CARBON NEUTRAL INITIATIVE
The EBRD incorporates sustainability into the entire spectrum of its activities as part of the EBRD Sustainable Resource Initiative (SRI). The SRI is an umbrella initiative that focuses on energy, water and materials efficiency.
The Sustainable Energy Initiative was launched back in 2006 with the aim of scaling up sustainable energy investments. In this context, the Bank funded an energy efficiency project in Tatarstan to help offset the carbon emissions associated with the organisation of its Annual Meeting and Business Forum in 2007 and funded a project in Chernigiv for the same purpose in 2008. In 2010 and 2011 , this initiative developed into a Joint Environmental Initiative by partnering with local companies in Croatia and Kazakhstan, respectively.
The EBRD efforts evolved into a full-blown Carbon Neutral Initiative which started in Istanbul in 2013 with great success. To offset the emissions related to the organisation of the Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Turkey, the EBRD purchased the event’s carbon emissions equivalent in carbon credits from the Keltepe Wind Farm Project in Turkey. This was followed by the retiring of carbon credits from the Sniatowo Wind Farm in Poland for the purpose of the Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Warsaw last year.
This year, the EBRD has secured the purchase of offsets from a project it finances in Georgia: the Enguri Hydro Power Plant. The refurbishment of Georgia’s largest power plant, delivering more than 40% of the country’s electricity needs, involved the increase of the operating capacity of its power generation units. As a result, more electricity is produced from a renewable energy source, replacing electricity otherwise produced from fossil fuels.
Emission reductions thus achieved are issued under the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism, a recognised international offset standard. The EBRD has supported the project’s registration achieved in 2012 and provided further assistance with the monitoring and verification of emission reductions that have been realised since 2013.
The EBRD Carbon Neutral Initiative further evolves and now also focuses on reducing waste produced in the run up to and during the Annual Meeting and Business Forum. Examples are the circulation of electronic invitations only and the sharing of information via mobile technologies. Stronger emphasis is also being placed on recycling, in particular water bottles and printed materials at this year’s event in Tbilisi.
The EBRD has teamed up with local NGO, COOP that sells recycling bins, collects the waste and sells it afterwards for recycling. The ERBD has purchased around 50 bins from COOP to be used during the Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi to ensure that the waste produced during those days is being recycled. The EBRD will donate all purchased bins to different schools in Georgia after the event to ensure sustainability and promote recycling beyond the organisation of the Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi, Georgia.