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth's atmosphere, but people and companies significantly increase these levels by consuming electricity, utilizing certain forms of transportation, manufacturing products and participating in deforestation. With a higher density than dry air, CO2 acts like a greenhouse around the earth, warming the planet’s surface. As these carbon levels rise, the earth experiences substantial climate changes. Cool Effect works to reverse these negative consequences one carbon footprint at a time.
“When we officially launched Cool Effect at the Paris COP in 2015, we sought out to change the conversation surrounding climate change and carbon credits with transparency and scientific review,” states the organization’s website. “Just like the Butterfly Effect, we know small actions taken together can have a larger ripple effect.”
Responding to a recent uptick in corporations seeking to reduce their environmental impact, Cool Effect offered a brief explanation of carbon neutrality. The organization defines ‘climate neutral’ as a state in which human activities result in no net effect on the climate system and ‘carbon neutral’ as a state where CO2 emissions are balanced globally by CO2 removal over a specified period of time. Faber has been working with Cool Effect since 2019 in its effort to reach ‘carbon negativity’, which occurs when a business takes steps to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it creates.
Faber Senior Accounting Manager Trevor Rank explained the steps involved in calculating the firm’s carbon impact. First, all of the firm’s travel (including flights, train rides, car service trips and commute times) was calculated. The carbon footprint for each of the firm’s physical offices was also calculated based on addresses, square footage, and the number of employees working at each location. Once all of this data was compiled, the carbon footprint from the firm’s travel was combined with the carbon footprint from the office locations and, with formulas provided by Cool Effect, the total number of tonnes to be offset was computed and converted into a dollar amount.
Based on its 2019 calculations, Faber’s first donation to Cool Effect totaled $2500, which earned the firm a certificate and recognition as a Certified Carbon Fighter. In 2020, Faber once again received this distinguished recognition, as the firm set out to make an even larger contribution to this important cause. “After becoming carbon neutral in 2019, it was decided that we would calculate the carbon impact the firm has had since its inception in 2003,” said Rank. “We then made a contribution in 2020 to offset that entire impact. Our donation of $18,000 offset over 2,000 tonnes of CO2, which the firm has estimated it has produced since 2003.”
Cool Effect offers participants the option of choosing one of numerous global carbon-reducing projects designed to also provide vulnerable populations with ancillary social benefits. “We scour the globe to find the best projects that measurably reduce greenhouse gases,” states the organization’s website. “Working closely with project developers, we are able to ensure that each program is stable, sound, and capable of doing good for both people and the planet.” Cool Effect then puts potential projects through a rigorous verification process to confirm the science and financials, while ensuring that each project meets the world’s toughest major carbon standards. “We carefully choose the best of the best, providing greater certainty and traceability for the projects in our community. Our selection process ensures tangible emission reductions and confidence in knowing that 90% of each contribution goes directly to the projects.”
Even in the midst of a pandemic, Faber increased its donation to Cool Effect thanks to several financial decisions the firm made throughout the year in preparation for revenue losses due to COVID-19. “Because of those efforts, the firm was able to maintain all of its employees and continue its philanthropic work, including this contribution to Cool Effect. Faber is grateful for the work Cool Effect is doing and is glad to be a supporter,” explained Rank.
To learn more about Cool Effect and its initiatives to neutralize carbon emissions, visit their website at https://www.cooleffect.org/.