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Program sponsor Vestergaard Frandsen will be reimbursed with carbon credits
Close to one million LifeStraw Family water filters will be donated and installed in households in the Western Province of Kenya beginning on this week. The province-wide, door-to-door free distribution program will last five weeks and will reach about 90% of all homes without access to safe municipal water sources. It will provide at least ten years worth of safe drinking water for Kenyan residents and do so without any cost to local residents, governmental agencies or donor groups.
Vestergaard Frandsen fully funded the Carbon For Water program, which will be reimbursed with carbon financing. This unique funding model gives companies in developed countries potential revenue, in the form of carbon credits, for sponsoring programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. Carbon credits can then be sold to carbon credit buyers that want to reduce their carbon footprint or improve their environmental stewardship. The revenue generated will largely be reinvested into the project to make it sustainable for at least ten years.
Each LifeStraw Family water filter delivers at least 18,000 liters of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-quality drinking water, enough to supply a family of four with safe drinking water for at least three years. Kenyans who receive them will no longer have to treat water by boiling it using wood fuel, which generates greenhouse gasses. This behavioral change is expected to produce more than two million tons of carbon emission reductions annually.
Vestergaard Frandsen is making the initial investment of more than $25 million needed to launch the program. The Carbon For Water program holds the potential for long-term sustainability of a point-of-use water purifiers program. The program will be coordinated in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
As the supplier of the water filters, Vestergaard Frandsen will earn the carbon credits. Since the company only gets paid for the performance of the water filters in reducing emissions, it has a strong incentive to invest the revenue it earns back into the program – to maintain and replenish the LifeStraw Family water filters and to educate residents on proper and consistent usage.
Vestergaard Frandsen has received ongoing collaborative support for the Carbon For Water Program from the United Nations Development Programme. In February, after a rigorous validation process, the program was approved as a voluntary project under the prestigious Gold Standard certification scheme.
Once the program is operational, monitoring by an accredited independent auditing agency will take place every six months. The auditor will verify that the emission reductions are accurate, and carbon credits will only be issued after each verification.