Outer Shores Expeditions is now carbon neutral! We have achieved carbon neutrality through dedicated conservation efforts, careful adherence to efficiency measures and the purchase of carbon offsets.
“As an eco-tourism company, it has been a goal of ours to become a carbon neutral operation from the outset,” says Russell Markel, Outer Shores Expeditions Captain and Founder. “We’ve always been able to maintain a very low carbon footprint thanks to the crew’s dedication to sustainability and efficiency. However, we always felt it integral to our company mission that we achieve complete carbon neutrality.”
We Worked with Victoria-based Synergy Enterprises to produce our Annual Sustainability Report. This report allowed them to measure our emissions, which includes all fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, marine diesel), electricity, water, waste, paper, and company travel, and in turn purchase carbon offsets.
This year, we were able to offset our 2013 emissions. Next year, we will achieve carbon neutrality for both the 2014 and 2015 expedition seasons.
By purchasing its carbon offsets with Offsetters, a Vancouver-based company, Outer Shores is able to do more than invest in projects that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Offsetters’ initiatives also enhance ecosystems and provide wider social and economic benefits to the people living around them.
To date, Outer Shores Expeditions’ carbon offset purchases have helped to support three Offsetters initiatives: Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, Lower Zambezi REDD+, and Uganda Efficient Wood Cook Stoves.
The Great Bear Rainforest is a favourite Outer Shores expedition destination, and the landmark Great Bear Forest Carbon Project’s close collaboration with First Nations makes it a natural fit for the sailing operation to support. This Improved Forest Management Project is not simply a conservation project; it is a model for sustainable development in an economically valuable but ecologically and culturally vulnerable area.
In supporting Uganda Efficient Wood Cook Stoves, Outer Shores has helped support the dissemination of efficient wood burning cook stoves to institutions and families in and around Kampala, Uganda. The aim of the project is to reduce the stove price to an affordable level, to promote it for widespread dissemination, and to improve the technology through continuous research and development.
Support for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ project helps communities and forest management professionals in Zambia to conserve a highly threatened wildlife corridor. The project addresses deforestation by working directly with forest-dependent communities to reduce their reliance on charcoal.
Going forward, we will continue to make carbon neutrality central to their mission. We will soon complete installation of a solar PV power system aboard the 70-foot wooden schooner Passing Cloud for their battery powering station and is looking to also add an onboard wind power generator.