Helping to Change the World: Being Carbon Neutral

In Adobe we consider that a company must be part of its community in every sense of the word. As part of the community it is necessary to play a role helping and contributing with our own two cents for the sake of the progress and improvement of the country. This is why we take our contribution in terms of environmental, social, sporting and cultural issues very seriously.

To date, Adobe Rent a Car proudly has a wide range of Corporate Social Responsibility projects. This time we will share our efforts to be a Carbon Neutral company.

What does it mean to be Carbon Neutral?

Being Carbon Neutral means that the end result of an activity, process or project such as the production of a good, the provision of a service or its consumption, has not emitted more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than those it has been able to capture or, remove it entirely.

How does Adobe become a Carbon Neutral Company?

At Adobe we measure the impact we generate on the operation of all our offices nationwide. We also take actions to minimize the footprint to be Carbon Neutral by means of the fuel saving.

We acquired car carrier trailers to move several vehicles at a time and reduce fuel consumption. In addition, we have acquired about 1,100 tons of Forest Carbon Credits, to offset the company’s emissions, purchased to the government, administered by FONAFIFO.

How have you organized to achieve this?

Mariana Ugalde, our head of the Department of Corporate Social Responsibility explains that the first step is to measure our current carbon footprint:

“As an organization we developed a whole process of measuring how much we´ll pollute with our daily operations. We measure gasoline, diesel, lubricants, local air travel, electricity, sewage water. We measure everything because all this is going to generate a trace.”

Important data and numbers regarding our carbon footprint

By 2015 Adobe generated a footprint of 1,152 tons of CO2 equivalent (it is called “equivalent” because there are other types of greenhouse gases that are also considered as methane, nitrous fluorides, etc.).

At the end of the measurements of the impact generated by our operations, we proceeded to find ways to compensate and minimize this footprint. The first thing we did was buying tons of CO2 equivalent to the gases emitted and, additionally, we started taking several actions to reduce our footprint.

What other carbon footprint minimization strategies do you carry out?

Adobe Rent a Car wants to establish itself as a carbon neutral organization. Because of our type of business it is inevitable to create pollution, but we seek to generate actions to reduce our impact. We want our operation to strike the balance between what we have polluted and actions of both reduction and compensation.

Two entities are responsible for granting Neutral Carbon certifications and are authorized: Earth University and Inteco. Adobe Rent a Car has been verified as Carbon Neutral since 2011 by Earth University.

Carbon Neutral certification applies to all Adobe offices and the fleet in its entirety. It also takes into consideration the footprint that all employees will leave within the day to day operations. The verification is done once a year and it is a voluntary declaration.

Is the purchase of CO2 enough to be Carbon Neutral?

No. The truth is that you cannot pollute, generate a footprint and just buy the CO2 equivalent. The most important thing is to generate awareness within the organization and implement other reduction activities among all employees. Also, the company needs to influence other companies to make efforts in order to minimize their own footprints.

Other efforts that helped minimize the carbon footprint

During 2014 part of our reduction programs were the opening of two offices. The idea was to serve clients concentrated in specific areas to avoid unnecessary fuel costs. These two offices were Cartago and Uvita.

By not having to continually move cars into those areas, we started saving gas, and minimizing road congestion. When reorganizing this logistics of transfer we noticed benefits in regards to the environmental issue and reduced fuel consumption.

By 2015, we realized that our footprint increased due to air conditioners. Considering that we have about 1,800 units in our fleet, every time we had to mechanically repair the air conditioning the technician opened the air conditioning pipe and the gas was released directly into the environment. We had to do something, but in the market there were not many options available.

We opted to train our collaborators at the INA (Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje) regarding issues of refrigeration and air conditioners. It was there where we found out that there is a machine that allows a much more environmentally friendly procedure. Instead of opening and letting out the coolant, rather it loaded it. We trained our partners in the use of this machine, which functions as a compressor that pulls the air conditioning, retains it and then reuses it. It not only does not pollute, but recycles.

In 2016, we purchased the car carrier trailers. With these car carriers we save fuel mobilizing several cars at the same time and we generate less environmental contamination. In addition, instead of having 6 individual vehicles circulating, we have one to cause less road congestion.

Costa Rica as Carbon Neutral

Adobe’s efforts to be Carbon Neutral follow Costa Rica´s guidelines to become a Carbon Neutral country by 2021. Adobe Rent a Car then joins this goal and contributes to it through all these efforts.

Can Costa Rica achieve its goal? Probably yes, but it will be easier and quicker to reach the goal if more companies and the citizens themselves commit to this initiative.