Guy Pulham CEO of UKIFDA - web

The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) has joined a carbon compensation scheme and teamed up with Portland Fuel in a bid to offset its carbon impact.

The trade association has been participating in the TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting) Program in Kenya since March 1, 2020 to compensate for the carbon emissions associated with its operations.

It has also joined forces with Portland Fuel to be able to offer this carbon compensation programme to all its members, both full and associate members, across the UK and Ireland.

“The environment is vitally important and matters to us all, and we feel strongly that UKIFDA and the liquid fuels industry have a key role to play in leading by example when it comes to climate change,” says Guy Pulham, UKIFDA chief executive.

“We want to reduce our carbon footprint - which is why we are delighted to have invested in the TIST Program through our partnership with Portland Fuel and their carbon compensation programme - which is available to all our members.

“As a trade association, we spend much of our time lobbying the government for support on the many green-centric initiatives our industry is undertaking or wants to pursue.

“Recently, we have been lobbying for the inclusion of biofuels as part of the solution to achieve the government’s decarbonisation targets. A number of sectors including construction, transport, agriculture, and domestic heating rely on liquid fuels as a cost-effective and efficient fuel, which is why we are passionate to reduce carbon emissions in the meantime.

“TIST is a combined reforestation and sustainable development project in Kenya that is carried out by subsistence farmers. The scheme already supports the reforestation and biodiversity efforts of more than 65,000 subsistence farmers.

“As part of our commitment to carbon emissions reductions, we have teamed up with Portland Fuel to offer this carbon compensation programme to all our members.

“It is a simple and affordable scheme whereby Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs), often referred to as carbon offsets, are purchased to neutralise the carbon footprint of our industry. These VCUs are purchased from specific carbon reducing projects and a certificate is provided to the customer or business owner to say how much CO2 has been removed from the environment as a result.

“UKIFDA members are able to calculate their carbon emissions as part of this scheme, using Portland Fuel’s carbon calculator. Based on fuel grade, annual usage, and the percentage of CO2 emissions you want to reduce, you are given an equivalent CO2 tonnage - which allows you to offset the carbon by purchasing VCUs. This same process can be followed if our members want to calculate the carbon footprint of customers to give them the option to offset their carbon emissions.

“This carbon compensation scheme does not mean that we stop the transitional work towards biofuels. We will continue to do all we can to persuade governments that the liquid fuels industry and its customers can and should play their part in achieving net zero carbon emissions in UK and Ireland.”

Portland MD James Spencer acknowledged the value of working with UKIFDA: “For Portland, it was important we partnered with a national and far-sighted trade association to get our carbon compensation programme off the ground. We know UKIFDA well and are delighted to be working with them on this ground-breaking initiative.”