Caritas has signed up to environmental subscription service, Ecologi, to become a climate positive workforce to help tackle climate change.
The initiative enables individuals and businesses to calculate and compensate their carbon footprint, fund climate projects and meet their eco goals.
Founded in 2019, Ecologi currently has 25,151 members who have collectively planted 24 million trees and reduced 822,656 tonnes of CO2. Ecologi’s plan is to reduce half the world’s emissions by 2040.
Since joining in the collective action, Caritas and its sister companies Fortress & Castle and Castle Express have offset 66.72 tonnes of CO2e by supporting the following projects:
producing renewable wind energy in Bulgaria
using waste biomass to produce electricity in Chile
Preserving Amazonian rainforest in Brazil
Solar power generation in Tamil Nadu and Telangana, India
66.72 tonnes of CO2e is equivalent to one of the following: 51 long haul flights, 200m2 of sea ice saved or 165,532 miles driven in a car.
The company has also, to date (Nov 2021), planted 10,172 real trees, supporting both reforestation projects in Mozambique and mangrove planting in Madagascar.
Furthermore, Caritas, Fortress & Castle and Castle Express have committed to planting trees across the world and locally in the UK every time an invoice is paid.
This will see the companies planting hundreds of trees each month. They have also committed to offsetting the CO2 emissions of their employees while at work. This is calculated based on the number of people in the team and their work-generated carbon footprint, compiled from basic day-to-day work activities, energy consumption and travel.
Discussing the decision to join Ecologi, Simon Fitzsimmons, Director of Client Services said: “Climate change is here and is already causing damage across the world, so it’s important that businesses of all sizes take action. We’re excited to have joined 8,255 other businesses working with Ecologi to prioritise climate leadership.”
To keep up-to-date with the projects Caritas are funding and to see the locations of the trees the company has planted, visit https://ecologi.com/castlecaritas
The Government has scrapped its failed flagship energy efficiency programme, the Green Deal, pulling its funding and announcing an investigation into alleged scams that have surrounded the scheme.
Launched in 2013, the Green Deal was touted as a “revolution” in upgrading Britain’s old and draughty housing stock, designed to encourage millions of households to take out loans to install insulation and new boilers. But, with less than 10,000 loans in place, ministers pulled the plug and acknowledged the scheme would be seen as a “total flop”.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said it would provide no further Government funding for the Green Deal Finance Company, which provides the loans, “in light of low take-up and concerns about industry standards”. It had so far provided £59 million to the company.
Decc has also commissioned an independent review to look at standards and “consumer protection”, following widespread reports of scammers hijacking the scheme to rip off households, and one in ten installers being struck off for breaking the scheme’s code of conduct.
There will also be no more funding for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund cash back scheme, which launched in mid-2014 and gave households money back on home energy efficiency improvements.
Unlike the loans, the cash back scheme proved hugely popular with consumers who cleared out funding within days of it being released. Decc had given away £114 million of funding through the scheme, which had been criticised as poor value for money.
Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said: “We are on the side of hardworking families and businesses – which is why we cannot continue to fund the Green Deal. It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works. Together we can achieve this Government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for 1 million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.”
Under the original Green Deal scheme, households were encouraged to take out a loan to fund the cost of energy efficiency work, with the loans paid back in instalments on their energy bills. The repayments were supposed to be less than the savings from the energy efficiency work. But the scheme has suffered from low take-up amid concerns about high interest rates and official rulings by the advertising watchdog which pointed out households were not guaranteed to save money.
Greg Barker, then energy minister, said after the scheme’s launch that he would be having sleepless nights if 10,000 homes had not signed up by the end of 2013. Figures released show that by the end of June 2015 there were still just 9,999 Green Deal loan plans ‘live’, with a further 5,597 pending or applied for.
In a blog post explaining the decision, the Decc acknowledged people would ask: “Has the Green Deal been a total flop?” Its response noted there had been “many success stories come out of Green Deal” but that “uptake has been lower than expected”.
The announcement does not affect existing Green Deal plans taken out by householders or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers, Decc said.
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