Although reduction is key to carbon neutrality, unavoidable carbon emissions require offsetting in order to drive down our emissions to zero by 2020. In 2018, we compensated 330 kilotonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to the annual uptake of approximately 9 million medium-sized oak trees. This covers the sum total of the direct emissions from our sites, all our business travel emissions, and all our ocean and parcel shipments within logistics.
We do this by financing carbon reduction projects in emerging regions that have a strong link with health and well-being (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3) and sustainable consumption (UN Sustainable Development Goal 12).
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We have selected projects in emerging regions that, as well as reducing emissions, drive social, economic and additional environmental progress for the communities in which they are rolled out. For example, by financing high-efficiency cookstoves in Kenya and Uganda, less wood or coal will be required for cooking, leading to lower carbon emissions, a reduction in diseases caused by indoor air pollution and a lower deforestation rate in these regions. The local production of these cookstoves provides jobs for hundreds of people.
Carbon reduction projects in Uganda and Ethiopia will provide millions of liters of safe drinking water and will improve public health by reducing water-borne diseases and indoor air pollution. Clean water does not require boiling for disinfection, reducing the need for wood from already degraded landscapes and reducing carbon emissions.
In India a project in the Dewas region will reduce the demand-supply gap and provide renewable energy to more than 50,000 households. It will also provide a mobile medical unit in 24 villages, giving diagnosis and medicines free of charge twice a month. Additional funding will be provided to educational programs and improving sanitation facilities in five local schools to maximize the social impact.