EFI has committed to being carbon net neutral by the end of 2020. Reducing the organization’s carbon footprint will require both operational improvements (i.e. reducing electricity consumption and waste) and the purchase of carbon offsets for the emissions that we cannot eliminate from our business activities. A first step for our organization has been to offset travel emissions for all EFI staff, including our Board membership and Distinguished Associates. Despite the cancellation of our in-person Advisory Board Meeting, EFI purchased offsets equivalent to 12 tons of CO2 to account for the expected emissions from board members’ travel to the event. We plan to do the same for all future Advisory Board gatherings.
Founded in December 2019, EFI’s sustainability committee began by collecting data on 2019 air travel, staff commuting patterns, and office operations to form the baseline for 2020. We consulted with other leading NGOs on sustainability program best practices to inform the policies and activities we will implement at EFI. Our sustainability committee chair has been invited to participate in a Sustainability Managers Round Table — a group that connects a diverse group of sustainability managers co-chaired by World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The roundtable serves as a venue for sustainability experts to share knowledge, strengthen sustainability practices, and lead by example.
As a small organization, EFI has unique challenges, such as limited direct control over energy consumption in our office suite, which we share with three other organizations. We are coordinating with our neighbors on cross-firm efforts to reduce waste and replication of efforts. Our business activities normally require frequent air travel, for which there are few opportunities to reduce carbon emissions — and offsets are now part of our business planning. Once we return to in-office operations, we will have in place a low-carbon transit incentive program with the goal of influencing individual commuting patterns — a key step in getting to our net-neutral carbon goal this year.
Learn more about EFI’s sustainability commitment on our website.
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