Those of you who follow us closely know that we have been working on becoming carbon neutral for a while now. We don't want to claim that it is hard, because it really isn't, but we have found it challenging to find an offset program that is well aligned to our mission. Thankfully, we have finally achieved that goal!
Before detailing the partner we have chosen, it is important that we lay out exactly how we elected to offset our carbon emissions. Without question, the best way to attack carbon offsetting is to follow the protocols prescribed by the David Suzuki Foundation. This entails an audit by an accredited outside body and then the purchase of offsets from a vendor who meets international offset standards. The downside of this approach, for us, is that the offset projects are not well aligned with our mission and there is a lot of administrative cost involved, relative to the size of our carbon offset purchase.
So, we have elected to pursue the so-called 'voluntary' path. We calculated our carbon emissions using one of the widely available calculators...easy. Then we found an organization, Trees Ontario, who are doing great work to enhance the health and integrity of the environment through tree planting and sustainable management of Ontario’s forests. They are very professional and scientific in what they do, and can calculate the carbon their planting programs offset, but they do not meet all the requirements of a certified offsetter.
To address these realities, we have grossed up our offset purchase significantly. In a nutshell, we have taken all the money that would have gone to administrative work and re-directed it to extra carbon offsets. So, we are purchasing considerably more carbon offsets than we are actually generating. And, we plan on purchasing new offsets regularly, even though the trees planted have a long term offset value. This addresses any shortcomings that the Trees Ontario program has when it comes to 'permanence' audits.
Since 2004, Trees Ontario has planted over 15 million trees across Ontario as they seek to re-green the province. Their goal is to up this planting to 10 million trees per year. The Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co is proud to help them in our own small way.
If you are interested in finding out more about Trees Ontario, or how you or your community could get involved, we invite you to visit their website.