The successful realization of a bold, timely, and aggressive response to the climate crisis requires strong execution and visibility into the details to enable Aspiration to lead by example. To that end, we are sharing details around Aspiration’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and will also summarize the carbon projects we’re investing in to offset our emissions on an ongoing basis.
1. We’re disclosing comprehensive GHG emissions
Starting today and on an annual basis, we will voluntarily release Aspiration’s full GHG emissions inventory, covering scopes 1, 2, and 3.
The results of our 2020 and 2021 GHG footprint analyses are below. The footprint analyses were conducted in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard, and the results show scope 1, scope 2, and relevant scope 3 emissions. Because the guidance particularly on scope 3 emissions is evolving, we expect there will be changes in methodology and reporting incorporated into future disclosures.
Aspiration’s 2020 & 2021 GHG Emissions
*Sums may not equal total due to rounding. CO2e refers to carbon dioxide equivalent, and includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
2. We’re investing in premium/high quality nature-based projects with significant co-benefits
Aspiration is a leader in bringing high quality carbon credits to businesses building climate change fighting capabilities into what they do every day. Aspiration purchases and retires verified credits that have been issued through a recognized independent standards body (such as the Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve, or other similarly established and vetted standard including emerging standards), in line with industry and civil society best practices. In addition to minimum standards established by the aforementioned industry bodies and initiatives, Aspiration establishes our own internal reviews and requirements, including our own independent assessment of critical quality criteria including additionality, quantification, verification, permanence, co-benefits, and social safeguards.
Using our internal requirements and vetting process, to offset Aspiration’s scope 1 and scope 3 emissions for both 2020 and 2021, we purchased and retired carbon credits from four nature-based projects across Asia, Africa, South America, and North America.
- The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project (Rimba Raya), is located in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, and is one of the largest REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) projects in the world. Rimba Raya protects and preserves tropical lowland peat swamp forests, an endangered ecosystem, and is the native home to the Bornean Orangutan, a critically endangered species, as well as other endangered and threatened species. Rimba Raya was the first validated REDD+ project under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the first project to receive the “triple-gold” validation under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB). Additionally, Rimba Raya is the world’s first REDD+ project to be validated and verified under the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard for its contributions to all 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project (Source: Rimba Raya)
- The Carroll Avoided Grassland Conversion Project (Avoided Grassland Conversion) protects native grasslands in Montana. Similar to trees, grasslands sequester carbon dioxide deep into the ground through their extensive root structures. Preventing the conversion of grasslands to row-crop agriculture has significant climate implications because soils that have supported grasslands for hundreds of years contain large amounts of carbon which is released when row-crop cultivation happens. Through a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, the project protects the land in perpetuity from environmentally harmful agricultural practices. Because of its unique location adjacent to already-conserved public lands, it is part of one of the most intact grasslands on the continent. The location is home to high conservation wildlife populations, including species of swift fox, Greater Sage Grouse, and four songbirds.
Avoided Grassland Conversion (Source: BlueSource)
- The Cordillera Azul National Park project protects 1.3 million hectares of threatened forest in central Peru. The area has been called the “jewel of the Peruvian Amazon” with its stunning mountains, sparkling blue lagoons, rich biodiversity, and multicultural population. The Cordillera Azul project addresses the regions’ drivers of deforestation by funding conservation while supporting local communities in their transition to sustainable livelihoods. By properly valuing and paying for this carbon-storing service the forests provide, climate finance in the form of carbon credits changes the economic incentives by rewarding forest protection and providing education to local farmers to ensure a secure, commercially viable income stream through low-carbon land use. Cordillera Azul is home to a number of unique habitats including 39 threatened species, such as the spectacled bear, jaguar, and harpy eagle. Conservation and protection activities inside the forest include biological monitoring and scientific research, as well as surveillance and control of illegal human behaviors.
Cordillera Azul (Source: ecosphere)
- The Kariba Forest Protection project is one of the largest registered REDD+ projects by area, protecting nearly 785,000 hectares of forests and wildlife on the southern shores of Lake Kariba, near the Zimbabwe-Zambia border. The project supports a range of activities beyond environmental protection, promoting the independence and wellbeing of the local communities. Project activities in conservation agriculture, community gardens, beekeeping training, fire management, and ecotourism create jobs and facilitate sustainable incomes, benefiting the entire region.
Kariba Forest Protection (Source: Verra)
To address Aspiration’s scope 2 emissions for 2020 and 2021, we purchased Green-e certified renewable energy credits (RECs).
3. We’re innovating to decarbonize
As we navigate through our own sustainability journey, we will continue to reduce our GHG emissions intensity through actions like supplier engagement and initiatives around more sustainable travel practices. We will also work with our suppliers and providers to optimize our GHG footprint in future years, leveraging carbon estimation technology to identify businesses with lower carbon intensity. We will also continue to source renewable energy and work with our investment partners to ensure investments are made with consideration for climate impact.
With our corporate and financing partners, we’re scaling up investment in nature-based solutions. We’ll talk next about how we’re approaching these projects - including some of our standards and expectations - and how companies and organizations can partner with us to jointly drive gigatonne scale carbon sequestration.