We offset our emissions with hydropower – with energy forests we take it one step further
Daily trips to the office, heating in winter, a server with a cold storage room: Through our work at BonVenture we cause the equivalent of around 129 tons of CO2 every year – even though we actually want to stop climate change. We have now resolved this contradiction as far as possible. From now on, we are offsetting all our emissions.
However, we compensate not only once, but twice. Why that? The usual greenhouse gas offset projects generally take place in developing countries. You buy CO2 certificates for them, which are withdrawn from trade (they are “shut down”), and the money is used to implement a climate protection measure. In principle, there is nothing wrong with this and we have chosen certificates that promote the construction of small hydroelectric power plants in Central America. But in addition, we want to compensate our emissions in a more tangible way, at the place we are causing them: in Germany. That’s why we have created a BonVenture energy forest in the Allgäu region of Germany, which will save us the equivalent amount of greenhouse gases.
CO2 compensation, the first: electricity for remote Andean regions
Through GREEN‘S FAIR, a CO2 compensation platform by the greensurance foundation in Weilheim, we support the construction of the small GUACAMAYA hydroelectric power plants in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua. The run-of-river power plants bring electricity to remote and less developed mountainous regions. The power plants are built in such a way that the local population can operate them themselves. They have already created 74 new jobs in the region. In addition, thanks to the electricity, schools can improve education and noisy air-polluting generators are no longer needed. Reforestation and environmental education measures accompany the sustainable orientation of the climate protection project. The number of certificates we have purchased equals our annual CO2 emissions of 129 tons.
CO2 compensation, the second: the energy forests of Wald21
At WALD21 the CO2 calculation works as follows: farmers plant small forests of fast-growing trees – mostly poplars or willows – cut them down every 3-5 years and process them into wood chips. The wood chips are used for heating and thus replace an oil heating system. The oil remains in the earth and from now on only the CO2 is produced during heating, which was extracted from the atmosphere by the trees in the years before. Our energy forests are located near Landsberg and Buchloe (Bayerisch Schwaben). In order to save another 129 tons of CO2 equivalents, we support almost 10 hectares of energy forest.