The David Suzuki Foundation is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its own operations.
Since 2003, we have carried out an annual audit of the greenhouse gases produced through Foundation activities. For fiscal year 2011-12, five emissions sources were inventoried: electricity, heating, staff commuting, paper use, and air travel. Greenhouse gas emissions from these sources totaled 189.8 metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
To mitigate these emissions, the Foundation purchases high-quality, Gold Standard carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are credits from projects such as wind farms that reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, we have implemented a number of other initiatives to make the Foundation's operations more sustainable. For example, we recently began purchasing renewable electricity certificates from Bullfrog Power for our Montreal office, so that all four David Suzuki Foundation offices are now powered this way. The electricity comes exclusively from wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogo program.
This past year, we also worked with The Natural Step Canada to create a strategic sustainability plan for the Foundation. In doing so, we examined all aspects of our organization through a sustainability lens, including operations, governance and employee well-being. The new plan will set ambitious sustainability targets, as well as milestones that allow us to track our progress. Through implementation of this plan, we also expect to achieve efficiency gains, and even cost savings — for example, by reducing our electricity use and air travel.