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Microsoft Buys SA’s Wonderbag Carbon Credits

The Wonderbag initiative achieves Voluntary Carbon Standard and Microsoft backing

wonderbag-carbon-credits01-500x184Having achieved accreditation, Natural Balance, the driving force behind the prodigious Wonderbag – a heat retention cooker that on average saves 150 kilograms of CO2 a year in South Africa – has retired its first carbon credit harvest to Microsoft. The purchase of 20,000 tonnes of Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs) is part of a global commitment by the organisation to become carbon neutral.

GCX Africa assisted Natural Balance in taking the project through the rigorous validation, verification and issuance process, and Natural Balance has been awarded the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) for its South African based activity by the DNV Climate Change Services.

Driven predominately by global corporations, the popularity of the voluntary market marks a growing shift by organisations such as Microsoft and Unilever – an existing Natural Balance partner – to opt for carbon offsetting that also carries tangible social or environmental benefits. This ‘charismatic’ carbon is generated through community-based projects such as Wonderbag and has sustainable economic benefits, which are particularly attractive to organisations with social or environmental goals.

Sarah Collins, Founder of Natural Balance said: “With the CDM market demand and prices collapsing, we have had to be flexible and trade on the voluntary market. This first harvest of Wonderbag carbon credits demonstrates the potential of dual business models. Not only do we provide a positive social impact through our innovative ‘Wonderbag’ solution for households across the developing world, but we also help fulfill global social ambitions of multi-nationals.”

“The scalability of the Wonderbag is also showing that impressive economic development is taking place within these communities and – on very large scales – can make this the game changer that the world is seeking in adaption solutions.”

Each Wonderbag used in SA can prevent the emission of 150 kg CO2 each year, even if only used three times a week. For the first year, this is the equivalent to the annual emissions of over 10 000 South African households, or about 25,000 return flights between London and New York.  Since September 2011, Natural Balance has created over 2,000 temporary and permanent jobs in local communities by establishing factories which produce Wonderbags.

Emission reductions from the South African project are expected to increase significantly in future years as more Wonderbags are distributed throughout the country

GCX Africa is proud to be apart of this landmark project.

Should you be interested in learning more about carbon project development and registration or if you would like to assess a project you think may be viable please contact Kevin James or attend GCX’s 1 day course for potential carbon project developers, The Introduction to Carbon Projects.

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