To celebrate World Environment Day on Sunday, June 5, Zutari is taking another step towards a “net zero world”. To raise awareness of climate change, the engineering and professional services company purchased carbon offsets from the famous Gold Standard program.
Gold Standard was established in 2003 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international NGOs to ensure that projects that reduce carbon emissions meet the highest levels of environmental integrity and contribute to sustainable development. With the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, a standard of good practice for climate and sustainability interventions was launched, the so-called Gold Standard for the Global Goals .
Although the purchased offsets do not make Zutari fully carbon neutral, they are sufficient to offset all emissions produced in several countries where the company operates for fiscal year 2022, explains Sonja de Klerkresponsible for quality, environment and sustainability.
Zutari and her legacy business have been measuring her carbon footprint since 2014. She has run various campaigns to educate staff about the emissions they produce in their daily work and how to reduce them. “The first prize is always avoiding or reducing emissions, rather than offsetting them afterwards,” de Klerk points out.
However, avoiding emissions is not always possible. Zutari has therefore begun the journey to offset his Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. “World Environment Day is a great opportunity to take a first step in this direction,” adds de Klerk.
The funding mechanism for the offset purchases relies on a recycling center from which Zutari derives revenue from a portion of the recyclable waste. These funds are intended for environmental purposes such as offsetting carbon emissions. “This innovative approach allows us to promote both a circular economy and climate change awareness,” says de Klerk. The recycling center has also created a full-time job for a disabled person from a disadvantaged background.
The Gold Standard projects selected by Zutari for offsetting demonstrate its commitment to the continent and its people: The Kenya Biogas Program supports Kenya’s efforts to develop a commercially viable biogas sector. It facilitates the financing of biodigesters for families, especially in rural areas. Home biodigesters allow households with livestock to reduce their dependence on polluting firewood and expensive fossil fuels.
In Mozambique, the Efficient and Clean Cooking for Low Income Households project distributes eco-stoves to communities in need. About 85% of the urban population in the Maputo region depends on charcoal for their cooking energy needs. Charcoal prices have recently increased, creating economic hardship for people in peri-urban areas.
Biomass cooking in inefficient stoves has dangerous health effects, contributing to respiratory diseases that mainly affect women and children. Additionally, the use of charcoal in inefficient stoves contributes to rapid deforestation and forest degradation.
In the longer term, Zutari plans to expand the offsetting of carbon emissions resulting from its operations. However, the most significant impact it can have on climate change and the circular economy approach remains through its projects.
“We work as a team, with our customers, communities and end users. Our highly skilled and experienced multidisciplinary teams push boundaries to help economies grow. Our projects cross markets, disciplines and geographies, creating an impactful footprint and engineering solutions that reframe our world,” comments Zutari CEO Teddy Daka. “We embrace sustainability. Zutari’s goal is to co-create technical impact that enables environments, communities and economies to thrive. »
Led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and held annually since 1974, World Environment Day has become the world’s largest platform for raising environmental awareness, with millions of people from world committed to protecting the planet.