Alumni Zevenkerken

Antoine Geerinckx : How CO2logic stimulates organisations to reduce their climate impact

19/12/2017

In my childhood, when my parents were away, I had the chance to spend many weekends with my grandfather in the forests of the Belgian and French Ardennes. He used to manage forests sustainably for his timber activities. Trees and nature have always fascinated me, just give it some rain, sun, air & decent soil and they become beautiful giants. Once you have trees as companions, it is hard to stay away from them for too long. You learn to appreciate the silence of a forest when it is too noisy and its sounds when it’s too quiet.
My grandfather was probably my biggest hero back then and I have always remembered one of the advices he gave me as a former Minister of agriculture and education “whatever you do in life make sure you create value for people & society”. The combination of this advice with many other influences such as some inspiring English classes from Dhr. Lonneville about ‘seizing the day’ and about ‘following your own path’, paved the way for the creation of a business at the service of nature. It somehow fulfilled the crave to do something with this passion for the environment and the need for urgent climate action. It all came together with the hope of also making a decent business from it.
Now nearly 11 years later CO2logic is a small but dynamic little company with 10 engineers helping approximately 100 companies in Belgium and abroad to calculate and reduce their climate impact. The main benefits of our services are the reduction of CO2 emissions and recurring energy costs. It also improves the attractiveness of an organisation towards consumers, investors and workforce. We are lucky to work for companies like Lotus Bakeries, Spadel, Proximus, Interparking, Degroof-Petercam, UCB, Libeco, D’Ieteren, bpost, Jet Import, Befimmo, Exki, McCain, Ontex, Lyreco, Barco, WDP, Sioen, Guylian, Engels nv, Seyntex, Menssana, Cofinimmo…
In a global economy we have a global responsibility
It is great to see how many CEO’s are starting to take their climate responsibility seriously since 2006. It is a growing trend especially since the Paris Agreement. There is no way back. By 2020 we’ll probably have a global carbon tax, which will give a competitive edge to low-carbon / energy efficient organisations. But it is still too little too slow. Keep in mind that every ton of CO2 emitted has a cost to Society of $220 according to Stanford University research. Most companies still transfer their remaining CO2-emissions to Society and future generations. This is why CO2logic proposes a cost-efficient solution to address this issue by offering organisations the possibility to calculate, reduce and also offset their remaining CO2 emissions by financing climate projects in developing countries. Reducing one ton of CO2 costs on average 8€/ton in Africa… I wasn’t good in math at Zevenkerken ;-) but I can tell you that this is much cheaper than having to pay later 220$ for every ton of CO2 we have not tackled. The certified climate projects have a crucial role in helping developing countries adapt and face climate change. The climate projects create recurring revenues (from reducing CO2) that benefit local populations while improving their livelihoods.
Our climate projects in Benin, DRC, Burkina, Uganda : www.wanrou.org, www.tegstove.org, www.ecomakala-virunga.org, www.greensahel.org ,… generate positive contributions in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many companies have signed a charter to support the SDGs but few know how to implement their engagements. Supporting certified climate projects from CO2logic allow companies to have a solution for both their CO2 (climate responsibility, CO2-neutrality,…) and SDG issues.
Within the framework of the Paris agreement, developed countries will reduce their CO2 emissions, but what about developing countries? 3 billion people still cook with wood and charcoal in developing countries. Next to illegal deforestation, this also contributes to the global deforestation issue. As carbon dioxide and oxygen have no borders, the trees they are cutting down in primary (rain) forests release previously stocked CO2 back in the atmosphere. Without our help, the growing population and increasing energy need (still much lower than ours per capita) will put a rising pressure on natural reserves, forests and biodiversity. So, it is crucial that developed countries help their southern neighbours in making a swift transition towards more efficient energy consumption and renewable energies. Per 1000€ you can reduce more CO2 in developing countries than over here where we are already quite energy efficient. Offsetting is a way to reduce as much CO2 as possible and as quickly as possible, because there is a climate urgency. The longer we wait the more costly it will be for everyone. Subsequently, the degrading living conditions (unstable agriculture, draughts, rising sea levels,…) in some areas due to climate disruption are also creating a massive migration time bomb. Our projects modestly try to address many of the previously stated issues.
Our approach (calculate, reduce & offset your remaining CO2 emissions) offers a credible way to achieve CO2-Neutrality. The independent certifying body Vinçotte has endorsed the CO2-NEUTRAL label we have developed to enable the recognition of companies that do not transfer their climate impacts to Society and future generations. This label allows people & organisation to recognize companies that take their climate responsibility. Our services have also attracted the attention of US based companies like National Geographic, Thomson Reuters, Marley’s Natural, SPIN, Overseas USA, Ace Natural,… so last year we started a small NYC office.
We see a growing support from more & more responsible companies that appreciate this local and global approach. It was getting really urgent because we have seen so many companies pouring a lot of money into recurring non-added value energy costs with a big climate impact. Most companies that calculate their carbon footprint very quickly reduce those impacts & costs. One of the CEO I met told me one day “why didn’t we do this earlier?” so I kindly answered “well, you tell me”.

Antoine Geerinckx (in Loppem from 1989 to 1994), CO2logic
CO2logic has pioneered climate advisory and CO2-neutrality in Belgium since 2006 and is still the leader in this sector. This company is recognised for delivering credible climate action. It proposes a CO2-NEUTRAL label to climate neutral companies in collaboration with Vinçotte. CO2logic won different awards & mentions, such as the “Be Sustainable Award” from the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC). CO2logic also has two sister organizations called Naturalogic.org & Greentripper.org.
www.co2logic.com
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