Front Row Supports the Global Climate Strike

Posted by Grant Patten on Sep 24, 2019 1:09:42 PM

FRONT ROW SUPPORTS THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE

FRONT ROW SUPPORTS THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE

#unitedforclimate #greencircle

On Sept. 11, we posted about how we offset all carbon emissions created as a result of flights taken for our business. As an extension of that post, we would like to declare our support for the ongoing Global Climate Strike and we encourage all Front Row employees and customers to also support these strikes, as they are calling attention to one of the biggest issues of our time – climate change. Of course, we recognize that carbon offsetting is not a solution to climate change and stronger action is required from both public and private sectors.

The September 2019 Climate Strikes

The ongoing September 2019 climate strikes have likely been the largest climate strikes in world history. Organizers reported that over 4 million people have participated in strikes worldwide.

These strikes come out of the “School strike for climate” movement, an international movement of students participating in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming. The movement began in 2015 when an independent group of students invited other students around the world to skip school on the first day of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and make the following demands:

  • 100% clean energy
  • Help “climate refugees” (people forced to leave their home due to sudden or long-term changes to their environment)

It was teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg who brought the movement to global attention. On 20 August 2018, she protested by sitting outside the Riksdag during school hours with a sign that read "Skolstrejk för klimatet" ("school strike for the climate"). She has inspired students across the globe to take part in similar climate strikes.

Friday, September 27, 2019 – Global Strike for Climate Justice

This Friday, September 27, there will be a Global Strike for Climate Justice in many towns and cities across the world. View the interactive map on https://globalclimatestrike.net to find a climate strike happening near you and consider joining in. We have listed below a selection of climate strikes happening in some major Canadian cities:

Vancouver – General Strike! for Climate Action – Sept. 27, Vancouver City Hall, 1PM

Vancouver – General Strike! for Climate Action

 

Toronto – Global Strike for Climate Justice – Sept. 27, Queen’s Park, 11A

Toronto – Global Strike for Climate Justice

 

Montréal – Crise climatique, manifestation historique – Sept. 27, Mt. Royal Park, 12PM

Montréal – Crise climatique, manifestation historique

 

Halifax – K'jipuktuk – Sept. 27, Victoria Park, 11AM

Halifax – K'jipuktuk

 

Citations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2019_climate_strikes
https://globalclimatestrike.net/

Front Row’s Carbon Offset Commitment

Posted by Grant Patten on Sep 11, 2019 10:24:55 AM

Front Row’s Carbon Offset Commitment

carbon offsets

“Canada declares national #ClimateEmergency. It’s great that more countries and regions are doing this. But remember: The fossil fuels must stay in the ground. Forget “climate neutral” and clever accounting. Our emissions must start their way to zero. Now.”
Greta Thunberg, teenage environmental activist | Twitter post (06.18.2019)

In this post, we’ll explain: the cost of a flight offset, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and carbon offsets, review some of the history of carbon offsetting, look at some examples of companies doing an effective job with CSR and conclude with a listing of some carbon offset vendors to consider.

What Does It Cost to Offset a Flight?

Front Row offsets all carbon emissions created as a result of flights taken for our business. The total emissions created for a flight from Vancouver to Toronto in economy is 1.294 tonnes. The cost for a gold offset is $32 per tonne, resulting in a reasonable cost of $41.42 each way.

The cost to offset your flight can be calculated in less than 30 seconds by using this link to Less Emissions.

Corporate Social Responsibility & Carbon Offsets

Corporate social responsibility (CSR): a type of international private business self-regulation. A company's sense of responsibility toward the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates.

Carbon offset: an action intended to compensate for the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result of industrial or other human activity, especially when quantified and traded as part of a commercial program.

Front Row Insurance is an organization that takes CSR seriously. We demonstrate our commitment to CSR primarily through the implementation of a carbon offsets program: all flying that is done by Front Row has a carbon offset through Less Emissions Inc. Through Less, customers can calculate and purchase offsets to help mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel.

The History of Carbon Offsets

The carbon offsets idea likely originated with the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997 by many countries (and which Canada withdrew from in December 2012). The Kyoto Protocol has sanctioned offsets as a way for governments and private companies to earn “carbon credits” that can be traded on a marketplace.

In June 2019, The House of Commons passed a motion to declare a national climate emergency in Canada. A report from Environment and Climate Change Canada released in April found that Canada is warming up at twice the rate of the rest of the world; this situation requires that Canada commit to meeting its national emission target under the Paris Agreement.

Although Canada officially withdrew from Kyoto, there are many grassroots initiatives across the country focused on promoting the reduction of emissions, such as Montreal’s climate march on Sept. 27 2019, which has invited Greta Thunberg (the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist) to participate. This event is part of Global Climate Week from Sept. 20-27.

Examples of Effective Corporate Social Responsibility

Well-known companies that seem to be doing a good job of CSR include:

  • Swiss Re: this reinsurance company charges its business divisions a fee based on their emissions, incentivizing them to reduce their carbon footprint while also raising funds that can then be reinvested in energy efficiency/used to purchase offsets.
  • Vancity: Vancouver City Savings Credit Union has increased its holdings of clean tech and renewable energy companies. The company has been integrating environmental, social and governance factors into its investment decisions.
  • Johnson & Johnson: this medical device company’s initiatives range from leveraging the power of wind to providing safe water to communities around the world.
  • Coca-Cola: they have invested in new alternatively fueled trucks and are intending to create a 25% reduction in their carbon footprint by 2020.
  • The Lego Group: in 2015, they announced plans to invest $150 million as part of an effort to make their iconic plastic building blocks better for the environment and make their packaging more sustainable (like cutting the size of packages).

Benefits of Carbon Offsets Program

There are benefits to both the general public and to companies when it comes to carbon offsets.

General public benefits:

  • Reduced pollution (in the future): the funds companies invest in offsetting normally go toward green technology projects that should, when completed, reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which obviously benefits the public at large.
  • Reputational benefits: people generally like having the reputation of being environmentally conscious and aware. People who buy offsets for their cars often receive a window decal to make others aware of their carbon neutrality, for example.

Company benefits:

  • Good PR & branding: offsetting carbon emissions engenders a certain amount of goodwill, both of the general public and certain investors; companies often like to take advantage of this opportunity to advertise their eco-friendliness in the marketplace.
  • Anticipation of regulation: companies can get “ahead of the curve” by proactively taking some measures to offset their carbon emissions and when government regulation inevitably comes, they will have something already to show regulators.
  • Tax deduction potential: if purchasing carbon offsets from a non-profit, under certain circumstances, the purchase could be considered a charitable donation and therefore tax deductible (depends on the carbon offset vendor).

How to Implement a Carbon Offsets Program

There are various carbon offsetting vendors that can be considered, including:

 

related:

FRONT ROW SUPPORTS THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE

 

Citations: