It was an idea that had been going around in his head for several years. A calculator that would measure the amount of emissions that he generated when using his car. While studying for a master’s degree in strategic business management, Edgar Casal, director of Audi in Mexico, saw calculators of this type to measure the emissions generated by people consuming red meat or taking a flight, but he had not seen something landed on cars. , which was just what he works on.
This year the subsidiary of the German brand in Mexico managed to launch an emissions calculator that allows users to measure the amount of emissions generated by the use of their car and buy carbon credits to offset that impact.
Carbon offset credits or bonds emerged in the late 1980s through a first attempt to mitigate climate change and represent a reduction in emissions of one metric ton of CO2 or other greenhouse gas. This practice, which was initially adopted by large corporations, who bought thousands of bonds to compensate for excess emissions in order to avoid paying fines, is now being extended to end consumers that work as donations.
Audi has enabled a carbon footprint calculator on its website that allows users to determine how much CO2 they emit when driving their car, depending on the weight, the size of the unit and how much they use it. The driver can offset his emissions by purchasing carbon credits that come from forests in Oaxaca. They are 250 pesos for each ton of CO2 emitted that is sought to be compensated. In return, the client gets a certificate that is tax deductible.
Casal did the exercise: by using his vehicle he emits about 3,800 tons of carbon dioxide each year. To compensate for it and be a neutral driver in emissions, he bought bonds equivalent to 4,000 tons of CO2, for which he paid 1,000 pesos.
The maximum limit that a client can offset through the purchase of carbon credits is 10,000 tons or 2,500 pesos, to avoid possible money laundering practices.
The profits from the sale of these carbon credits will be invested in the reforestation of forests in Oaxaca and will benefit the Carbioin project managed by the Integrator of Indigenous and Peasant Communities of Oaxaca (ICICO), which works with 12 indigenous and peasant communities from four regions.
Customers will also have the option of donating to Pronatura Mexico the equivalent of planting a tree in the Valley of Mexico.
Casal explains that voluntary development projects can offer other social or environmental benefits in addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as poverty reduction, habitat preservation, and increased local living standards. A company that is able to promote participation in fringe benefit programs reaps valuable public relations gains for its shareholders.
Audi is one of the car brands that has made global commitments to transition its operations to some form of carbon neutrality, meaning net-zero GHG emissions in the near future. “This initiative was born with the intention of linking with this strategy that we have at a global level to try to be CO2 neutral in the value chain,” says Casal.