Group 2

The GABV Secretariat balances out its carbon footprint


11 February 2024

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) Secretariat, headquartered in Amsterdam (Netherlands), has reached a key milestone by managing its carbon footprint for the first time since its foundation in 2009. 

In 2023, the GABV Secretariat conducted its first Greenhouse Gas (GHG) screening. The objective was to better understand the Secretariat’s footprint, disclose it transparently and use this information to manage its footprint proactively in the future. The GABV Secretariat chose Etifor as a technical partner for this task. Etifor is a highly specialized environmental consulting company which puts nature at the heart of decision-making by developing science-based solutions. It is a spin-off of the University of Padova and a certified B Corp. 



Read Etifor’s report


Etifor’s estimate is based on annual GHG emissions related to the main sources of emissions, according to the GHG Protocol. The GABV Secretariat’s GHG emissions for relevant categories have been estimated at 172 tCO2eq. over the course of 2023, divided into the following scopes:

Scope 2 Indirect emissions from purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heat and cooling

The GABV Secretariat rents a 26,83 m2 office at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam; KIT electricity consumption is 100% certified Dutch wind energy, while its natural gas consumption (heating) is fully offset by KIT with Gold Standard carbon credits. Therefore, Etifor considers Scope 2 emissions to be zero.

Scope 3 Category 6: Business travel

During 2023, the GABV Secretariat has flown 146.380 km on short haul flights and 551.900 km on long haul flights. Total estimated emissions for this Scope 3 category are 172 tCO2eq.

While the GABV Secretariat takes steps to minimise travel, as a global movement, it is crucial to spend time together in person to discuss and collaborate. It allows the network and its members to make lasting, positive change a reality. Given this, we consider business travel-related emissions hard to abate and compensate for them by financing meaningful, certified climate mitigation and adaptation forestry projects.

Compensation of residual GHG emissions

In order to compensate for 100% of its residual GHG emissions (172 tCO2eq.), the GABV Secretariat joined the Biodiversity and Climate (BioClima) initiative, a public-private partnership for the conservation of biodiversity and climate change mitigation in the Lombardy Region (Italy) by supporting concrete actions in the regions’ regional parks and protected areas. 

The BioClima initiative represents a true innovation in responsible forest management. It’s the largest public-private partnership in the EU for financing the improvement of ecosystem services; the project aims to improve and restore regional parks and protected areas (e.g., Natura 2000 sites).

The GABV Secretariat financed the removal of 172 tCO2eq. certified with the highest responsible forestry standards and verified by independent third-party auditors. The activities that the GABV Secretariat financed include the containment of alien invasive species threatening the biodiversity of the Po River Forests in the municipality of Martignana di Po (Cremona). Sponsored activities that have led to the certified removal of additional CO2 from the atmosphere include enrichment planting and reforestation of native species (such as oak, ash, elm, and white willow).


Supporting this project via a public-private partnership is a way for the GABV to work with the public sector in the fight against the climate crisis, while also contributing to the protection and restoration of alluvial forests on the riverbanks of Italy’s most important river basin.

Provisionary statement

In 2024, the GABV Secretariat intends to refine its calculations and identify ways to reduce its GHG emissions, in particular, targeting emissions as part of a process of continuous improvement.


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