Case Study Of TetraPak’s Carbon Program
A wonderful case study of a company offsetting its carbon footprint was recently published on Ecosystemmarketplace.com. The website analyzes how TetraPak UK, the packaging company, goes about offsetting its carbon footprint by investing in Ugandan trees.
TetraPak UK started its carbon management program in 2003 and sought outside help to create a computer-based monitoring system. The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management ECCM, consulted on devising a program that calculates the company’s annual carbon footprint based on real production data.
In the first year of the program’s inception, 2004, TetraPak UK had managed to reduce their carbon emissions (11,780 tons) by 13% compared to 2001 levels. The company self imposed a 15% target for 2005 (below 2001 levels). Almost all, 80%, of TetraPak UK’s offsets are purchased in Uganda –including Beatrice’s carbon–while the remaining 20% comes from bio-mass and solar energy projects in India and Sri Lanka.
Beatrice Ahimbisibwe is a widow, single mother, and school-teacher. According to Ecosystemmarketplace.com, when she first signed a contract to sell carbon sequestration credits from her small parcel of land, ‘her neighbors thought she was crazy’. They showed distrust as well. None of them had ever heard of carbon dioxide, let alone who would want to pay for ‘offsetting’ it. “You are giving away your land for nothing. One day [the buyers] just come and take it.”
Good for Beatrice, she didn’t believe them. She signed a deal with ECOTRUST, a Ugandan NGO which has a variety of international organizations as clients. The trees that she planted on land she was not using benefit the environment and provide her with extra income after she had filled in applications with signatures of family members and provided proof of ownership.
Then Beatrice cleared and planted one hectare of her land with native species of trees, which generate 57 tons of carbon sequestered over ten years (assuming the trees survive) and is paid US$8 per ton, for a possible total of $456 over 25 years. The contract allowed Beatrice to use any wood pruned from the trees and, after some 15 years, she’s allowed to use/sell the wood.