Responding to carbon reduction trends and government policies while promoting green energy projects, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) yesterday teamed up with Sunnyfounder (陽光伏特家) and Taiwan Green Energy for Charity Association (台灣綠能公益發展協會) to launch the first charitable carbon credit program in Taiwan. The joint efforts reflect the nation’s transition to net zero carbon emissions and serve as an innovative environment, social and governance (ESG) approach for enterprises to pursue carbon trading.
The announcement came as the National Development Council in March unveiled the government’s roadmap for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 12 key strategies for achieving that goal. Yesterday, National Development Council Deputy Minister Shih Keh-her (施克和), Executive Yuan’s Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction Deputy Executive Director Alan Lin (林子倫) and Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Shen Chih-hsiu (沈志修) joined the event to witness the launch of the nation’s first carbon credits for charity.
“Citigroup is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and is expected to achieve US$1 trillion in sustainable financing by 2030 following the direction of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Citibank hopes to promote social growth and economic progress through its core financial strength, and realize corporate sustainability,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said.
Photo courtesy of Citibank Taiwan Ltd
“Citibank Taiwan adheres to the corporate philosophy of ‘practice sustainable development and connect partnerships’ to give back to society and the environment. We have actively combined green energy and charity, and exert a positive financial influence,” Mok said. “Four years ago, Citibank assisted social welfare groups in building a solar photovoltaic system and created the first charitable renewable energy certificate in Taiwan, while at the same time inviting corporate customers to participate in the project to deepen our partnerships.”
“At the end of last year, we created a new model of green energy charities by working with Sunnyfounder and Taiwan Green Energy for Charity Association to assist the Development Center for the Spinal Cord Injured (脊髓損傷潛能發展中心) in replacing high energy-consuming lighting. We aim to provide the first charitable carbon credit program in Taiwan and let the green economy become a sustainable force to help social welfare groups in the hope that more companies will join the environmental charities in the future,” Mok said.
“The charitable carbon credit model launched by Citibank Taiwan and Sunnyfounder has not only successfully demonstrated how companies obtain carbon credits, but also specifically responded to the government’s 12 strategies for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, bringing a positive influence to society,” Shih said.
Lin said the goal of net zero transformation depends on the government’s actions and cooperation by the public and private sectors.
“The charitable carbon credit model implemented by Citibank Taiwan and Sunnyfounder therefore aligns with the government’s net-zero policy and should bring positive effects to the nation’s energy development,” Lin said.
At yesterday’s event, Shen talked about the progress of the latest revision of the “climate change response act (氣候變遷因應法)” and shed some light on the government’s plans for domestic carbon trading. He also reminded Taiwanese companies of the challenges and opportunities in the global green supply chains.
Sunnyfounder cofounder Chen Hui-ping (陳惠萍) said the company is the first green energy retailer in Taiwan and is committed to making energy sustainability part of our daily life.
“With the advent of the era of carbon pricing, Sunnyfounder provides green power trading services and helps companies implement innovative ESG action plans through our green energy charities and carbon credit models,” Chen said.
“Since 2015, Sunnyfounder has responded to the GW100+ green energy campaign by innovating green energy charity models and launched 22 green energy action plans in Taiwan — a collaboration of more than 11,000 people and 20 well-known domestic enterprises — to support more than 3,000 disadvantaged children, elderly people and people with disabilities. The company aims to respond to the government’s policy of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and help companies achieve ESG goals, thereby strengthening sustainable competitiveness under the trend of net zero carbon emissions,” Chen said.
Through the assistance of the Taiwan Green Energy for Charity Association, the carbon credits obtained by the charitable model will be sold to enterprises with carbon reduction needs, with the proceeds continuously going to public welfare projects to help expand the social impact of carbon reduction actions, Citibank Taiwan said.
In this Citibank-Sunnyfounder carbon credit program, the association will help sell the Development Center for the Spinal Cord Injured’s carbon credits to the well-known Taiwanese B Corp company Greenvines Biotech Co (綠藤生機) at NT$2,000 per tonne, which is expected to help Greenvines achieve carbon reduction goals and create social values, it said.
“The concept of sustainability is the core of Greenvines’ business, and we continue to look for ways and means that are better for the environment. Therefore, Greenvines is honored to participate in this innovative ESG action plan by taking the lead in purchasing charitable carbon credits,” said Evelyn Liao (廖怡雯), cofounder and chief operating officer at Greenvines.
Citibank said the charitable carbon credit program is a positive demonstration of Taiwan’s moves toward net zero carbon emissions and energy transition. With the aid of corporate resources, it helps install high-efficiency energy-saving lighting at institutions for people with disabilities, save NT$1.3 million in electricity expenses for social welfare organizations in the next 10 years, and achieve about 180 tonnes in carbon reduction which is equivalent to reducing emissions by planting 1,500 trees per year, with additional income from selling carbon rights, it said.
In addition, this program encourages an innovative way of adopting corporate ESG and highlights a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as global partnership (Goal 17), good health and well-being (Goal 3), affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11) and climate action (Goal 13), the bank said.
In 2018, Citibank Taiwan and Sunnyfounder entered into a partnership with the St Camillus Long-term Care Center in Yilan County to build a 22 kilowatt-peak (kWp) solar energy system, helping more than 135 elderly people obtain sustainable long-term care services. It also enables the care center to produce renewable energy for its own consumption and sell excess supply through a domestic energy certificate exchange platform. In 2019, Citibank engaged in a fundraising activity to help St Camillus Center for Intellectual Disability build a 23kWp solar energy system.
The two centers’ solar energy systems are expected to generate a total of about 764,000kWh of electricity in 20 years, Citibank said. The overall benefit of green energy development would be as high as NT$3.644 million, while cutting about 403,000kg of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to planting 1,842 trees, the bank said.
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