Officially Carbon Neutral for 2020
Northern Forest of New Hampshire
My Carbon Footprint and Pathway to Carbon Neutrality
You can't change what you can't see or don't understand. It's been really empowering to understand how my business impacts the environment. Now I can track better and make changes to decrease my footprint.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand why I decided to go carbon neutral. Climate change is the single greatest threat to our world and that includes fish and fisheries on the planet, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC), the world would have to curb its carbon emissions by at least 49% of 2017 levels by the year 2030 and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change effects. As a photographer, much of my work is focused on outdoor adventures, fly fishing, and telling stories in our natural world. Without healthy rivers, forests and other ecosystems many of these pursuits would be vastly different, even impossible. I love to be outside as much as possible and I want to protect what I love by doing my part to be part of the solution.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect in calculating my footprint, but I wanted to know what my impact on our climate was as a photographer. I try to do my part as a 1% for the Planet member and wanted to see how I could continue to make a positive impact and I am very proud to announce that Klementovich Photography is now a carbon neutral business. I learned a lot through the exercise of understanding my carbon footprint, and it has been very helpful in understanding how my business contributes to climate change and what I can do to reduce my carbon footprint. Some of you may be wondering what it means to be “carbon neutral,” so here’s the definition:
Carbon Neutral is defined by the World Resources Institute as “annual zero net anthropogenic (human caused or influenced CO2 emissions by a certain date. By definition, carbon neutrality means every ton of anthropogenic CO2 emitted is compensated with an equivalent amount of CO2 removed (e.g. via carbon sequestration)….”
Klementovich Photography’s Carbon Footprint is based in the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting Standard and is created as a reference for what we are including in your Carbon Footprint, which provides you with relevant, complete, consistent, transparent and accurate GHG inventory.
Spend-based method – Estimate emissions for goods and services by collecting data on the economic value of goods and services purchased and multiplying it by relevant secondary (e.g., industry average) emission factors (e.g., average emissions per monetary value of goods).
Organizational Boundary: We are taking a financial control approach, which assumes that your business has financial control over its operations and the ability to direct the financial and operating policies over these activities.
Operational Boundary: In order to set our operational boundaries, we must report our Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions) and are voluntarily reporting our Scope 3 (indirect emissions). For more information on see table below:
• 3.5 Waste Generated in Operations: As a small photography business it was determined that waste generated was minimal, although going forward I am going to conduct a home waste audit and try to
get a better handle on waste from my business.
• 3.6 Business Travel: 2020 was a weird travel year due to COVID, but I did account for car travel & two flights for photo shoots.
• 3.7 Employee Commuting: I work from home, so I did not include employee commuting because there wasn’t any.
• 3.9 Shipments to Customers: I do sell photo prints, and I go through a third party to print and ship, and we did calculate the emissions associated with them and it was deemed insignificant.
That said, in following the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, we did not include some of the recommended categories because they were deemed not applicable, such as: capital goods, upstream leased assets and end of life of sold products.
Before we explain how we went carbon neutral, we feel it’s also important to define carbon offsets:
Carbon Offsets: “An offset project is “a specific activity or set of activities intended to reduce GHG emissions, increase the storage of carbon, or enhance GHG removals from the atmosphere.”
3 The project must be deemed additional
4; the resulting emissions reductions must be real, permanent, and verified; and credits (i.e, offsets) issued for verified emissions reductions must be enforceable.”
How I Achieved Carbon Neutrality
So, you are probably wondering, how did I go carbon neutral if our carbon footprint is 10.6 mtCO2e? In short, I purchased carbon offsets for heating, electricity and business travel. I decided to purchase offsets from the Kenya Grasslands, Water & Wildlife project through the nonprofit, Cool Effect. Below is a brief description of the project:
Kenya Grasslands, Water & Wildlife: “Africa is home to 17% of the world’s forests but is losing them at four times the rate of the global average. A critical wildlife corridor, Chyulu Hills is located between two national parks, Amboseli and Tsavo, in southeastern Kenya and has been severely impacted by overgrazing, drought, deforestation, and forest degradation. This project aims to preserve the 410,000-hectare expanse while also preventing the emission of about 18 million tonnes of CO₂ over the 30-year life of the project.
The area plays a vital part in maintaining a large communal ecosystem by providing a variety of resources. It is home to Maasai pastoralists and subsistence farmers, as well as several vulnerable species of animals, and is a water source to the citizens of Mombasa just downstream. Most urgently, though, Chyulu is home to the critically endangered eastern black rhino.”
Below is a summary of our 2020 carbon footprint:
• 2020 Scope 1 emissions: 1.5 mtCO2e
• 2020 Scope 2 emissions: 0.4 mtCO2e
• 2020 Scope 3 emissions: 8.7 mtCO2e
• 2020 Carbon Footprint: 10.6 mtCO2e
• 1.1 Heating: We accounted for the GHG emissions associated with burning propane and wood pellets for heat at my home office. The large majority of our Scope 1 emissions came from burning wood pellets.
• 2.1 Electricity: I accounted for the GHG emissions associated with my office electricity use at my home (office square footage as percentage of entire square footage of my home.
• 3.1 Manufacturing/Product Embodied Carbon: While I don’t manufacture any products, there is embodied carbon in the equipment I use, so I took a look at products that I purchased for my photography business and all of my equipment, cameras, computers, etc. This also includes auto mileage and air travel for assignments. Because I didn’t purchase any new equipment during my baseline year of 2020, I didn’t account for product embodied carbon.
• 3.2 Capital Goods: Not applicable.
• 3.3 Fuel & Energy Related Activities: Not applicable.
• 3.4 Inbound Shipments: Not applicable.
While I am thrilled to have taken this step to better understand my carbon footprint, the real work now begins. I now understand that the most important thing I can do as a business is to reduce my footprint, which I have already begun executing some carbon footprint reduction strategies. I know that this is not a perfect solution, but feel strongly that we need lots of imperfect solutions if we are going to win the battle against climate change and am just trying to move the needle where I can. I am looking forward to sharing how I reduced my carbon footprint with you next year! If you have any questions on how it all works or just want to talk about how you can start the process let me know.