For our 20th birthday in 2019 we decided we wanted to become carbon neutral and we have successfully offset our carbon footprint for the last four years in a row. This year we decided to plant mangroves in Bali.
Mangroves are shrubs or small trees that grow along coastlines and in brackish water, or water that is part salt and part fresh.
Mangroves have a significant ability to absorb carbon. Tod Hardin, COO of Plastic Oceans International, estimated this CO2 depository to hold up to four times what rainforests can, making their survival critical to the planet’s survival against the climate crisis.
Mangroves serve as a major ‘carbon sink’ along the coastlines around the world. They are excellent at absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. Like all trees, they sequester carbon as they grow and turn it into their leaves, roots and branches.
Mangroves can live up to 100 years. For the calculation of carbon offsets, the life of a mangrove tree is assessed at a conservative 25 years. When mangroves die, they fall to the seafloor and their carbon is buried, which continues to benefit the environment.
Offsetting Luminary’s carbon footprint
In previous years we have paid for trees to be planted in Western Australia and Victoria to offset our carbon. We used carbon sequestration methods with Bimbadeen Farm on Phillip Island, Victoria. While these programs were effective, our team members were looking to be involved in the offset.
We partnered with a community organisation called 15 Trees in Australia to organise tree plantings that would allow the team to plant trees themselves. In 2019, we planted several hundred trees at Mt Batur in Bali to regrow a forest that was destroyed many years ago by volcanic eruptions. Early this year we planted trees on the Mornington Peninsula as part of National Tree Day.
By providing people with the chance to plant trees themselves, it provides them with the ability to offset their carbon footprint. There is something quite thrilling about the tangible nature of planting trees. The sense of growth and renewal is present with each planting.
Luminary planting mangroves in Bali
This year we decided to offset our entire carbon footprint through the planting of mangroves in Bali. The team partnered with Redux Foundation to plant 350 mangrove trees on the coastline at Benoa in front of the Bali Heliport.
Mangrove seedlings are grown in a sheltered environment. When they are ready for sea planting, companies purchase the seedlings and plant them themselves or have the growers plant them on their behalf.
The mangroves are planted in a bamboo cage that is designed to protect them from the elements. Luminary team members from across Australia and Indonesia planted the seedlings in the cage and tied them to some bamboo and each other, to keep them upright and strong while they grow. When they are ready to be in the wild, they are transferred to a mangrove field and replanted. In this environment they will become part of the coastline, protecting Bali from storms and creating an environment for crabs and fish.
Luminary’s carbon usage by financial year
2019 - 139.1 tonnes
2020 - 136.53 tonnes
2021 - 152.45 tonnes
2022 - 109.8 tonnes
Carbon produced and offset - 537.88 tonnes
Luminary created an estimated 109.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the 2022 financial year and offset over 115 tonnes through the planting of mangrove trees.
As governments and companies around the world seek to offset their carbon footprint, mangroves could be the answer. Customers and team members now expect companies to become carbon neutral and seek to have a positive impact on the environment and society.
Carbon trading schemes are likely to gain popularity around the world as both an incentive to support the environment and a disincentive for pollution.
There are programs developing around the world such as the UN’s Environment Program in Kenya that allows companies to trade carbon credits from mangrove conservation and restoration.
While offsetting a flight to Bali is becoming more common, very few people offset their digital carbon footprint. The internet uses nearly 10 percent of the world's electricity annually. In time, we will seek to help clients offset their digital carbon footprint.
Mangroves are a highly effective way to offset your carbon footprint, create a habitat for sea animals and defend coastlines around the world.
If you want to find out how your company can offset its carbon footprint, see how we did it.
The environment can't wait for 2050. Offset your footprint today.
Benefits of mangroves
- Stabilise and protect coastlines
- Create animal habitats
- Sink carbon dioxide
- Protect water quality by removing nutrients and pollutants from stormwater runoff
- Absorb water during heavy rains, reducing flood risk
- Support fish and shellfish life
- Provide shelter to other wildlife including birds, deer and bees
Disclosure: Marty Drill is also the Founder and CEO of Redux Foundation.
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