What we're doing
Carbon Offsetting at WPP
WPP is partnering with leading offset provider South Pole Carbon Asset Management Ltd to offset our emissions from air travel for the next three years. South Pole has projects in over 20 countries which work to reduce greenhouse gases while benefiting local communities and the environment. WPP is supporting four renewable energy projects in China, Taiwan, Turkey and New Caledonia.
One of these projects is a series of run-of-river hydropower plants spread across four provinces of rural South West China. Run-of-river hydropower plants typically have a significantly lower impact on the local environment than a conventional hydropower plant. The project generates renewable electricity which is fed into the national grid displacing electricity created from fossil fuel-based power plants.
The project is compliant with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the leading quality standard for the voluntary carbon offset industry. It also complies with Social Carbon, a standard recognizing projects for their contribution to sustainable development due to the income and employment opportunities it generates in a remote and underdeveloped region of China. These include improvements to local roads and community infrastructure during construction and increased availability of electricity for local consumers and businesses which is supporting economic activity and enabling more people in remote communities to use electrical appliances, which may improve their quality of life.
In Taiwan, two wind parks on the west coast of the island harness untapped sustainable wind energy. The project has been labelled with the Geneva-based Gold Standard, the strictest project standard in the carbon world. As well as enabling a less carbon intensive future for Taiwan, the project generates jobs and scholarships for the local community. High public interest in the project has turned the sites into a tourist destination and guided tours help promote sustainable development. At full capacity the 65 turbines aggregated output is expected to provide clean electricity to approximately 130,000 households.
In the Pacific islands of New Caledonia over 100 small wind turbines are helping to generate a more sustainable national grid and protect one of the world’s most botanically important hotspots. Besides replacing fossil fuel-generated energy with sustainable power, the wind project supports local and regional initiatives addressing employment, youth and community activities. To preserve the surrounding nature and landscape, the infrastructure of the wind farms are based near to existing roads. The New Caledonia project is the first ever Gold Standard Verified Emission Reduction (VER) project in the Pacific and serves as an example for similar emission reduction projects in the region.
Located in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province, a run-of-river 24MW hydropower plant utilises the gross water head of the 150-mile Kesis River. The project generates power in an efficient, clean, reliable and sustainable way and aids the reduction of carbon emissions by partially substituting the electricity supply of fossil fuel-fired power plants in Turkey.
In 2011, South Pole was named Best Project Developer in Environmental Finance’s Voluntary Carbon Market Survey.