Carbon Coalition

Overview

The EAUC Carbon Coalition is a consortium of UK and Ireland higher and further education institutions that have joined together to offset their emissions leveraging their combined buying power and knowledge.

The offsetting process will be achieved using a portfolio of credits provided by an Appointed Fund Manager (for the purposes of the initial pilot this will be MyCarbon). There is an Advisory Board which is made up of experts, practitioners and scientists from the education sector. The Advisory Board agree the scoring criteria and methodology that offsetting projects are assessed against in order to become part of the Carbon Coalition Portfolio. The Offsetting Briefing, by the COP26 Universities Network and EAUC, provides the principles for the scoring. We will evaluate the most sustainable, robust and cost-effective projects available which will become the Carbon Coalition Portfolio.

The goal is to provide the Carbon Coalition partners with a simple, robust offsetting menu of products that provides maximum value for money as well as providing confidence in the projects they are investing in. By utilising the expertise we have within our sector as the Advisory Board we can provide confidence to institutions in what is a very complex area. We are initially running a pilot with a small number of institutions.

The EAUC Carbon Coalition is managed by EAUC, which is a registered charity.

Key Documents

Why are EAUC doing this?

  • Sector-wide initiative – recommendation from offsetting briefing
  • Collective purchasing power
  • Provide support to universities and colleges
  • Provide robust and credible projects to invest with confidence
  • Use experts and knowledge from the sector for the sector
  • Drive demand for permanent carbon capture & storage
  • Not reinventing wheels!
Benefits for the institution are:
  • Projects with additionality linked to the sector – research/community/local schemes
  • Institutions do not have the resources or expertise to review projects
  • Institutions can choose preferred projects from a menu
  • Sector showing leadership and pushing the offsetting sector
  • Confidence in a robust scheme – transparency for staff and students
  • Sharing good practice – strategies/policies, engagement techniques
  • Cheaper offset/carbon prices

Conditions of Entry

For institutions to be part of the Carbon Coalition we require the following:
  1. Institutions must have a clear target to be net-zero. With the recommendation of 2030 for scopes 1 & 2, and include scope 3 by 2050 at the latest
  2. Institutions must have a clear plan on how to reduce carbon emissions in line with their net-zero targets
  3. Institutions must publicly report progress against their carbon plans and targets, with a recommendation to use a recognised standard 
Offsetting should only be used for emissions that cannot be reduced any further or as part of a net-zero plan to achieve a more ambitious target year.

The Portfolio

The Portfolio will comprise of offsetting projects that meet the Advisory Board scoring criteria and methodology, providing the most sustainable, robust and cost-effective projects. These will include a variety of nature-based and permanent carbon storage/capture, along with additionality aspects such as research opportunities and provide both UK and Ireland and global options.

Institutions will have 2 options to choose from:
  • A ‘set menu’ which will comprise a mixture of offsetting projects, this will include a small % initially of permanent carbon storage (due to high cost) and combine with nature-based projects which are lower in cost. This will provide an average price overall allowing an affordable option for institutions.
  • An ‘a la carte’ option where institutions can choose either one or a selection of offsetting projects from the Portfolio. This allows institutions to match their aims of offsetting with projects that relate to priorities – for example it may be a UK project or a project that has particularly research opportunities linked to it.
All the projects included in the Portfolio will be made available to pilot institutions in due course.

How will it work?

Once an institution has confirmed it wishes to partake in the pilot, EAUC will ask for some information from you. This will be details to confirm you comply with the conditions of entry along with your plans for offsetting.

It is for the institution to decide how much they wish to offset and set their own budget. It is the institution’s decision on what aspect of their activities they wish to offset. For example, an institution could decide they wish to offset travel emissions, or they wish to offset at an institutional level to achieve their net-zero targets. It is for the institution to measure and calculate their emissions and decide what scopes are included within their net-zero plans (e.g. whether Scope 3 is included).

If an institution needs advice on their carbon emissions and net-zero plans is we can provide this via consultancy outside of the Carbon Coalition. 

We will then share the Portfolio with you and it is for you to decide which offsetting projects you choose. You inform us of your choice and we then hand you over to the Appointed Fund Manager who undertakes the transaction for you. The Appointed Fund Manager will provide you with the necessary certificates and paperwork to confirm your offset. The financial transaction will be between you and the Appointed Fund Manager.

The Advisory Board is chaired by the Deputy Chair of EAUC to assure institutions that all decisions are in line with EAUC principles and governance.

Costs

As it is for the institution to set their own offsetting target and budgets it therefore depends on your decisions.

Part of the aims of the Carbon Coalition is that by combining institutions offsetting we have a much more powerful purchasing power and we will be able to negotiate bulk discounts. Therefore, we aim that the service charge will be less than what you would achieve without the bulk discounts (e.g. even with the service charges it will still be cheaper for the institution to go through the Carbon Coalition rather than approaching the projects direct). 

As EAUC is a registered charity we do have to ensure our costs are covered. There will be a 12.5% charge for the Appointed Fund Manager to cover their costs. There will be a 7.5% charge for EAUC to cover our costs of administrating the scheme. These costs will be included within your financial transaction with the Appointed Fund Manager. The Appointed Fund Manager will then transfer the 7.5% charge to EAUC. As the Carbon Coalition grows the service charge may be able to be reduced.

Who is the Appointed Fund Manager?

EAUC have MyCarbon as the Appointed Fund Manager for the pilot (formally registered as Carbon Green Ltd.). As the Carbon Coalition grows EAUC will seek further Appointed Fund Managers as required.

MyCarbon is a co-author of the Offsetting Briefing and adheres to the principles within this. MyCarbon was co-founded by Toby Green and Michael Greenhough and was established in 2018. As two individuals, they are passionate about being part of the solution to the climate crisis we are currently facing. MyCarbon’s corporate mission is to enable organisations and individuals to become carbon neutral in a simple and cost-effective manner.

As a business, they are trained and certified in:
  • ISO 14064 – 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
  • ISO 14064 – 2: Specification with guidance at the project level for quantification, monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions or removal enhancements.
  • ISO 14064 – 3: Specification with guidance for the verification and validation of greenhouse gas statements.
MyCarbon have an exceptional understanding of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting, reporting and reduction and are very familiar with the carbon credit market, from creation to retirement, including both voluntary and compulsory markets.

Timing

We hope to complete the offsetting transactions by the end of July 2021. This will enable us time to make any necessary changes to the scheme with the aim to open it to the wider sector in the next academic year - September/October 2021.

As we wish to obtain the best possible price we will require all institutions to make the transaction within the same time period.

Support & Engagement

EAUC wish to support institutions and will be sharing examples of offsetting strategies and staff and student engagement ideas. If your institution needs support please get in touch!

Evaluation

As this is a pilot we do want to receive as much feedback as possible throughout the process in order for us to ensure we are meeting the needs of the sector. We are very grateful for your time and help in establishing a sector-wide initiative.

All information regarding the Carbon Coalition, including the Advisory Board and the scoring methodology, will be publicly available on the EAUC website. We will list the names of the institutions we are working with the pilot but we will not be disclosing any carbon data, financial transactions or scopes of institutions – this will remain confidential between the institution, EAUC and the Appointed Fund Manager.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Fiona Goodwin 
 
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