Dalberg, a leading social impact advisory group, announced a ramping up of its Climate Commitment today, sharing the steps it is taking to reduce carbon emissions and counter the environmental damage of plastics.
These measures will contribute to Dalberg’s adherence to the Paris Climate Agreement to ensure it does not contribute to the warming of the planet beyond 1.5 degrees. Dalberg has signed the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees, an open letter signed by 203 companies so far that commit to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reach net-zero by 2050 for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Across the scope of its efforts, Dalberg first seeks to reduce emissions and waste, then to offset what cannot be reduced. The firm began implementing its climate commitment by offsetting all 2019 emissions to achieve CarbonNeutral® and Plastic Neutral company status. In addition, we commit to be a laboratory for emerging and innovative climate solution providers to test their proposition with us. We will lean forward in engaging such firms to help us with achieving our targets. In doing so, we hope to help new innovations emerge and come to market earlier.
Three key programs underpin Dalberg’s climate commitment: reducing carbon emissions and plastic use, offsetting emissions and waste through project support, and applying a climate lens to all Dalberg projects. These programs will support the firm in upholding its mission to create a more inclusive and sustainable world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential.
Dalberg Partner and Climate Lead, Gaurav Gupta said, “Crises like COVID-19 show how we can come together in a crisis and reshape our behaviours for the common good. The Climate crisis requires even more of us. With this commitment we are taking the first of many steps to walk the talk, foster innovation and bring our clients along on the journey towards shaping a more sustainable future.”
1. Measuring and reducing our carbon and plastic footprint
Recognising that reductions must form the first step of any climate plan, Dalberg commits to measure all internal impact on the environment, and to form science-based targets to reduce the firm’s footprint in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Reduce per-person carbon emissions by 55% by 2025 from the firm’s 2019 baseline
- Reduce per-person plastics footprint by 30% by 2025 from the firm’s 2019 baseline
2a. Offsetting carbon emissions by supporting diverse communities and solutions
Building on the initiatives put into place to offset all of the firm’s 2019 emissions, Dalberg will continue to offset future emissions using high-quality ICROA-approved carbon credits as a certified CarbonNeutral® company with Natural Capital Partners and sustainability reporting experts Ecometrica.
Through the Natural Capital Partners and Ecometrica partnerships, Dalberg has gained insights on its environmental footprint and subsequently invested in five emissions-offsetting projects. These projects were chosen to reflect the firm’s global footprint and its drive to support diverse communities and solutions.
- In Colombia, support is being provided to the Chocó-Darién region to fund community-based engagements that prevent deforestation
- In India, installation of renewable solar water heaters in urban areas is occurring with help from Dalberg’s carbon-offset credits
- In Kenya, support is provided for local water infrastructure and mangrove restoration in the coastal regions
- In Mexico, afforestation of teak through sustainable forestry and mangrove restoration projects are funded with help from Dalberg
- In Rwanda, support is being channeled to solar PV-installation initiatives at a youth village. This clean technology will provide a sustainable power source for the local community
2b. Offsetting plastics usage through the collection and recycling of waste at other sources
With reduction efforts in place across the firm, all remaining plastics usage will be offset through the sponsorship of additional high-quality, verified plastics collection and recycling through rePurpose Global. We are excited to work with rePurpose Global, a new and innovative firm pioneering in the plastics offset space:
- Through its partnership with rePurpose Global, Dalberg has invested in the first recycling facility of its kind in Kenya to ensure the collection and recycling of single-use polypropylene containers, a challenging waste stream otherwise too low-value to be reclaimed from the environment. The facility, run by TakaTaka Solutions, will ensure that an amount of plastic waste equivalent to Dalberg’s plastic consumption is collected and recycled, where this waste would otherwise be landfilled, burnt, or dumped into the environment
3. Applying a climate lens to all Dalberg projects
Across all of its projects around the globe, Dalberg will incorporate a geography- and sector-appropriate ‘climate lens’. This will mean adding meaningful recommendations and on occasions also making tough trade-offs. In all Dalberg projects, the potential for positive social impact is assessed, and when applying a climate lens, this means:
- Dalberg’s aim will be to never consider or propose solutions that would contribute to moving a country away from its own national targets on carbon intensity of growth. This may also mean turning away certain work that comes at too great a cost to the environment.
- Where possible, the firm’s recommendations will include additional options that optimize for climate outcomes even where this is not the central question asked by the client
Dalberg has undertaken a suite of projects focused specifically on climate change. Examples include working with the WWF to quantify the plastics pollution in the Mediterranean, partnering with the ClimateWorks Foundation to identify opportunities for climate philanthropy in Africa, and working with a consortium of some of India’s largest foundations to bring together the India Climate Collaborative, which aims to address the country’s vulnerabilities to the climate crisis.
Dalberg Advisors Global Managing Partner Edwin Macharia said, “At Dalberg, we are especially concerned about the impact on the world’s poorest. The people least responsible for creating the climate crisis will be the ones hardest hit by the consequences. We hope this commitment serves to not only add to our own internal efforts to build a more sustainable world, but also encourages other organizations to think about what they might be able to do to protect the environment and minimize the effects emissions will have on the world’s most vulnerable.”
Dalberg Emeritus Global Managing Partner Yana Kakar said, “Dalberg’s climate commitment is both a response to one of the most defining challenges of our time, as well as to the desires of our staff. In 2019, an internal poll revealed that 98% of team members wanted the firm to take greater action on climate and the environment.”
Dalberg Partner Oren Ahoobim said, “We see our climate work as part of a broader movement to bring about more just economic, social, and environmental systems. We will do our part, and look forward to working with like-minded partners on this important journey. We are committed to learning, sharing and taking even more ambitious steps in the future and to helping others do the same.”
Dalberg is a leading social impact advisory group that brings together – strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges. We work collaboratively with communities, institutions, governments, and corporations to develop solutions that create impact at scale.
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