Celebrating Five Years as a CarbonNeutral® Company

By: Steven Tallman

Today, on behalf of Bain’s global Green Teams and in honor of World Environment Day on Sunday, we celebrate Bain’s fifth year as a 100% CarbonNeutral® company. The designation applies to all of our global operations—every flight, train and taxi Bainies take to visit clients, and every kilowatt-hour of energy required to keep the lights on across Bain’s 53 offices.

Achieving CarbonNeutral® certification is no small feat, and it’s an accomplishment few companies can claim. With the help of our global Green Teams, we’ve aggressively pursued local initiatives that minimize our carbon footprint, including recycling, reducing paper usage and conserving electricity. These efforts complement firmwide initiatives like server consolidation, increased teleconferencing and green power purchasing. We then offset the unavoidable portion of our footprint by supporting renewable energy technologies and conservation initiatives around the world. To date, we have supported 22 carbon offset projects in eight countries to fully counterbalance our global footprint. These projects are only financially viable because of the carbon-finance revenue they receive from companies like Bain.

Our carbon offset projects reflect Bain’s geographic diversity and represent a range of scalable environmental solutions. Here’s a look at some of the projects we’re supporting this year.

Brazil: Creating market incentives to conserve Amazon rainforests and support local communities

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  • The destruction of tropical forests releases about as much carbon dioxide as the entire global transport sector
  • Companies like Bain can help curb this trend by providing economic incentives to communities and local groups in the Amazon basin to protect these critical ecosystems
  • Bain supports a project that prevents deforestation in about 86,500 acres (35,000 hectares) of pristine rain forest in Brazil’s Acre state, home to the Amazon basin and some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats
  • A key part of the project involves working with farmers in the forest to give them formal rights to individual parcels of land in return for assistance in preventing deforestation
  • This project also provides training to improve agricultural productivity, supports local health and education programs, and employs people from the local community

US: Converting landfill gas to electricity while creating new wetlands

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  • Methane, a greenhouse gas emitted from landfills, has a global warming potential that is more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period
  • Bain supports an award-winning project that captures and destroys the methane from landfill gas at a non-hazardous waste facility, turning it into renewable energy for nearby homes
  • The project has also created 600 acres (about 240 hectares) of wetland preserve, which supports local biodiversity and provides an outdoor recreational area for communities

India: Creating zero-emissions wind power and local jobs

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  • Located in India’s Rajasthan and Gujarat states, a Bain-supported wind power project delivers zero-emissions renewable electricity to India’s northern, eastern, western and northeastern grids
  • The wind farm consists of more than 200 turbines that generate approximately 375,000 MWh of clean renewable electricity annually
  • The wind farm has also contributed to the local economy and livelihood of residents through the creation of jobs. Another plus: The wind farm improves local air quality by reducing air pollution coal-fired power plants create.

To achieve certification, we collected data across our global operations on our electricity usage, recycling and landfill waste, as well as on all our travel for both internal and client trips (flights, hotels, taxis, rental cars, and the like). We then calculated our emissions for carbon and five other greenhouse gases in order to understand the investment required to be fully “net-zero emissions.” Our calculations have been verified by a carbon footprinting specialist, Ecometrica, and our offsetting program is delivered by Natural Capital Partners, a global leader in this space. Our carbon neutral certification is underpinned by the CarbonNeutral® Protocol, which provides a robust standard for carbon neutral claims and is updated annually to reflect the latest scientific and industry best practice. A special thank you goes out to Bainies across the globe who had a hand in this accomplishment.

Bain has a long and proud history of driving results beyond the boardroom and of giving back to our communities. By continuing on this journey we hope to be a role model for our industry and for the broader community with our leadership on issues that affect us all.

Steven Tallman is a partner in the San Francisco office of Bain & Company and a leader in Bain’s Social Impact and Digital practices. In addition to having led client teams in a broad cross-section of industries, he serves as vice president of Global Operations.

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