Beautiful, Sustainable Building Design

Climate Positive

Posted by admin on 24/10/2021 at 7:03 am

Climate Positive

We’re delighted to announce that Envirotecture have partnered with trace to become a Climate Positive organisation. This means that we have measured the carbon emissions of our buildings and travel and offset those emissions through certified carbon credits and tree planting. See what we are supporting here.

Envirotecture have been offsetting our carbon emission since 2012, this is a continuation of that approach. We’re just talking about it for the first time in a while.

We agonised over this decision for quite some time, not about mitigating our footprint but about how to do it. We advocate strongly to our clients for certifying their homes, so we wanted to be sure we did the same. trace use the GHG Protocol standard to calculate our emissions which are then offset against projects that are externally certified. You can see the projects we are supporting here.

The dilemma we faced is that the absolute ants pants, gold standard for certified carbon neutral certification is the government backed Climate Active. It’s a great program but, at our scale, makes little sense as the cost of certification is ~6 times that of the offsets we buy. The trace approach does omit the third party review but gets us 95% of the way there at significantly less cost.

Previously we used to calculate our emission using whichever online calculator we found that year then double the CO2 numbers for a safety margin. We’ve decided to continue a similar strategy but this time we’re sharing the love, we’ve purchased additional offsets from Fifteen Trees. We choose to buy 60 tress which offsets around 16tonnes of carbon dioxide which is similar to the 17 tonnes calculated by trace.

Interestingly, the 16 tonnes is the amount Fifteen Trees claim one employee generates in a year so why is our footprint so small? We buy 100% green power, half of our cars (we only have two) are now electric and we retrofitted our hydronic heating system to run on a heat pump. The hydronic system was an upgrade forced by dying system but allowed us to remove the gas-boosted solar system that when installed in 2007 used gas as a transition fuel, that transition should now be over!

The certification offered by trace is a parallel to the certification options for buildings, it’s just that the dollars are bigger for buildings. The more dollars involved the better and more rigorous the quality assurance processes you need behind them. Its why we’ll continue to advocate for certifying our passivhaus projects whenever possible, it’s comforting for everyone to know that they got what they expected.


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