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How do we verify carbon reductions? – Andrew Griffiths

Why Planet Mark is making businesses better with sustainability certifications

Podcast Summary

We’re all trying to reach net zero, but how exactly are we validating that process? Andrew Griffiths might have the answer. As the Director of Policy and Partnerships at Planet Mark, Andrew helps companies with carbon verification and certifies businesses on their net zero journey. He is also the Chair of the National Sustainability Task Force at the Institute of Directors and a TEDx speaker, bringing a wealth of knowledge on sustainable business and policy. ‘

In this episode, we talk about how Planet Mark is moving the needle on CO2 emissions and Andrew’s take on our energy future. We even chitchat about things like the Royal Family or the recent (and sometimes scary) surge in AI:

  • Planet Mark provides sustainability certifications to businesses, allowing them to understand their carbon footprint and find viable paths toward reductions. Thanks to their diligent carbon verification process, the organization is one in ten worldwide that is officially partnered with the UN’s Race To Zero campaign. This means that if a business pledges a net zero target with Planet Mark, their reduction plan is automatically recognized as compliant with the UN. This removes a lot of the uncertainty companies currently face when tackling emissions, allowing them to get back to business. 
  • In order to be recertified with Planet Mark, companies must prove that reductions are met year after year in a data-verified process. Last year alone, Planet Mark helped reduce CO2 emissions by 300,000 tons, averaging out to 12% per company. Planet Mark also provides tools to their customers to talk authentically about their reductions, magnifying their impact by making the conversation credible and evidence-based  no greenwashing here! 
  • According to Andrew, the future of energy must include a mix of intermittent and consistent sources. We have to build as much wind and solar capacity as possible (in fact, these sources are often already the cheapest option). But to deal with intermittency issues, we also need to build up our storage capability, whether that is hydrogen or batteries or some new tech still in development. Where storage doesn’t solve the problem, we need to look at sustainable energy sources — things like nuclear or low carbon fuels. 
  • What’s Andrew’s take on AI? Excited, but with a large dose of caution. He sees emerging bots as a great tool for many things, but also recognizes that we need to identify possible negative ramifications. In one survey, 50% of participating AI researchers agreed that there is a 10% or greater chance that we will go extinct as the result of AI. While this may seem a little extreme, the sentiment remains — we should make sure that we know what we’re getting ourselves into.

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