Enactus Memorial launches first carbon offset program that supports local green initiatives

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April 15, 2015

A student group at Memorial University is launching a carbon offset program that will directly benefit green initiatives on farms in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Enactus Footprint, a project of Enactus Memorial, allows local businesses and individuals to determine the negative environmental impact of their daily operations using an online calculator, and then to reduce their overall carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets. Businesses and individuals may choose which beneficiary program they wish to direct those funds toward. All of the participating programs support the provincial agriculture sector and attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Enactus Footprint is the first carbon offset program in the province to support local programs with the resulting funds. More information is available at http://footprint.enactusmemorial.com.

“Enactus Memorial is committed to improving the lives of people around the world but there is no better place to start than here in our province,” said Abigail Ricketts, project manager for AGreenCulture, an Enactus Memorial project that helps local farmers to undertake environmentally-friendly practices that also make economic sense. Enactus Footprint is an initiative of AGreenCulture.

“With many businesses not having the resources to alter their own practices to be more environmentally-friendly, the need for carbon offset programs has grown exponentially as a way for companies to minimize their environmental impact. On the other hand, the agriculture sector has suffered in the past decade, with one in five farms closing their doors. Our volunteers saw this as a great opportunity to help farmers decrease their costs while at the same time helping the environment by implementing green solutions.”

Randy Clarke, owner of Atlantic Fireplaces, was one of the first businesses to sign up for the program.

“I’ve been in business for over 30 years and I’ve never seen another program quite like this,” he said. “It’s so important to give back to your community and to protect your environment so to find a carbon offset program that does both is absolutely incredible.”

Businesses and individuals contribute to climate change in many ways including the use of fuel, electricity, paper and propane. Enactus Footprint offers a local solution for those looking to lower their economic impact while simultaneously supporting local farmers and communities to undertake environmentally sustainable agriculture practices and green initiatives.

Participating companies will be recognized with the Enactus Footprint stamp of carbon neutrality and as an environmental business leader on the website.

“It’s important for businesses to counteract their carbon footprint,” Clarke added. “A truly successful business is not just sustainable economically but also ensures that it is not hindering the sustainability of any other aspect of life in the process of doing so.”

Enactus Memorial is a student-run volunteer group, part of an international non-profit organization that mobilizes university and college students to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living OF people in need through the application of business processes and models.

The group currently runs 10 community projects.

Susan White