PwC's carbon offset projects: Tackling household air pollution and deforestation

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Supporting the most vulnerable communities across Kenya

From July 2019 PwC committed to offset 100 percent of our air travel emissions. We are supporting carbon offset projects across the globe that help emission reduction, such as the Improved Cookstove project in Kenya.

Setting the scene

Air travel is an essential part of how we do our client-facing work, but it is also one of the largest sources of our carbon emissions. To help reduce the impact of our travel our firms are; adopting new meeting technologies, investing in research to advance greener air-travel, raising awareness amongst our people on alternative ways to travel, and reviewing travel policies.

As part of our goal to reduce our absolute carbon impact, as of July 2019, we are investing in a range of voluntary carbon offset projects to mitigate the impact of our air travel emissions.

Carbon offset projects prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere. Supporting these projects allows us to have an immediate and positive impact while we investigate and implement longer-term solutions.

How we helped

We support a range of voluntary carbon projects. Underpinning our approach is a set of strict quality criteria, including our offsets being verified by an independent third party to an established standard. Through our programme we seek to finance projects with multiple co-benefits including helping to build the market and infrastructure for renewable energy, supporting local economic and social development, and conserving thriving forests.

Impact

Nearly 97 percent of state rural households in Kenya rely on wood or other sources of solid fuel to power their traditional cook stoves.1 Of the wood people collect, 92 percent is sourced from non-renewable sources.

Burning these types of fuels (wood, dung and charcoal) in traditional stoves releases substances that are harmful to people’s health. Substances such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, particulate matter and black carbon have led to the premature deaths of 4 million people across the globe and over 16,500 Kenyans per year, which is more than deaths from malaria or tuberculosis.2

Improved Cookstoves reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent, which has resulted in people experiencing fewer health issues, such as; dizziness, headaches, eye irritation and breathing difficulties according to a survey by Natural Capital Partners.

Carbon finance is used to subsidise the purchase of the Improved Cookstoves which has seen 251,000 cookstoves being sold and distributed to underserved communities across Kenya. Families save money on the cost of fuel, time collecting fuel, and families save time cooking, enabling them to have more time together or to do other income-generating work.

Not only do the improved Cookstoves use less fuel, they also: 

  • produce up to 70 percent less toxic emissions
  • cost less to run, meaning families can save money
  • reduce the risks, primarily to women, are exposed to when out collecting wood
  • reduce emissions, with approximately 950,000 tonnes of emission reduction since the first cookstoves were handed out in 2010.

For many families, having an Improved Cookstove also means they get time back to spend together. In some cases family members, generally female members, walk 14 kilometres every two days to collect wood to ensure their stoves can produce meals for the family.

Click here to learn about PwC’s approach to offsetting and explore our complete offset portfolio.

1. Source: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008-09, June 2010
2. Source: Clean Cooking Alliance

Contact us

Kirsty Jennings

Global Corporate Responsibility Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 0174

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