We offset a proportion of our unavoidable CO2 emissions. This means paying someone else to reduce their carbon emissions by a specified amount.
In 2010, we offset 70,000 tonnes of CO2, over 80% of our emissions from air travel. This is less than in previous years, as we have decided to focus more of our investment on improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and IT. Our operating companies meet the cost of offset.
All carbon offset projects supported by WPP are renewable energy projects (e.g. wind, hydro and solar). We do not support forestry offset. Through the CarbonNeutral Company, an offset provider, we currently fund seven projects, including wind farm and hydroelectric projects in China and wind and solar generation in India. All of the projects are certified to the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a global standard for voluntary offset projects.
Case study: Kotmar Waste Heat Recovery Project
One of the offset projects we supported in 2010 is a waste-heat recovery project at a steel plant, in the state of Chhattisgarh, India. Flue gases from the steel kiln were previously released directly into the atmosphere. A waste-heat recovery boiler that extracts the heat from the flue gases to create steam and generate electricity has now been installed. This is used on-site, replacing electricity generated from fossil-fuel sources, with the excess supplied into the local electricity grid.
The project has created employment opportunities for around 50 people and reduced emissions of pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides. It has also helped to improve and stabilise the local electricity supply, which benefits other businesses in the area.
Our support is also used to provide seed funding to Green Light, a project providing solar-powered headlamps for midwives working in rural areas in Gujarat. The lamps provide a clean, safe and sustainable alternative to kerosene lamps currently used by many midwives. The project which is run by SELCO, a social enterprise providing sustainable energy services, and The Self-Employed Women’s Association, is being piloted with 50 midwives in Gujarat and may be extended to other areas if successful.