Committing to Climate Action: PSI’s Update

By Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, PSI

Climate shocks, inequity, and injustice will disproportionately worsen the lives of PSI’s health consumers across our world.

We can’t sit idly by.

That’s why PSI committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 30 percent no later than 2030. We made this commitment, encouraged by, supported by, and as a member of the Climate Accountability for Development (CAD) collective of like-minded NGOs. 

We got to work.

In 2022, we used CAD methodology and tools to collect our baseline data (summary results in Table 1). We’re starting this exercise with data on our buildings’ emissions, vehicle fleet emissions, and business travel, capturing data from our Washington office and our ten largest country programs across the PSI global network.  We’ll expand this to include all 40+ countries in the network starting in 2023. 

TABLE 1: CARBON EMISSIONS 2019-2021
*as compared to 2019 baseline
Scope 1: Direct emissions from fuel use
Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity
Scope 3.6: Indirect emissions from business travel

We’re using 2019 as the baseline, so – no surprise – the 2020 and 2021 data (Table 1) show significant declines from those years due to the pandemic, largely due to reduced business travel such as international flights. However, as we return to our more normal work rhythms, we will face increasing emissions while having the opportunity to learn from our successful operations these last two years and find new ways of working that are both effective and have less impact on the climate.    

“Countries like Madagascar are already suffering the catastrophic impacts of climate change. We can’t just wait for others to change their behaviors without looking at our own contribution.”

“In Cambodia, we’ve reduced carbon emissions over the last 3 years, in part due to less travel during COVID’s peak and our subsequent move to more online work. We commit to taking more action, not just as an office, but also amongst each of our personal contributions as well.”

As I noted in my previous blog on this commitment, we love the idea of measurement and time-bound goal-setting, which is very aligned with PSI’s organizational culture. The CAD collective has helped us with the right tools and approach, to be able to bring our natural instinct for measurable results to this vital part of our 21st century reality.

Climate justice is social justice – and an integral part of the work we do to support people everywhere to take charge of their health and lives. The evidence shows that people can improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities when they can  access the modern contraception they desire, the drugs and devices to protect them from infectious disease, the connection to quality health services to help them address health challenges….but health consumers everywhere need all of us to help ensure the good health of the planet so they can keep choosing good health for themselves, their families and their communities.

We must do our part to ensure their progress is not lost.

“Healthy lives, measurable results” is PSI’s tagline.  Our climate commitment feels like a natural part of living out our mission in a holistic way.

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