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Sequoia Scientific

Sequoia working to offset our CO2 emissions

May 24, 2021

When your company name has Sequoia in it, and when you give away 100’s of Sequoia seedlings at trade shows every year, you start thinking about your CO2 footprint. For 2019 and 2020 Sequoia has been trying to estimate our CO2 footprint using the MyClimate calculator: https://co2.myclimate.org/en/offset_further_emissions – our data looks like this:

Sequoia's CO2 emissions 2019, 2020

 20192020
Number of full-time positions1516
Heated area (m2) 425425
Power consumption (kWh)70,00070,000
Employee commute (km)145,40063,600
Business trips driving (km)5,0000
Hotel nights10030
Short-haul flights (<3 hr)1818
Medium-haul flights (3-6 hr) 120
Long-haul flights (6+ hr) 160
Meals served for staff795200
Snacks purchased for staff (kg) 9140
Water cooler (l) 365365
Coffee & Tea (cups) 6,5003,000
Paper printing (kg) 15050
Other printing (kg) 300
Laptops etc.55
Energy (t)6767
Mobility (t)12926
Board (t) 52
Material & Waste (t) 22
Total CO2 (t)20367
Tree equivalent1 1,013335
Trees planted or sponsored2 750500
CO2 emission offset by trees 75%150%

Sequoia’s co-founder and President Emeritus, Dr. Yogi Agrawal, planted 500 trees in WA state in 2019. Sequoia furthermore donated $2,500 for a tree-planting project at the Waldorf School of Bend, OR (https://forestforgood.com/) to plant 250 trees in 2019.

For 2020, Dr. Agrawal furthermore planted another 500 trees in the fall of 2020. As the table shows, with these numbers Sequoia got ¾ of the way towards offsetting our CO2 emissions in 2019 and it seems as if we were CO2 negative for 2020. For 2020 we were obviously ‘helped along’ by the pandemic, as most staff worked from home from end of March 2020 and through the year.

It is clear that the largest amount of our CO2 emissions come from our transportation: Shipping LISSTs to customers around the world, and flying staff to conferences and tradeshows. Most couriers (UPS, FedEx etc.) now offers the option to purchase carbon offsets for your shipping when you set up the shipment. Sequoia has now made it the policy to always include this option in our shipping: When a shipment is initiated and set up by Sequoia, it will include carbon offsets as offered by the shipper. As for traveling to conferences and tradeshows: In the future we do plan to go to *fewer* shows, but go *bigger* at each show (larger booth, not more staff). This will generally mean less flights and fewer shipments of booth material. We also plan to purchase CO2 offsets as offered by most airlines when booking flights.

We do not pretend that the above is the final or best answer to how we best reduce our climate change impact. Figuring out the best way to minimize and/or offset our CO2 footprint is a continuing work in progress.

1) This can be found via e.g., http://www.carbonify.com/carbon-calculator.htm
2) The approximately 600 Sequoia seedlings we give away at shows annually are NOT included here.