Partner Profile: WWF - What is Insetting

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.

[Translate to Französisch:] 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 of a two-step approach, which yields a positive impact on the climate: for the most part, emissions must be avoided and reduced. Only those emissions which remain after the preceding reduction can be offset. 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 – this is known as insetting. What does this look like in practice?

In 2011 Coop and the WWF developed the insetting approach together: since then, carbon offset projects have been incorporated into Coop's supply chains. 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.

What steps does the WWF take to ensure its own carbon footprint is as low as possible?

At the WWF too, emissions are avoided to the greatest possible extent, both in terms of the operational setup / structure and the day-to-day running of the organisation. For the WWF, this means that internal and external paper consumption is reduced, meetings are held virtually wherever possible and business travel is kept to an absolute minimum. For in-person meetings within Europe we use the train for journey times under twelve hours. Long haul flights must be approved by line managers and we fly exclusively in economy class. Printed materials and any flights made by the WWF are offset, for the most part through projects with myclimate.

How will this cooperation progress in the near future?

The comprehensive partnership between the WWF and Coop and the mutual voluntary commitment to climate protection 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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