As an institution integrally focused on sustainable business and management practices, Presidio Graduate School (PGS) has long recognized that the delivery model of its programs creates a paradox for the school’s carbon-conscious community.

Reducing carbon emissions and virtual education

Employing a hybrid delivery model designed to increase accessibility, classes meet in-person in San Francisco just one weekend a month, allowing for students all over the country to enroll. However, with this monthly air travel comes a substantial contribution to carbon emissions. 

To reduce this impact, PGS board member, alumna, and Vice President at Natural Capital Partners (NCP) Saskia Feast has coordinated a partnership between NCP and PGS that will result in the offsetting of 100% of the carbon emissions from school-related flight travel. “While some of the PGS education can be delivered virtually, the in-person class periods are times of exceptional learning and intense community engagement. They are essential and it’s my pleasure to ensure that the GHG impact of that time is offset,” said Saskia.

Saskia realized there was an opportunity for the school to lead by example. This program demonstrates for the entire community that there are sustainable solutions that can be implemented immediately to have an impact. 

“We need credible action now to reduce, remove and avoid GHG emissions. Through carbon offset projects which have been verified to carbon standards by independent third parties, PGS is able to compensate for those emissions which it can’t avoid.” – Saskia Feast

 

Carbon offsetting is one tool in the box of solutions, helping to close the finance gap for low-carbon sustainable development while bridging the gap between pledges made by governments and the 1.5-degree path we need to be on. Natural Capital Partners has been working in this space since 1997 and is seeing a step-change in business engagement on climate action. “The world needs more system thinkers and business leaders who will lead the charge in transforming our economy,” emphasized Saskia, “and many of them will come from PGS.”

How are we reducing our environmental impact?

PGS hopes to create an impact in three meaningful ways:

  1. PGS offsets will fund a Water Filtration and Clean Cookstoves project in Guatemala, a project specifically chosen for its alignment with several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including #13 (Climate Action), #4 (quality education), #5 (Clean Water and Sanitation), and #15 (Life on Land). 
  2. By addressing the conundrum of air travel emissions within our community, PGS looks to further live its mission to inspire our community to identify all the ways we can make a greater impact towards fighting climate change and creating a more just and sustainable future for all.
  3. Finally, the partnership between Presidio Graduate School and Natural Capital Partners is an example of Sustainable Development Goal #17 (Partnerships for the Goals) in action. Although often overlooked, partnering to reach these audacious Global Goals is not just the most efficient way, but the only way to ensure that we all travel down the road of sustainable development together.

 

Want more information?

If you’re curious how we calculated our students’, faculty’s, and administrators’ flights for determining commensurate offsets, or about the Guatemalan project, contact Saskia Feast at [email protected]