Thursday 22nd April 2021 is Earth Day, an annual event to support environmental protection. This year the theme is to Restore Our Earth and we wanted to show our support by sharing news about the small part we are playing.

Our Carbon Fund

As a business we operate a Carbon Fund established in 2008 to compensate for our footprint from business emissions. The fund is created by calculating the carbon cost of our business operations using the upper non-traded carbon values for policy appraisal produced by BEIS here. We then invest in selected environmental projects with the dual aim of tackling climate change and other environmental issues.

Since 2014, the funds have been used for tree planting projects in the UK, providing keep cups for the 2018 RWM conference, and the installation of water fountains close to our offices in Bristol and Manchester offices and this year we have sponsored three tree-planting projects led by three UK Eunomia employees.

Tree planting

First, we supported the rewilding of approximately two hectares of Scottish farmland on a site that was previously grazing pasture. The planting strategy and labour was led by our Principal Consultant Duncan Oswald, who designed a rewilding project to include a balance of full-sized trees (20+ native varieties), smaller shrubs and a wildflower meadow, as well as leaving in place the banks formed by removing feed grass. The result, after being managed and looked after by Duncan and his team, will eventually be a very diverse woodland. Duncan said: “This award is transformational, allowing us to turn a monoculture pasture, capable only of supporting environmentally-damaging ruminants, into what will soon be a diverse mix of mature trees, shrub under-storey and wildflower meadow. This will sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while providing a habitat refuge to protect and enhance biodiversity.”

Secondly, we supported the environmental conservation community group Greening Ashwell to plant three mini-woodlands with standard native trees including rowan, silver birch, downy birch, bird cherry and alder, in the village of Ashwell, Hertfordshire. Our Senior Consultant Christine Batty volunteers within the group, which will maintain the trees after planting. Christine said: “Apart from being beneficial to wildlife and sequestering carbon, these tree planting schemes will raise awareness in the community of the positive impact we can all have. If the community see others caring about the environment it creates a culture of valuing nature”.

Finally, our fund has supported Westfield Farm, near Bristol, create a Food and Fuel Forest on several acres of south facing slopes in conjunction with a local initiative, Chew Valley Plants Trees, which aims to double tree cover in the Chew Valley by 2030. Westfield Farm is community focused, educational, and will increase biodiversity by linking with other, adjacent ancient woodland. On receiving the investment one of the Westfield Farm team members Bryony Huntley said: “This funding enables us to make progress with our plans more speedily and effectively than would otherwise have been the case.”

Supporting others

With many organisations and local authorities declaring climate and ecological emergencies and developing net zero strategies, there is a growing interest in tree planting to offset carbon emissions that cannot be removed from local authority and business operations.

Our carbon team advises organisations and local authorities on the use of natural offsetting tools including tree-planting and peat restoration. In addition, we have been supporting local authorities in their green infrastructure strategy work, led by Star Molteno.