There are many things to love about Costa Rica. The country has great weather, tremendous biodiversity, no army, and top-notch education and health care. Now, the country is also greener than ever.

According to Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the country has produced 100 percent of its electricity without fossil fuels for the first 75 days of 2015. Wind, solar, and biomass got a strong boost from hydropower, which benefited from heavy rains.

Costa Rica made a decision and it is determined to become carbon-neutral by 2021. This seems an achievable goal given that the country is currently meeting around 95% of its energy needs from renewables, most of which are sourced from hydroelectric power plants, geothermal energy, wind farms, and biomass.

This is a remarkable decision, especially if we look at the general numbers from the biggest countries in the technology business, as well as the energy sources they use to generate electricity. In a quick analysis, we can see that “dirty” energy sources are the main ones:

India: Close to 65% of the electricity used in 2014 was not clean (coal being the most important one (62%), and the others petroleum (0.5%), and nuclear (2.5%)).

USA: Close to 59% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. in 2014 came from coal (39%), nuclear (19%), and petroleum (1%).

China: The country used mainly coal (63.5%) and nuclear (1.5%) to generate the electricity needed during 2013.

Less talk and more walk!

As firm believers of “the power of one,” Proximity has decided to support this goal by launching its initiative THINK GREEN. It’s focused not only on becoming a carbon zero company by 2016, but also extending the benefits of this to its collaborators and clients, while also involving our partners and providers in the initiative.

The company has started different initiatives under the THINK GREEN umbrella. Some of them include:

• A recycling program at the office.

• Minimizing the use of air conditioning, replacing it with natural air ventilation.

• Minimizing the use of electric lamps at the office and using as much natural light as possible.

• Evaluating practices and assessing internally how we can reduce the company’s carbon footprint to a minimum.

• Evaluating the carbon footprint our employees generate by commuting between their homes and the office, and reducing it with the telecommuting program we have had in place since 2006.

• Partnering with Costa Rica’s National Fund for Forest Financing (FONAFIFO), which is a government entity assigned by the Department of the Environment and Energy (MINAE) of Costa Rica, to offset CO2 from the atmosphere through the Payment Program for Environmental Services (PSA).

• This initiative allows us to buy CO2 certificates to support the protection of carbon sinks (primary and secondary forest in Costa Rica), assuring the conservation of biological corridors in national parks.

Why are we doing this?

The main reason is because it is our responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem.

We want our customers to see that we are not only the best option for software development outsourcing, but also because by working with us, they are contributing to have a cleaner planet.

We also want our collaborators to be proud of working with us, knowing that the code we produce is clean and so is our carbon footprint.

We like our partners and providers to get motivated to help us in our small effort, making it bigger and more relevant.

Let’s Think Green!!