It's reflected in our investment criteria, our activism and education efforts, our partnerships in our regional community and in industry groups, and our consideration of our own direct impacts. We focus on two areas to reduce our climate impact: 1) purchasing renewable energy for our electricity usage, and 2) offsetting emissions from work-related travel.
We purchase renewable energy from Portland General Electric’s Clean Wind Program for our electricity usage. This program supports the development of clean, renewable wind energy. We also collaborate with our community of fellow tenants in the Natural Capital Building on long-term renewable energy projects and carbon mitigation efforts.
As a part of our company's benefits package, we provide incentives to minimize single occupancy vehicle travel by reimbursing the cost of public transportation or bicycle maintenance for employees.
The other focus of our carbon mitigation program is emissions caused by travel. Our goal is to reduce our output of carbon dioxide and to mitigate the emissions associated with travel that cannot be avoided. We recognize that some travel is necessary, such as occasional trips to see clients, attend conferences, or conduct site visits with companies in which we invest.
Travel data is collected monthly from our employees and we calculate annually the total metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted. We then calculate a monetary figure based on these emissions. The cost of mitigation is surprisingly low so we multiply the monetary figure by a factor of ten, which represents the additional environmental impacts associated with travel. We then purchase carbon offsets through NativeEnergy to support carbon reduction projects across the country. Projects Portfolio 21 has supported through our purchase of offsets include building a biogas digester to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from farm manure in the Northwest and the development of community wind projects in the Midwest.