Westminster Briefing and our sister company Westminster Explained are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and offsetting those emissions we do produce. We are working with the Carbon Neutral Company to achieve our target of reducing our carbon footprint by 15% year on year. We will be working with suppliers, reviewing our systems and procedures and finding ways of reducing the waste we produce. We are also working to offset the carbon we do use in three ways:
The carbon that we use as a business will be offset on clean energy projects in the developing world. This allows our business to carry the Carbon Neutral Office certification.
The carbon which is produced through the events that we run will be offset. This means that the events that we run will carry the Carbon Neutral Event certification.
Finally, the carbon footprint which is produced through the printing of publications will be offset and will carry the Carbon Neutral Publication certification.
As a business we are supporting the Uchindile-Mapanda Reforestation Project in Tanzania.
This project involves the reforestation of degraded land in Tanzania to sequester carbon emissions from the atmosphere. The emissions reductions have been verified to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA). In addition to its emission reduction activities, the project is making a significant contribution to the local communities around the forest.
Uchindile and Chogo – teachers’ houses and health centre
The project developer has continued to fund several projects for the local community, including investments in local healthcare and education provision for the residents and project workers. Schools in both Uchindile and the nearby village of Chogo had a lack of accomodation for teachers in the villages, meaning staff had to reside in other towns nearby and commute a long way in to work.
By investing in new properties, Uchindile can house four teachers and Chogo now has facilities for two more teachers. Uchindile has also been able to renovate its local health dispensary, as well as building a new maternity ward for the community. It is expected that with the combination of improved teacher accommodation and health facilities, a doctor will be able to be employed permanently in the village in the near future.
Mapanada – nurse’s house
The village of Mapanda has a health centre which also serves neighbouring Chogo village. As Mapanda is the largest village near the Uchindile and Mapanda Reforestation Project, the village health centre has struggled to meet villagers’ requirements for healthcare.
The project has invested in the construction of a nurse’s house, helping to retain staff and improving the regularity of medical care for the local community.
Kitete – village governmental office
Currently in Kitete village, there is no village government building at all. This has meant that village government meetings and general administration have rarely occurred as regularly as they should have. The development of a village government office will provide more impetus to the local village government about carrying out their duties and improving village governance.
In addition, the land registry, which will be designated in the same office, will mean that the local government will be able to start processing land rights for the local villagers so their rights are formally recognised through land title. Through having land title to their parcels of land, other opportunities will then be available to the title holders, such as being able to use the land title as collateral to borrow money from local banks.