Zero Impact is LifeGate’s project that calculates, reduces and offsets CO2 emissions generated by people, events, products, businesses and organisations. It contributes to the creation and safeguarding of growing forests, and develops energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.
Everything you need to know about Zero Impact
- The project
- Calculate, reduce and compensate your CO2 emissions
- What is Zero Impact Web
- What guarantees are there
- What are carbon credits
- We answer your questions
Contribute to Zero Impact, make a donation to offset your lifestyle and the CO2 emissions generated by your travel.
For questions any question, write to [email protected]
How it works
There are three steps to take. The first is calculate greenhouse gas emissions generated by a specific activity employing a scientific method based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The second is to reduce excess CO2 by using more efficient technologies, more eco-friendly raw materials or redesigning products. The third is to offset residual emissions by purchasing carbon credits deriving from the creation and safeguarding of growing forests.
The project enjoys the collaboration of universities and partners specialised in Life Cycle Assessment in order to measure environmental impact scientifically, as well as of public authorities, parks and natural reserves for reforestation and land protection activities.
The greenhouse effect is essential for life on Earth. Without it global average temperature would be similar to that of the Arctic Circle: -18°C instead of 14°C.
Problems arise when CO2 emissions caused by human activities, such as the disproportionate burning of fossil fuels, give rise to an excessive increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing climate change.
Producing high levels of CO2 exacerbates the greenhouse effect leading to the increase of average temperatures. This is what is known as global warming.
In order to offset excessive amounts of CO2 it is necessary to increase absorption capacities. In nature these are characteristic of trees: through photosynthesis trees absorb CO2 and release oxygen. In fact, the Kyoto Protocol recognises their value in emissions reduction and the fight against climate change. Two types of intervention are recommended:
- reforestation: planting new trees in areas where they’ve been removed through deforestation;
- afforestation: planting trees in areas that have never been forested before.
In order to absorb the maximum amount of CO2, a tree needs to be in its growing phase, i.e. not to have reached maturity. Growing trees that absorb the most carbon dioxide are those in tropical rainforests, since theirs is a more suitable climate compared to that of temperate forests. Rainforests, such as the Amazon in South America and the Congo Basin forest in Africa, carry photosynthesis out all year round.
The carbon credits system
Emissions that can’t be cut have to be compensated through the purchase of carbon credits. These are generated by activities of reforestation and safeguarding of natural parks and reserves, which act as our planet’s lungs: they “breath in” carbon dioxide and “breath out” oxygen.
What are carbon credits?
To better understand this mechanism we have to imagine a “stock exchange” where brokers don’t trade shares, but CO2 credits. These credits are generated by planting trees or introduced into the market by virtuous businesses or governments that have succeeded in reducing emissions by implementing measures such as improving energy efficiency.
Zero Impact Web
Zero Impact® Web is LifeGate’s project for calculating, reducing and offsetting CO2 emissions generated by internet use. By compressing distances and saving time, the web helps make our lifestyles more sustainable.
Nevertheless, the internet consumes energy and produces CO2. If you’re a blogger or work in a company and you care about the Earth, here you can find the tools to reduce the environmental impact of your blog, website or company portal and offset residual emissions by contributing to the creation and safeguarding of growing forests.
LifeGate is one of the founders of Zero Impact projects in Italy, Costa Rica and Madagascar, and still participates in them actively. This is a plus, a competitive advantage that allows LifeGate to oversee the entire supply chain, constantly follow the projects’ progress with periodical onsite visits, involve businesses directly (through activities such as exhibiting signs where reforestation interventions have been carried out) and have updated informational materials such as pictures, reports and maps.
Established in Emilia Romagna, Italy, in 1989, the Eco Volunteer Guards inform people and authorities about existing ecological issues and laws concerning environmental protection. The association is also directly involved in environmental protection and ensuring that environmental laws are respected. They are LifeGate’s partner in projects in Costa Rica and Madagascar.
The Regional Agency for Agriculture and Forestry Services in Lombardy supports the regional administration in achieving the government’s objectives as delineated in the Regional Development Programme, following principles of multi-functionality and integration. It also offers technical and certification services to the public and private agricultural and forestry sectors, and supports the general directorate for agriculture in its operational activities.
Zero Impact in Italy
The Ticino Park – the first regional park in Italy – was established in 1974 to protect the Ticino River and its various natural habitats from evermore invasive industrialisation and urbanisation.
Established in 1992 by Lombardy’s Regional Council, Rio Vallone Park is the expression of the willingness of adhering municipalities to protect agricultural territories, landscapes and natural features within the Park.
Roma Capitale collaborates with LifeGate to safeguard areas within the Veio Regional Natural Park.
Zero Impact in Costa Rica
The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (in charge of environment protection in Costa Rica) promotes and manages the Environmental Law with particular attention to the preservation and rational use of natural resources, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
The National Fund for Forestry Financing was established in 1990 after the passing of a law aimed at developing forestry financing activities. Its goal is to contribute to the creation of new forests to improve Costa Rica’s net balance of CO2 emissions, thus meeting the Kyoto Protocol’s goals of emissions stabilisation.
Asepaleco is an NGO, established in 1991. Its goals are to manage an environmental education centre, oversee sustainable waste collection and disposal, protect biodiversity, reduce CO2 emissions and promote sustainable and responsible tourism.
Inbio is a non-profit research and biodiversity management centre established in 1989 to support efforts to study and safeguard biological diversity in Costa Rica, and promote its sustainable use. The Institute works alongside a number of governmental bodies, universities, businesses and other public and private, national and international entities.
Zero Impact in Madagascar
The aim of the Ministry of Environment, Ecology, the Sea and Forestry of Madagascar is to promote and manage environmental legislation by assigning regional directorates surveillance and control tasks. The Ministry aims to improve people’s quality of life through preserving the island’s biodiversity, in order to allow future generations to benefit from it. It also promotes sustainable tourism in Madagascar.
This non-profit association, based in Modena, Italy, was established to contribute to the fight against disease, hunger, illiteracy and other pressing issues particularly pertinent to developing countries. The association is especially committed to safeguarding children’s rights. Different projects have been developed with this purpose. Some of the most significant have been the creation of a children’s hospital, at a distance adoption programmes and support for orphan children.
How they work
A national or supranational authority sets a global cap on CO2 emissions. This value is divided among countries and businesses into “emission rights”. Their commitment is to maintain CO2 emissions lower or equal to the Assigned Amount. If their emissions are higher than the Assigned Amount, the subject has to purchase the missing credits from those who have extra credits because they latter have succeeded in limiting their emissions in relation to the cap.
Read more: What are carbon credits?
If countries and businesses reduce CO2 emissions, we all earn from that, because every part, whether it’s public or private, has to actively commit in fighting climate change. Global warming affects people and countries’ everyday life: the economy, public health, politics and geography. This is why Zero Impact® concerns everybody. In the map below you can see all Zero Impact®’s active projects around the world that generate CO2 credits.
Forests in Italy
- Ticino Park
- Rio Vallone Park
- Aniene Valley Reserve
- Veio Park, Volusia area
- Veio Park, Madonnetta area
- Carpaneta Forest
Forests in Costa Rica
Forests in Madagascar
- Ilena Reserve
- Anja Natural Reserve
- Antsanitia Reserve
- Sakalalina Reserve
- Mananby Reserve
- Vohitsampana Reserve