Otak Offsetting Carbon Emissions; Moving Toward Carbon-Neutral Status
Otak’s commitment to sustainability includes efforts to offset carbon emissions and move toward becoming a carbon-neutral company. Achieving carbon neutrality will be a two-step process and we are nearing completion on the first step, which involved quantifying our carbon emissions from 2019 and purchasing carbon offsets. We have partnered with a local organization, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), in this regard.
Carbon Offsets provide businesses with a verified method to balance their unavoidable carbon footprint by directly supporting projects that are proven to reduce carbon emissions. Purchasing offsets provides funding for projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution and helps to ensure continued innovation and development of carbon reduction projects and technology. We recognize that while purchasing carbon offsets won’t eliminate the carbon that we create, it will help mitigate the greenhouse gases that are an unavoidable part of doing business.
To offset our emissions from the 2019 year, we compiled data for our airline miles, office operations, employee commutes, and work-related trips. The GO Operations Committee worked with BEF to select offset projects that were local to our bioregion in the Pacific Northwest, to keep our impact local since most of our emissions were created locally. Otak will be supporting three projects that include: avoided deforestation in Washington State, stream restoration that will benefit local orca populations through the PTP (Promise to the Pod Campaign), and a clean energy futures program aimed at providing equal education access to students in the clean energy field.
The second step, a carbon-neutral certification, will involve a third-party review of our offset purchases from BEF, methods of calculation to verify the data, and reduction plans. The third-party review will also help us to understand where we can make further reductions and minimize the need for offsets. Offsetting should be the final piece after reducing our total emissions. Look for more communication about our certification progress throughout the coming year.
We want to thank the GO Operations Committee for spearheading this effort that is setting Otak apart and making headway toward our commitments to sustainability and resiliency in our communities.