Carbon Footprint Overview

 

For your Rotary Club

Carbon Footprint Overview

Co2 Calculator Introduction

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Carbon Footprint Overview

Limiting Carbon Emissions in your Rotary Meetings

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Why should we be concerned about our own Carbon Footprint ?

Do your Club meetings cause any carbon emissions ?

How do you calculate your Club’s carbon emissions ?

How do reduce you Club’s carbon emissions ?

 

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Why should we be concerned about our own Carbon Footprint ?

Global warming and Climate Change has been identified as having a significant impact on our planet, the world we and all living things live in.  

Since early in the 20th century, most notably since 1970, there is a well-documented global surface temperature rise of 1 – 1.5°C.  This does not sound much but it is having significant climate change impacts to our planet including: rising sea levels; shrinking mountain glaciers; accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic; and shifts in flower/plant blooming times. In Australia and New Zealand the hotter climate is causing droughts, floods, bushfires and impacting our animals, birds and fish etc.  Sea level rise will have affect coastal regions on our seaboard and across the Pacific Islands.  These consequences of warming are caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels that emit heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

At the UN COP26 event at Glasgow last year there was universal agreement on the need to reduce emissions and 2030 carbon reduction targets were strengthened.  Governments and corporations are taking action and we can help. 

The first step is to understand your own and your Club’s carbon footprint and then to identify how this could be reduced.  There are also projects that we could support to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

If we all take action we can reduce Climate Change.

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Do your Club meetings cause any carbon emissions ?

Most of us going about our daily lives cause greenhouse gas emissions.  You may even have seen carbon emission values on your power bill or on your airline ticket.  Our Rotary meetings also create emissions.  

Carbon dioxide emissions do occur when we all meet at our Rotary Club.  These result from the way we travel to the meeting; the type of electricity used for lighting, presentations, and heat control; even the food we eat and how it is cooked.  Also, our projects may involve significant travel.  Whilst we don’t want to stop any of these activities, we should recognise it is occurring and consider changes that will reduce our footprint. 

The results of our recently developed ESRAG carbon calculator show a typical Rotary Club meetings over the year result in the emission of 3, 5 or even 10 tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2-e*) mainly as the result of travel, food and energy.  Our projects also result in carbon emissions.  

CO2-e: A carbon footprint is usually reported on the basis of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what it would be if it was a carbon dioxide emission 

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How do you calculate your Club’s carbon emissions ?

On this website we have an “Input Form” and instructions where you will be able to collect all the required data to input into the club calculator.  

Once completed the input form is to be sent in for assistance, checking and calculation of the annual carbon footprint for your Club.  This will be provided as summary sheet indicating activities with high emission levels. 

Whilst we would like every club to consider setting a zero or low emissions target this is a decision for your club.

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How do reduce you Club’s carbon emissions ?

There are a number of carbon reduction strategies that could be followed by Clubs to reduce their footprint.  These include: –

  • Meals – reduce meats that create higher carbon levels in their production – perhaps have more fish, chicken or vegetarian meals.  So, for example instead of having all steak meals, have alternating chicken and beef; or better still alternate chicken, fish and beef.  Vegetarian meals have very low emission levels.  Perhaps have fewer bar-b-ques because they are usually high in meat content. 
  • Transport – use lower carbon intensity transport options – share rides, public transport, bicycle, walking. Hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Meetings – have fewer face to face meetings, or use hybrid meetings with an option for some to participate on-line (especially for those distant from the club), and allow speakers from other geographic areas to zoom in.
  • Meetings – do committee meetings by zoom to reduce travel requirements
  • Projects – for those distant from your club’s geographic area consider how to lessen the carbon footprint impact.  Where possible reduce or avoid flights.  Put more reliance on Rotary Clubs in the project area to lesson your need to travel.
  • Power supply – the first step is to reduce your requirements, change the temperature settings for your air conditioners – just a 1oC change will reduce your heating or cooling bill and reduce carbon emissions.  As well as reducing your power use you can see if it is possible to increase the proportion of power supplies from renewable sources.

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How to Offset you Club’s carbon emissions ?

There are a number of carbon offset strategies that could be followed by Clubs to offset their footprint.  These include supporting renewable energy to reduce hydrocarbon power sources; supporting plantations as these use the sun’s energy to capture carbon whilst releasing oxygen; installing more efficient cooking, heating or cooling systems; etc.  

 

Offsets can be arranged in a number of ways: –

 

Payment to a commercial offset plan:

  • Commercial offset plans include Qantas, Greening Australia, Carbon Neutral, Green Fleet and no doubt others to be researched.  The money goes into a pool for that organisation to put money into their sequestration projects.  Unsure if any doner feedback is provided.

 

Payment to a fully accredited programs where carbon credits issued:

  • Commercial offset plans for specific purposes (e.g. reafforestation in South West Australia) with credits provided at $31.50/t(CO2-e) 
  • Overseas carbon credits that may align with a Rotary Clubs interests (e.g. withoneseed.org.au in Timor Leste sells credits for work in that country).

 

Payment to an accredited ESRAG organised project:

  • Include any ESRAG Promoted and Partnered offset program –– a project for Rotary Clubs to support (e.g. a Mangrove planting project with a commercial partner where carbon sequestration can be identified).
  • An ESRAG offset program where money is collected and used to support a number of projects that have been accredited.  

 

Non accredited programs where carbon sequestration is estimated:

  • Rotary Clubs may not be looking for official carbon credits, and may wish to put their efforts, in-kind and funding, into supporting projects such as tree planting in rural and bushfire areas and accepting an estimate of carbon sequestration.  Clubs may prefer this over paying $31.50/t(CO2-e).
  • ESRAG offset program when money is used for a Rotary Project. ESRAG could just promote and encourage clubs to directly contribute to the project.  The estimated carbon reduction resulting from the program would be reported 

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