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Disney to Expand Voluntary Carbon Offset Buying

By: Ecosystem Marketplace

The entertainment giant that runs the “Happiest Place On Earth” is wild about carbon offsets, so much so that the Walt Disney Company will expand its already substantial voluntary offset purchasing program to account for indirect emissions generated by its operations, an effort to be financed by the $11-14 per-tonne internal carbon price the company charges its business units.

In 2009, Disney announced a series of long-term goals to reduce its environmental impact, including a goal of zero net direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a target that will likely be updated in the next year, says Bob Antonoplis, assistant general counsel for The Walt Disney Company. The multi-media company challenged its business units to reduce their direct emissions through energy efficiency, fuel savings and fuel substitution initiatives and turns to the voluntary carbon markets to offset what it cannot reduce internally.

Disney’s voluntary offset program has covered these Scope 1 direct emissions and the company is planning to expand its offset purchasing in the “near future” to include its Scope 2 emissions, which cover indirect emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or stream, Antonoplis says.

“We’re going to be expanding our program as we fold in our Scope 2 emissions, which will obviously increase the amount of projects that we’ll be involved in,” he told participants in a Climate Action Reserve (CAR) webinar on Thursday.

Since establishing its environmental goals, Disney has since become a major buyer in the voluntary carbon markets. “It was clearly driven by the overall goal that we set for ourselves,” he says. “That’s why we are participating at the scale that we are and then when we fold in our Scope 2 emissions, we’ll be at an even higher scale.”

As part of this effort, Disney established its Climate Solutions Fund, the name given to its internal carbon pricing program. The costs of carbon offset projects are charged back to individual business units at a rate proportional to their contributions to the company’s overall direct emissions footprint. Charging the business units for their GHG emissions raises the capital that is used to invest in third-party emission reduction projects.

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