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South Pole Trek

carbon offset

what is it?

Each time we heat our homes, take a flight or drive the car, CO2 is added into the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is released when fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal are burnt. The entire tourism market is based largely on these methods of transportation, but being an eco-friendly company means trying to find ways in which to become ‘climate neutral’ by reducing carbon emissions as much as possible. This can be done by taking simple steps like turning off electrical equipment after use and using recycled paper, but there are some emissions that, at the moment, are non-negotiable. In particular, these include the hundreds of flights purchased every year by tour operators on behalf of their clients. While there is no feasible way to reduce these emissions at the moment, or only at the detriment to the worldwide tourist industry, which accounts for just over a tenth of the world’s GDP and provides around 231.2 million jobs worldwide, they can still be offset by investing and participating in programs that reduce the carbon in the atmosphere, or by helping to fund research into renewable energy sources.

what do Charity Challenge Travel Services do?

Charity Challenge Travel Services has drastically reduced the carbon footprint of their UK operations, and are making a huge effort to do so in their destination countries too. We invest in ClimateCare’s programs, which develop emission reduction projects throughout some of the world’s less-developed countries. From 2007 – 2013 our customer and staff flights and our business operations generated a huge 13 106 tons of carbon emissions, which were all offset by Climate Care on your behalf. This means we invested almost £100K to reduce the equivalent of 13 106 tons through innovative solutions around the world.

From 2013 we will no longer be offsetting all of our customers' flights, but will be continuing to make a donation to Climate Care in support of their carbon reduction projects, and we encourage all of our participants to offset their flights by following this link.

Read on to find out more about Climate Care's range of projects. 

who are Climate Care?

ClimateCare are one of the oldest businesses in the carbon market. Since 1997 they have been reducing greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of companies and individuals. They have carbon reduction projects all over the world, of which our monies go into a particular portfolio. These involve renewable energy, energy efficiency and forest restoration.

projects that we support

Some of the projects are really exciting, using innovative methods and technologies to improve energy efficiency in a real, quantifiable way. Please read below for details on several of the projects we help to fund, and check out ClimateCare's 2013 portfolio here:

LifeStraw, Kenya

This award-winning project is one of the most interesting and innovative on ClimateCare's portfolio. Centred around the fact that 884 million people all over the world, 37% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa, still use basic, untreated water to wash in and drink, the LifeStraw Family Units have been designed to purify water through the use of a filter. This uses no combustibles, and does not need electricity to work - perfectly designed for use in low-income settings. Although this project is water-related, it has a direct relation to carbon emission reduction, because the prevailing practice in rural Kenya is to decontaminate water by boiling it with wood fuel. Amazingly, indoor air pollution kills more people globally each year than malaria, and causes nearly as many deaths as unsafe water and sanitation. The LifeStraw project not only reduces CO2 emitted through the boiling of water, but also lowers incidences of water borne disease, as well as reducing deforestation. Watch the inspirational 5 minute film by Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez to get a better idea.

Wayang Windu Geothermal Plant - Indonesia

Carbon finance is funding the second phase of this power plant, which uses heat from under the earth’s surface, displacing fossil-fuelled grid electricity.

Gyapa Efficient Cook Stoves - Ghana

Wood and charcoal produce around 80% of domestic energy in Ghana. This project is replacing inefficient coal pots with an efficient insulated stove, known as a Gyapa, which cuts carbon consumption by 25%. As each tonne of charcoal is produced from 8 tonnes of wood, the effect of over 100,000 Gyapas on reducing deforestation is significant. It has also had the added benefits of lowering fuel costs for Ghanaian families, reducing dangerous pollutants in the smoke, as well as providing jobs and improving Ghanaian self-reliance due to the fact that these stoves are all produced locally.

Cavalcante Biomass, Brazil

The Atlantic Rainforest is Brazil's most fragile ecosystem, with only 9% of the original rainforest remaining. The area has an immense biodiversityand is considered an important ecological area due to the flora and fauna found here. Unfortunately, the Brazilian ceramic industry is further threatening the rainforest due to the use of unsustainable fuels sourced through the deforestation of the Amazon, and heavy fuel oil. This project facilitates the switch from these fuels to sustainable biomass like palm husk and managed forest waste wood. The benefits will be significant, in that it preserves natural resources and prevents further deforestation. It will also provide useful retraining to those working in the ceramic factories, as well as encouraging other ceramic businesses in Brazil to adopt the same practices. The project has already had the knock-on effect of these factories improving their health and safety practices, creating more jobs and improving facilities like the workers cafeteria.

If you want to learn more about ClimateCare and offsetting, please see their website here.