Carbon-neutral businesses gain traction
Climate-smart ways of doing business are gaining greater traction in the Philippines as two homegrown pig farms backed by Land Bank of the Philippines have earned carbon credits worth a combined P7.4 million.
Marcela Farms Inc. in Bohol and Biotech Farms Inc. South Cotabato earned the credits for their use of the technologies that helped save fossil fuel-generated electricity valued at about P27 million.
Cecilia C. Borromeo, officer in charge of Landbank, says the state-run lender anticipates receiving its first issuance of carbon credits for Marcela Farms and Biotech Farms from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Through the Carbon Finance Support Facility (CFSF), Landbank’s flagship program for climate change mitigation, Marcela Farms and Biotech Farms gained access to financing and clean development mechanism (CDM) services.
The two agribusinesses qualified for the CFSF since their pig farms use animal waste-to-energy technologies that generate carbon credits that may be traded.
Carbon credits provide a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on an industrial scale by allowing companies to reduce their “environmental footprint” without scaling down on emissions by buying credits from operators of environment-friendly projects.
Borromeo says the two pig raisers generated a combined 27,487 carbon credits or certified emission reductions (CERs), for having produced a total of 4,506 megawatt-hours of energy.
She says the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction from the two farms can be equated to avoided GHG emissions of 5,800 conventional sedans driven for one year.
The combined reductions in GHG emissions is also comparable to the amount of carbon absorbed by 700,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
Landbank has a standing Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement with the World Bank. Under the agreement, the World Bank will buy carbon credits generated from Landbank’s CFSF projects within the five-year period to 2020, at a fixed price of 4 euros (about P210 in current exchange rates) per CER.
“This CER issuance is a first for the country and we look forward to supporting more waste-to-energy projects, as we hope to encourage more local enterprises to lead socially-responsible and environmentally-conscious operations,” Borromeo says.
So far, Landbank is readying 26 pig farms for inclusion under its CFSF program of activities.
These farms, which were invited to participate in the program, have more than 300 sows and are willing to put tup biogas digesters or intend to use their biogas to produce electricity.
In a similar effort, Monsanto Co. has embarked on is undertaking efforts to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021. The plan is to achieve this through a carbon-neutral crop production program targeted across its seed and crop protection operations, as well as through collaboration with farmers.
“Considering the critical and complex challenges posed by climate change, Monsanto Philippines recognizes its responsibility to contribute its fair share in the global climate change action,” says Sandro Rissi, chief executive of Monsanto in the Philippines until last April.
“The carbon neutral crop production program itself hopes to contribute in mitigating the serious impacts of climate change and natural hazards, while at the same time creating sustainable agriculture for local Filipino farmers,” says Rissi, who has since moved to Monsanto in Brazil.
The program focuses on several key areas including seed production and crop protection as well as sharing data and increasing adoption rates of best practices.