Accounting platform Xero announced it has offset 100 per cent of its carbon emissions by investing in carbon certified environmental projects and conservation schemes across the globe, to balance out the carbon emissions produced by its operations and major suppliers for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 (FY19). Xero has also committed to continue to do this in the future.

As part of an initiative called Net Zero @ Xeroannounced in November 2019 – Xero has now invested in carbon offset projects by purchasing carbon credits across three separate projects which are recognised under international standards.

Steve Vamos, CEo, Xero.Source: Supplied

The projects are in New Zealand, Borneo and India and are designed to restore indigenous forests and protect endangered species, soak up carbon dioxide directly from the air and generate clean energy with the aim of reducing future emissions.

At its FY19 earnings announcement in May last year, Xero announced a commitment to invest in social and environmental impact as a key driver of long-term value for the business, and to enhance its positive impact on the planet and society. Xero’s social and environmental impact work includes initiatives focusing on supporting communities, small businesses and a healthy planet.

Xero CEO Steve Vamos said, “Xero takes sustainability very seriously. After focusing our efforts on social and environmental impact in 2019, we’ve been able to achieve a net zero carbon footprint and do so retrospectively for the last financial year.”

Net Zero @ Xero is just one step on our journey to ensure we are doing our part to look after the environment and set ourselves up for long-term sustainability and success. We will be introducing more initiatives to optimise our carbon footprint so that ultimately, we are reducing our impact – not just offsetting it. This includes looking at ways we can deliver efficiencies with our data centre usage through suppliers, global premises, our people and our supply chain,” Vamos said.

“The investments and commitments we are making are driven by our people, customers, partners and shareholders. There is a passionate force across our Xero community that keeps us accountable and striving to keep improving, I’m proud of this and excited about the journey we’re on.”

To achieve net zero emissions for its FY19 carbon footprint, Xero has selected premium forestry offsets for more than two thirds of the total footprint. This is in contrast to what has typically been done by others in the past, who have traditionally used cheaper renewable energy offsets.

The three projects are:

  • Fishermans Bay Conservation Project (New Zealand) – Small-scale project (59 hectares), located near Akaroa, the project is predominantly indigenous forestry recovery, with several high value conservation activities including protecting the breeding habitat of endangered yellow-eyed penguins and extremely rare plants.
  • Katingan Mentaya Project (Borneo) – World leading forestry project that protects critically endangered species and is home to 5-10 per cent of the global population of the Bornean orangutan. This project also contributes to nine of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Biomass Based Cogeneration Project (India) – Small-scale biomass project in India that generates thermal energy from feedstock, sourced from rice husk waste, in the region. As a result of this project activity, two oil fired boilers and a diesel generator have been retired plus less power is now being drawn from the local electricity grid.
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