Cosmetics giant Natura and a few other forward-thinking companies in Brazil have taken the leap into the voluntary carbon market to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, but the number and size of transactions is still small. There is plenty of room for more voluntary transactions in Brazil, experts say, particularly if a finance mechanism currently being developed can sustain REDD initiatives until a new international climate agreement takes hold in 2020.
8 April 2014 | Brazilian company Natura caused quite a stir in the global carbon markets in 2013 when it engaged in a first-of-its-kind deal to purchase 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from a project developed by the Paiter-Suruí indigenous community in the Amazon under the Verified Carbon Standard’s Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) methodology.
In 2007, the cosmetics giant launched its corporate carbon neutral program, which now supports 15 carbon offset projects in Brazil and one in Colombia, Mariama Vendramini told attendees of the Navigating the American Carbon World conference in San Francisco. Vendramini is the commercial and financial director for Biofilica, which provides environmental services and develops REDD offsets for Brazilian companies. She estimated the total number of offsets voluntarily purchased by the company at 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).
It turns out that Natura is not alone in terms of Brazilian companies looking to voluntarily offset their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In October 2013, Ticket Car launched a pilot program to allow its clients to manage and offset their vehicle emissions at about 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year. Brazilian banking giant Santander also launched a pilot project to allow its clients who purchased cars to offset their emissions, with the pilot project leading to demand of about 70, 000 tCO2e in six months.
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