How to…implement carbon offsetting
As part of a drive towards sustainability, NES Fircroft turned to its TMC partner ATPI to set up a scheme to offset its business travel
1 THE BACKGROUND
NES Fircroft is a global company providing staff for the oil and gas, power and renewables, infrastructure, life sciences, mining, automotive and chemicals sectors. It has more than 100 offices in 45 countries. Renewable energy already makes up a large percentage of its overall business, but its mission is to grow this even further within the next five years. As part of its ESG strategy, the company has also committed to offsetting its entire staff travel, backdating it to the start of 2021. In recent years it has consolidated its global travel management from five TMCs to one – ATPI.
2 THE CHALLENGE
In line with the organisation’s ESG strategy the travel team began to investigate how it could offset its travel and looked into setting up a scheme themselves. But they quickly realised that when it came to selecting projects to support this wouldn’t be an easy task. Not only did the team want to ensure they worked with workable and worthwhile projects, they also wanted to select projects that would relate directly to their own business and help them meet UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Following the launch of ATPI’s dedicated sustainability division, Halo, in September 2021, NES decided to approach ATPI for assistance. “We quickly realised that going it alone would require a lot of work, time and effort so ultimately we decided to leave it to the experts,” says Jamie Finnie, NES Fircroft Head of Travel.
3 THE PROCESS
Under its Halo division, ATPI offers clients the choice of around a dozen projects in partnership with Respira, a CO2 project provider. All projects are independently monitored and have met due diligence. “We wanted to offer projects which would appeal to clients from a global perspective and would fit with our clients, many of which are in the same industries as NES Fircroft,” explains Pippa Strasser-Ganderton, ATPI Halo Product Director.
Halo’s current project portfolio is split between Africa, Asia and the rest of the world. ATPI buys carbon credits for these projects in bulk, in advance, to secure more affordable prices for its client. All projects are listed in detail on Halo’s website.
The NES Fircroft travel team held a few meetings with the Halo team to run through the options and then met with its own marketing, HR and risk directors. Together, they chose two projects – the Amayo Wind power project in southwest Nicaragua, and Breathing Space, a voluntary programme providing more energy efficient cooking stoves to households in rural India, replacing traditional inefficient chulhas, which can cause lung problems, especially for women who cook the majority of meals.
“We wanted projects that actually make a difference and which mean something to our company,” says Finnie. “The wind power project obviously aligns with the sector we operate in and the cook stove project empowers women, so reflects our company’s approach to equality.”
4 THE RESULT
In supporting these projects, NES Fircroft is managing to pursue several of its UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Good Health and Wellbeing and Climate Action. “But offsetting is only one part of our sustainability efforts,” adds Finnie. “We are also educating our 1,500-plus staff to make more sustainable choices, whether that’s taking the train rather than flying, flying with airlines with more modern, efficient fleets, or travelling less frequently but for longer.”