16 August  2011 – Global projects firm, Sinclair, Knight and Merz has launched a clean development fund to reduce or offset carbon emissions.

It has invited its staff to identify innovative projects worthy of investment by the fund to reduce or offset the firm’s emissions.

These projects could develop through a range of mechanisms, including capital investments in client projects or provision of consulting and advice in return for a capital or carbon reduction stake in a project.

Renewable energy initiatives, such as biomass, wind and solar power projects in developing countries are expected to be high on the list of prospective investment opportunities.

The firm will benchmark itself against the clean development mechanism, one of the mechanisms defined by the Kyoto Protocol.

As a result SKM has set an initial internal price of carbon at $15 tonne and is expected to accumulate hundreds of thousands of investment dollars in the first year of operation. Chief executive officer and managing director Paul Dougas said:

“We know our people are passionate about supporting our activities in this area, and we’re in a wonderful position to share our knowledge and experiences with our clients.

“We want to be a proactive party in this, not just to continue to buy green energy but to go further and proactively develop clean energy sources and sustainable solutions that have widespread benefits.” Chief sustainability officer, Nick Fleming, added, “While SKM’s total emissions in themselves are not that significant, taking action can be.

“By showing leadership to tackle greenhouse gas emission reductions, we can trigger and inspire the actions of others. We can learn by doing, which means that our insights can be translated to the benefit of our clients and others,” Mr Fleming said.

In 2008 the firm made a commitment to cut its emissions by 30 per cent per capita in three years and has cut carbon emissions from about  5.7 tonnes per person to 3.7 tonnes per full-time equivalent employee.

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