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Selwyn Duijvestijn, CEO of DGB Group, appeared on Dutch television on Sunday, 5 November, to talk about the continued achievements of DGB. These achievements include numerous Africa-based nature solutions, with more global projects to follow suit. The television show Business Class is a current affairs programme that discusses relevant socio-economic companies and their impacts on business life. Let’s take a look at the highlights of the interview.
Video of Selwyn Duijvestijn’s interview on Business Class.
As the greenest project developer on the Dutch stock exchange, DGB is a proud leader of nature-based solutions generating a vital nature-restoration tool: carbon credits. Carbon credits is the international price to restore the environment. Some might compare these to a voucher for multinationals to continue their mischief. The optimists among us would instead liken them to an investment—an investment into nature.
‘Basically, the way it works is that what a company does is converted into tonnes of carbon’, Duijvestijn explains. ‘Of course, it is essential to first measure your carbon, decarbonise, and reduce it. Companies are happily doing that, and our consultancy branch also advises on it. However, there will always be a part that cannot be completely reduced. For those nonreducible emissions, those residual carbon emissions, companies come to us to address it and invest in nature.’
A local man working in a tree nursery in Kenya, Hongera Reforestation Project, DGB.
Duijvestijn further talks about the process of creating carbon credits. When hectares of forests have been restored, DGB measures the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil. This exact amount can be translated into external carbon reduction, in other words, monetary value. For more information about carbon credits, Duijvestijn issued a personal invitation to visit the company on open days, as well as to visit the Hongera Reforestation Project in Kenya, specifically for green bondholders. One would be honoured to see our more than 200 employees working for the betterment of nature.
The markets are changing, and the carbon market is no exception. Since the last time Selwyn Duijvestijn appeared on Business Class, the price for carbon reduction had risen from €15 per 1,000 kg to €20 per 1,000 kg. According to Duijvestijn, the market is in full swing.
‘It can actually be traced back to all the promises companies have made. I call them promises, but it's actually much more than that because all multinational companies have set goals for 2030 or 2050. They need to become carbon neutral and achieve net zero. To achieve that, they need to be active in this international market. After all, you can't restore nature overnight.’
Because of DGB’s four-year-long experience in preparing high-quality nature projects, our carbon credits have become increasingly more valuable. Multinational companies, shareholders, and bondholders have funded the preliminary research for these projects to eventually effect real change within the environmental sphere. The first credits will be verified in Q1 2024, which will lead to an annual issuance of credits from our 7 current high-quality nature-based solutions, with 12 more currently in preliminary phases.
DGB’s projects mostly take place in Africa; the largest among them are based in Kenya, Uganda, and Cameroon. These all revolve around reforestation, afforestation, nature restoration, and the production of energy-efficient cookstoves. These cookstoves help reduce deforestation, illegal logging, and health risks for the local population, especially compared to the current most widely used cooking method: open flame.
A local woman working in a cookstoves factory in Kenya, Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project, DGB.
However, before any credits can be issued, these projects need to be verified. Without verification, nobody can tell whether the credits have been earned in the correct, ethical way. Duijvestijn explains that ‘there is an international standard set up by the United Nations in 1997, from which two leading standards have emerged: Verra and Gold Standard. They have established the framework, and then we work with independent auditors who examine our project design, verify if we are following the design at the projects themselves, and ensure it complies with the framework.’
Because DGB is closer to the issuance of carbon credits than ever before, we now offer terms of two and three years with 8% annual interest alongside the usual four-year terms. Additionally, green bonds associated with these projects can be invested in every single day.
Moreover, due to popular demand, Duijvestijn broke the news about an upcoming local Dutch restoration project, which will take place in the province of Friesland. For this specific project, mortgage rights can be issued to stakeholders, separate from the green bonds and stakes the other projects provide.
At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 154 countries signed an international environmental treaty to combat human interference with the climate system. The first implementation of measures under the UNFCCC was known as the Kyoto Protocol. According to Duijvestijn, this led to the creation of the carbon market.
The 2015 Paris Climate Summit led to the Paris Agreement, Article 6 of which is a crucial catalyst for providing the world with carbon credits. On 30 November, this year’s major climate summit, the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28), will take place. Duijvestijn posits that all eyes are on this conference, so the news about it will be flooding into your feed in the coming weeks.
‘Carbon credits are a very important tool to ultimately create a better living environment, improve nature, and reduce environmental pollution. All eyes are on it, all world leaders come together, and all large multinational companies, which must and often want to become more sustainable, are focused on this’, Duijvestijn says.
Drone shot of a tree nursery in Kenya, Hongera Reforestation Project, DGB.
DGB’s commitment to nature, driven by CEO Selwyn Duijvestijn, has created a portfolio of impactful nature-based solutions. The carbon credits created by these projects have proven to be a hot commodity from which at least 1,900 companies benefit. These credits can create real change. To purchase carbon credits means to reduce your carbon footprint. Reducing your carbon footprint means becoming more sustainable. And investing in green bonds means investing in nature. Together, we can create a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.
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