5 May 2013
Ecotierra: A Powerhouse in the Carbon-Credit Market
PRESS RELEASE – Ecotierra, a developer of carbon-credit projects, proudly inaugurated its new facilities on Belvédère Street in Sherbrooke, in an event attended by Bernard Sévigny, the Mayor of Sherbrooke, and partners and client organizations such as Boréalis, the Host Society of the Canada Games, and the Cégep de Sherbrooke.
» See photos from the press conference
Founded in 2011, Ecotierra specializes in large-scale forestry and agricultural projects with major socioeconomic impact that generate high-quality carbon credits. “Our primary objective is to create sustainable projects that not only promote and conserve natural resources, but do so in tandem with the socioeconomic development of the communities involved,” explained Ecotierra founder Étienne Desmarais. “We have an office in Peru as well, where a local team is directly involved in the field.”
Ecotierra’s growth and project development have prompted it to invest more than $900,000 in the past 30 months, creating 5 jobs in Sherbrooke and 7 in Peru. The inauguration of its new facilities puts the stamp on this new phase in its growth and development. Desmarais underscored the contribution made by its partners by stating: “We have had support from a number of organizations over the past few years, including Filaction, the Fonds Soutien Estrie (FIER) (Regional Economic Intervention Fund), and Sherbrooke Innopole, whose team worked with us at every stage.”
In addition to the Castaña Corridor REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Project, which promotes and conserves Brazil-nut forests, Ecotierra is currently developing the Shade Grown Coffee and Cacao Project, which will result in sustainable fair-trade exploitation of thousands of coffee- and cacao-producing hectares in several years’ time. “These projects help to curb deforestation and soil erosion while contributing significantly to higher revenues for local producer families,” stated Bernard Gauvin, Ecotierra’s marketing manager. “In Peru and Colombia, we have also joined with SOCODEVI, a Quebec agency that incubates small producer cooperatives around the world.” And Ecotierra projects follow strict international carbon-credit procedures and are approved by independent certification agencies.
The Host Society of the Canada Games – Sherbrooke 2013 uses Ecotierra’s carbon-credit services. “The REDD and CAMPO VERDE projects in which we are going to be involved with Ecotierra, through the purchase of carbon credits, are important to us and our sponsor, Cascades,” explained Patrice Cordeau, manager of Sustainable Development Services for the Host Society of the Canada Games – Sherbrooke 2013. “Ecotierra’s effectiveness and drive quickly won us over. Our involvement means we can reduce the ecological footprint of the sport competitions being held this year from August 2 to 17. Our commitment to global sustainability prompted us to get involved in order to offset the greenhouse gases produced by our event.”
The Cégep de Sherbrooke, the first college in the world with carbon-neutral certification, agrees: “Our GHG commitment is in line with our institutional values. It made sense to offset our residual emissions with a local partner, like Ecotierra, and fair-trade credits,” explained Equipment Services manager Jean Lussier. “The Cégep de Sherbrooke has always striven to stay active at the forefront of sustainable development. The steps we have taken since 2006 as part of a structured and integrated approach to eco-improvement reflect our genuine desire to be eco-responsible corporate citizens,” added Marie-France Bélanger, the Cégep’s executive director.
The same sense of eco-responsibility is the driving force behind the Magog firm Boréalis. “Climate change-related issues are of great concern to us,” echoed Jules Paquette, Boréalis president and CEO, “because our work involves helping major mining and energy companies to meet their social and environmental commitments. By offering opportunities for carbon offsetting to businesses, Ecotierra encourages us to meet our responsibilities and neutralize our climate footprint.”
Purchasing carbon credits is not restricted to large companies and organizations. Basta Communication in Sherbrooke also uses Ecotierra’s services. “In a consumer society, we have a duty to act and to take responsibility for our actions,” stated Patrice Côté, president of Basta Communication. “I encourage Sherbrooke businesses to get into step and explore the issue with Ecotierra. This program is really very affordable and by increasing the number of participants, we can make a real environmental difference.”
Bernard Sévigny, Sherbrooke’s mayor, emphasized the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, stating that “Like all communities the world over, our institutions, organizations, and businesses see climate change as a compelling issue. People are urging us to commit to reducing our greenhouse gases, a commitment made by the City of Sherbrooke some years ago.”
Chloé Legris, Director – Business Development for the Cleantech key-sector at Sherbrooke Innopole, expressed her pride in having a company like Ecotierra in Sherbrooke. “We are delighted,” she claimed, “to have been able to contribute to the development of Ecotierra and its unique expertise. It is a leader in its field and a key player in an emerging economy committed to green, socially responsible practices.”
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