As Trillium seeks to influence businesses and policy to act on climate change, economic empowerment, human rights, and many other factors considered within our sustainable investment approach, we aim to look within to ensure that we are also embodying these practices. In an effort to offset carbon emissions from our business activities, we are working in collaboration with NativeEnergy, a provider of carbon offset programs.
NativeEnergy offers a program called Help Build™ which works with companies like us to customize carbon offset projects that are tailored to a company’s unique needs, values, and overall strategy. An offset program, in the most basic form, puts a dollar value on carbon emissions and allocates that money towards a project that will lower the same dollar value of carbon somewhere else, but in a value-added way. “It is important to ask if the project produces additional benefits. We focus on Native American, family farm, and other projects that help create sustainable economies for communities in need. Many projects also help protect watersheds, improve air quality, and maintain wildlife habitat.”1 Some of the focuses of these Help Build™ projects include carbon reductions, renewable energy, clean water, ecosystem restoration, soil health, smallholder farmer development, wildlife and habitat protection, and carbon sequestration.2
At Trillium, we calculated a portion of our 2018 company carbon footprint using employee surveys. In 2018, Trillium employee commuting and business travel generated 488 metric tonnes of CO2e valued at $7,500. For reference, a metric tonne is approximately 2200 lbs. of CO2 and one tonne can fill a 2400 sq. ft. house with approximately nine-foot ceilings. Trillium plans to offset our emissions annually in partnership with NativeEnergy.
With the money calculated from these offsets, we will support two projects designed to reduce carbon emissions. The first, Montana Improved Grazing Project, is a new carbon reduction plan designed to regenerate western grasslands. This project, which is organized by a partnership between NativeEnergy and the Western Sustainability Exchange, a local organization, enables cattle ranchers to improve ranch practices and soil health. While the project activity focuses on increasing productivity on the ranch and improving local economies, the benefits to Montana’s grasslands go well beyond the cattle industry; the project seeks to restore Montana’s ecosystem resilience to its full potential, to be in a position that sustains abundant and diverse species and livelihoods.
The second project we are thrilled to support is Honduras Clean Water. NativeEnergy has partnered with Honduran Association of Coffee Producers to spearhead this greenhouse gas-reducing water purification initiative. The project focuses on providing safe and effective household water filters which use slow sand technology to remove up to 99% of pathogens and will operate for 10 years or longer. Access to safe drinking water means communities reduce time absent from school or work due to illness and save money on medical expenses. This project presents a solution to the challenges of extreme poverty, poor health, and the high carbon dioxide emissions and poor air-quality associated with burning wood to boil water for drinking. 1,688 families are expected to be beneficiaries and the project is likely to have a total carbon reduction of 90,000 tonnes of CO2e. The project also is focused on achieving three UN Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Important Disclosure: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. The specific securities were selected on an objective basis and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients.