Partner Portrait: WWF – Carbon offset projects with Coop

WWF and myclimate have been working closely together since 2007. myclimate and WWF collaborate on the development of carbon offset projects for the supply chain of the retailer Coop. This benefits local population and the environment in project locations, while simultaneously achieving a measurable reduction in greenhouse gases. myclimate discusses with Katrin Oswald, Senior Manager Sustainable Markets at WWF Switzerland, why climate protection is more important now than ever before.

Thanks to the carbon offset project, rice farmer Prema Sati from the village of Dhamola received a biogas digester three years ago. Photo: myclimate

myclimate: Katrin Oswald, the WWF itself is directly and extensively involved in climate protection. How would you explain to a layperson, why WWF also continues to work with myclimate?

Katrin Oswald: The WWF supports business with which it has a comprehensive partnership and shares ambitious environmental objectives as part of a voluntary commitment to climate protection. Support is exclusively provided on the basis that emissions are avoided and reduced. Responsibility must be assumed for the emissions that remain after the preceding reduction. Coop does this as part of its climate protection efforts, which it has been pursuing together with the WWF since 2007.

We have been working with myclimate from the beginning. myclimate is an experienced and competent developer of offsetting projects and provides responsible support to all project partners in their efforts to have a positive impact on the climate, people and environment, and fulfil the stringent conditions of the Gold Standard certification.

Together with myclimate, you are implementing carbon offset projects within the Coop supply chain. What does this look like in practice?

In 2011 Coop and the WWF together developed the approach to incorporate carbon offset projects into Coop's supply chains exclusively. These projects are implemented in regions where products destined for Coop's shelves such as coffee, cocoa, rice or cut are flowers cultivated. Whenever possible these products are certified Fairtrade and organic. The funds invested into the project and the added value it creates directly benefit the people producing the goods.

A perfect example of this is the biogas project in India: small-scale farmers, who produce organic and Fairtrade basmati rice for the Coop, receive a subsidised biogas digester. This allows them to cook on a gas stove instead of over an open fire. To date, the programme has saved 39,150 tonnes of wood, thereby protecting 536 hectares of forest from deforestation and reducing CO₂ emissions by over 30,0000 tonnes.

How will this cooperation progress in the near future?

The comprehensive partnership between the WWF and Coop and the mutual voluntary carbon offset projects will run until 2024 at least. Currently we are developing a new carbon offset project together with myclimate within a Coop supply chain, which will satisfy the high standards of all participants and yield the best possible results for local people, biodiversity and the climate. I look forward to it.


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