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Carbon offsetting: developing sustainable energy by building biodigesters in India

On 24 January 2018, BNP Paribas, a major player in energy transition, and the GoodPlanet Foundation launched a 10-year programme for volunteer carbon offsetting for solidarity that will improve the living conditions of nearly 70,000 people. We take a look at the programme in India where 13,000 biodigesters are currently being installed.

Understanding the benefits of biodigesters for the population

In India, millions of tonnes of animal waste and agricultural residue from breeding activities are produced every year. Most of it is burnt, or left to decompose in pits, adding to greenhouse gas emissions.

Many families use traditional wood stoves for cooking. This is responsible for depleting the biodiversity, and contributes to climate change. In addition, indoor air pollution in homes causes the premature death of over 4 million people through respiratory or eye contamination. 

Developing sustainable solutions like using biodigesters to recycle waste is essential for improving families' living conditions. By producing biogas, families can rely on clean, renewable energy for cooking purposes, as well as natural, innovative, high-quality fertilisers to develop an alternative, more productive agriculture.

The process consists of producing methane through the decomposing of organic materials such as manure, in airless conditions, which is called anaerobic digestion. The structure acts as a digester and gas storage chamber; Each unit consists of a biodigester plus cooker that is adapted and sized to fit household needs. 

One unit produces enough energy to cook daily meals for 5 people. The project will provide biogas reservoirs for 13,000 rural families in India. 

BNP Paribas, carbon-neutral since the end of 2017

Reducing our CO2 emissions

By the end of 2017, the Group had cut back its direct environmental footprint by 20.7%, by reducing energy consumption and business travelling by its employees. Together, we intend to pursue these efforts to reach our target of 25% by 2020.

Using low-carbon electricity

Using green, low-carbon electricity also helps. In 2017, renewable electricity represented 26.2% of the power consumed in the Group’s buildings.

Offsetting our incompressible emissions

The Group has subscribed to a carbon-offsetting programme in India with the GoodPlanet Foundation to set up 13,000 biodigesters. The project will deliver its first Gold Standard carbon credits in December 2019. 

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