Offsetting greenhouse gas emissions
The activities of Biovision are global; this makes business trips unavoidable if we are to implement our projects. In line with our Mission Statement, we mainly use public transport and wherever possible avoid air travel.
As a general rule, we reduce at source emissions implicated in climate change - something confirmed recently by EWZ, Zurich’s electricity supplier. In its report, it concluded that the efficiency of our offices set an outstanding ecological standard. Our own internal survey of the carbon footprint of Biovision and its staff showed that to achieve carbon neutrality, a CO2 equivalent offset of 114 tonnes was required for 2015.
In order to achieve this neutrality, Biovision is working with myclimate on a climate project in Siaya (Kenya). In this rural area, cooking was traditionally done on open fires that consumed vast amounts of firewood. As part of the project, savings associations have been set up that provide local women’s groups with money to buy efficient, non-polluting stoves. This reduces the consumption of firewood and protects local forests: Each stove reduces annual CO2 emissions by 2.3 tonnes and saves 1.4 tonnes of firewood. The stoves also burn more efficiently and so air quality inside houses is much improved and so respiratory diseases are reduced.
The savings associations provide members with interest-free loans that are paid back over two years. In addition to the purchase of stoves, this secure method of finance allows women to borrow money for items such as health care, school fees or high-quality seeds. The savings associations strengthen the financial and social independence of the women, who are encouraged to take over their management. Each group democratically elects a chair, an actuary and a cashier. To date, more than 900 savings associations have been set up with more than 22,000 members - 87% of whom are women. For more information on the project: Link PDF (in German)