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How We’re Celebrating Earth Day 2024

View of earth from space. Earth Day 2024

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At SXSW 2024, we hosted a panel titled “Sustainable Supply Chains: Addressing Hidden Emissions.” We were thrilled to have Caitlin Leibert from Whole Foods Market and Sean McPhillips from Asana join us to discuss the intricacies of hidden emissions within supply chains. If you couldn’t join us at SXSW 2024 or want to revisit the insights shared, our recap blog post provides a comprehensive overview of the session’s key points and discussions.

How we’re celebrating Earth Day 2024, as well as a recap of our Earth Day impacts for 2022 and 2023.

By Chris Sylvester

We’re CarbonBetter, a minority-owned sustainability consulting and energy logistics firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. We help companies align what’s good for their businesses with what’s good for our planet. Reflecting on our Earth Day Impacts Reports from 2022 and 2023, we have evolved our approach beyond just a single day of climate action. This year, we are expanding our reach by participating in three major sustainability events, engaging with dozens of business leaders to foster potential collaborations in the future. Although our previous Earth Day events—engaging 67 businesses and offsetting over 6 metric tons of CO2—were a huge success, we recognize the need to focus our efforts more strategically to amplify our impact. We believe in progress over perfection and starting action over waiting for perfection, which initially sparked our Earth Day initiatives. Below, we share our past impacts and our plans for celebrating Earth Day 2024, staying true to our mission of facilitating meaningful change toward a net-zero economy.

Our Earth Day Impacts

Earth Day 2022 Impact

In 2022, CarbonBetter launched its inaugural Earth Day event, enabling 29 local businesses in Austin to go carbon-neutral for the day. Participating businesses emitted 2.48 metric tons of electricity-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 0.9 metric tons of natural gas-related GHG emissions, totaling 3.38 metric tons of CO2e. Since one carbon credit is equivalent to one metric ton of GHG emissions, CarbonBetter purchased 3.38 metric tons of carbon offset credits and direct removals to match these emissions. Below is a summary of the projects we invested in to offset the emissions of participating companies in 2022.

Brands that participated in the Earth Day Austin 2022 event hosted by CarbonBetter.

2022 Carbon Offset Projects:

  • Restoring Biodiverse Forests: Invested in the CO2OL Tropical Mix project, which employs agroforestry to combine high-quality timber and organic cacao production with the sequestration of carbon through reforestation of 7.5 million native trees.
  • Pulling Pollution Out of the Air: Supported Climeworks’ direct air capture (DAC) technology, which removed 500 kg of carbon from the atmosphere, enhancing air quality and reducing greenhouse gas levels.
  • Supporting Access to Clean Water: Contributed to the TerraClear Ceramic Water Purifier Project in Lao PDR, significantly improving water quality and health outcomes by reducing E. coli contamination.
  • Keeping Plastic Out of Landfills: Participated in Greentech’s PET Recycling project in Romania, which reduces GHG emissions by recycling Polyethylene Terephthalate instead of producing new plastic.

Earth Day 2023 Impact

In 2023, CarbonBetter expanded its Earth Day initiative, partnering with 38 local businesses to achieve carbon neutrality for the day. These businesses emitted 1.04 metric tons of natural gas-related GHG emissions and 1.72 metric tons of electricity-related GHG emissions, totaling 2.76 metric tons of CO2e. Since one carbon offset credit is equivalent to one metric ton of CO2e, this required the purchase of 2.76 metric tons of carbon offset credits and direct removals. Below is a summary of the projects we invested in to offset the emissions of participating companies in 2023.

2023 Carbon Offset Projects:

  • High-Impact Reforestation: Engaged in the BaumInvest Mixed Reforestation project in Costa Rica, planting over 1 million trees on previously deforested land, effectively sequestering carbon and restoring ecological balance.
  • Pulling Pollution From the Air: Continued our support for Climeworks’ DAC technology, enhancing our investment to remove 760 kg of carbon from the atmosphere, further mitigating climate change effects.
  • Destroying Nitrous Oxide: Supported the Phlogiston Phase I project in Florida, which destroys nitrous oxide emissions from nylon production, significantly reducing one of the most potent greenhouse gasses.

Celebrating Earth Day 2024

For Earth Day 2024, CarbonBetter is expanding its engagement by participating in sustainability events that embody our commitment to accelerating climate solutions. We are attending SF Climate Week, a summit in San Francisco that gathers thousands from various sectors to advance climate action and innovation. Concurrently, we’re co-hosting and participating in the Carbon Newbie Summit, an approachable conference for sustainability enthusiasts and beyond. The discussions are aimed at learning about carbon at the 101, 201, and 301 levels. Additionally, we will meet with local Austin sustainability professionals, aiming to foster collaborations that extend both locally and nationally. This approach allows us to leverage our resources more effectively, aligning with our mission to drive substantial change towards a net-zero economy.

Supporting Local Earth Day Initiatives

While our 2022 and 2023 Earth Day events helped participating businesses actively take a small step toward operating in a more sustainable way, ultimately our mission is a long-term one to meet businesses where they are and help them measure and reduce their carbon footprints. While CarbonBetter will not be hosting a specific Earth Day event this year, we encourage the community to continue participating in local and global sustainability efforts. Many organizations in Austin and beyond are conducting events that foster environmental stewardship. We support these initiatives and urge everyone to engage with them to maintain momentum towards our shared environmental goals.

Conclusion

CarbonBetter is dedicated to helping organizations transition toward a net-zero carbon future. Part of this process involves constantly evaluating what’s most effective in furthering this mission. For us, that means changing how we celebrate Earth Day. Our focus is on long-term, practical, incremental changes to help businesses work toward a net-zero future. With over a decade of experience as an energy logistics partner, we can help your business measure, reduce, and offset its carbon footprint. No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, we can assist you. Reach out today to get started.


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