Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

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A New Tool for Rangeland Trusts

A New Tool for Rangeland Trusts

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

A New Tool for Rangeland Trusts


by David Priddy, Vice President of Business Development | June 24th, 2020

A New Tool for Rangeland Trusts

The prairies of the western United States, consisting of millions of acres of grassland, habitat, and complex ecosystems, have supported ranchers and their families for generations.  A symbol of pride, freedom, and independence, the prairies have sustained the American ranching lifestyle – a lifestyle that promotes hard and honest work, strong family values, and resilient communities.  Unfortunately, this lifestyle that embodies images of the old west and the growth of America is in jeopardy.

You see, prairies in the U.S. are quickly disappearing because they are being converted into farmland, though invasive species, overgrazing, and climate change are also culprits.  Many ranchers struggle to hold on to their family legacy due to rising property taxes, as the next generation considers other career options.  All of this contributes to a lifestyle that is sadly fading away.

A New Tool for the Toolbox

Rangeland trusts and other organizations dedicated to preserving the land and its legacy work tirelessly to combat this problem through the implementation and management of conservation easements.  Now, these organizations have a new means available to them that can further incentivize landowners to consider easements on their property.  This new tool utilizes the power of environmental markets by promoting good ranching practices that sequester carbon in the soil.  This can result in the development of carbon offsets, which are units of greenhouse gases that are prevented from being released into the atmosphere, the rights to which can be purchased and applied by another entity.  These offsets are typically sold to organizations that desire to voluntarily mitigate, or “offset”, their carbon footprint, the proceeds from which can generate additional revenue streams for ranchers. With more and more corporations and not-for-profit organizations committing to carbon-neutral goals, the demand for offsets continues to grow.

The process for developing grassland-based carbon offset projects on ranchland is a straight-forward one.  First, a property is evaluated for its eligibility and project feasibility by a facilitator such as ClimeCo, and then a financial proforma is developed and presented to the rancher and land trust partner.  Once the decision has been made by the landowner to proceed, the land trust will work to implement an easement that restricts the future tillage of the land.  After this is in place, the project developer will coordinate all subsequent steps, to include independent, 3rd-party project verification and then registration, certification, and monetization of the credits.  Depending on the project and the desires of the landowner, the developer may also choose to invest in the project to cover the upfront development costs, to include the implementation of the easement, thus removing a potential barrier for the landowner.

These offset projects can present multiple benefits to the rangeland trust:

  • First, the revenues from these projects may combine with Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) funding to entice ranchers to preserve more land.
  • Secondly, the upfront payments to cover the cost of implementing and maintaining the easement can help address a typical hurdle faced by many landowners.
  • Finally, knowing that the project facilitator will handle all the activities outside of what the land trust does best will provide them with peace of mind.

Like ranchers, rangeland trusts must rely on tools of the trade in order to advance the preservation of our nation’s grasslands.  ClimeCo’s grassland offset program provides the latest tool for the land trust’s toolbox and we are ready to help you on your next preservation effort.

To learn more about grasslands preservation, please contact us.

About the Author

Dave Priddy is ClimeCo’s Vice President of Business Development. He has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental management field.  He is responsible for the strategy, development, and promotion of ClimeCo’s Nature-based Solutions initiative, and for developing mutually-beneficial partnerships with both landowners and conservation organizations that result in projects that generate positive environmental attributes. David holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Motivation Can Mean So Much More

Motivation Can Mean So Much More

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

Motivation Can Mean So Much More


by Nancy Marshall, Corporate Marketing Director | May 27th, 2020

Motivation is a word that brings positive vibes to everyone.  Whether its on a sports field, in your child’s classroom, or simply something you say to yourself to keep going.  Motivation is the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way or for a general desire and willingness to do something.  It keeps us going, it inspires others to create something new, and if we all come together, motivation can bring positive benefits to our community and the world.   

Finding Partners that Motivate Us 

At ClimeCo, we know what motivates us to do what we do every day as a business and individually. We love learning about other companies and what’s motivated them to start their ventures to make a difference in the world.  However, one struggle the environmental movement has always faced is how to motivate billions of people to take the action needed to keep the planet healthy.  Given that our very survival depends on this, youd think that motivating the right action would be easy, and yet, as the last few decades have proved, getting everyone to take action is difficult. 

Earlier this yearClimeCo partnered with EarthUpa company that started in 2018 to help individuals and businesses make their lives on Earth more sustainable.  Stephen Bay, the CEO/founder of EarthUp, has been in energy consulting for the past eight years.  As we talked to him about his company and how we could work together, it became clear to me that Stephen is not only a very motivated individual who has a deep passion to make lives better, but he also has learned to motivate others to do the same.  Although Stephen’s initial goal of entering someone’s home was energy sustainability, he learned time and time again that some people were motivated by saving money, others were motivated by making their homes healthier, and some purely for comfort Having understood homeowners’ priorities around cost savings, health and comfort, and how to address them, Stephen and his team further motivated them to make even more positive changes, which in turn made their communities better.  The insight that Stephen took from this was simple: we do not need to have the same motivations in order to work towards aligning goals on combatting climate change.   

With EarthUp Stephen has taken that insight and begun building out software and content powered by the latest science in the psychology of motivation to help drive action on climate even when they are not necessarily trying to help the environment.   

The biggest impact we can make will come from empowering individuals, not asking them to make sacrifices., said Stephen.  Whether it was to be greener, more sustainable, or more energyefficient – people need to be empowered.  They need help understanding what resources are available in their local area to help them and how to team up with others to expand their efforts.  This is what drove Stephen to create EarthUpto serve as a tool/resource to help simplify sustainability. 

How it Works 

EarthUp allows employers to measure their employees’ emissions outside of the office.  They offer two paths for users to begin the process to become more sustainable: 

  • Individuals can go to Earthup’s website to complete a simple questionnaire to discover their household CO2 footprint and to compare it with that of their neighbors.  It will educate them on what their footprint means, and they can learn about local incentives and rebates that may be available to them.   
  • Companies and organizations can help expand their ESG programs so that they can engage their employees and multiply the overall impact of their efforts. 

Partnering Together 

ClimeCo joined EarthUp to offer carbon offsets for the EarthUp platform that provide a positive impact on communities.  ClimeCo also helps EarthUp with supporting local carbon offsetting initiatives by providing statespecific opportunities and expertise.  Along with Earthup’s carbon questionnaire and the ability to offset the user’s footprint, they also offer users the ability to take advantage of other environmental incentives in their area.  This allows them to track their impact beyond their initial activities.   

To learn more about EarthUp and how they can help motivate you to become more sustainable, please click here. 

About the Author

Nancy Marshall is the Corporate Marketing Director at ClimeCo and soon ClimeCoGreen.  She is happily married to her husband for 19 years; they have two daughters and one fur baby.  She is from Maryland but is currently living in Houston, TX.  She loves to go boating and fishing on Lake Livingston, cook and bake (especially at Christmas), and enjoys crafting.

Restoring the Earth Together

Restoring the Earth Together

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

Restoring the Earth Together


by Taylor Marshall, Director of Sustainable Programs, Restore the Earth Foundation | April 24th, 2020

As a result of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters, many of our forests and wetlands vital ecosystems have been degraded or destroyed. The need to restore and rebuild these ecosystems is essential, especially when it comes to a sound sustainable environmental future that supports biodiversity, habitat and surrounding communities.  

In 2008, we founded a nonprofit organization, Restore the Earth Foundation (Restore the Earth), with the hope of restoring the Earth’s essential ecosystems. We offered a unique approach to affect landscape-scale ecosystem restoration by leveraging the power of public-private partnerships and utilizing an exclusive, innovative and revolving funding mechanism.  

Today, Restore the Earth has secured federalstate, private and philanthropic funding to reforest over 60,000 acres along the Gulf Coast damaged by Hurricane Katrina. We were also the first to deploy restoration on oilsoiled wetlands following the Deep-Water Horizon oil spill, and we continue to support restoration along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River Basin.

O
ur mission is to restore one million acres of degraded lands in the Mississippi River Basin, often referred to as “North America’s Amazon”.

                                                                                    *The blue area is the Lower-Mississippi River Basin

The Climate Forward Program 

To enhance the realization of these restoration opportunities for their corporate partners, Restore the Earth pioneered the development of the Climate Action Reserve’s (CAR) Climate Forward Reforestation methodology. The Climate Forward program provides a mechanism for Restore the Earth to quantify, verify and register forecasted mitigation units (FMUs), which represent emissions that are forecasted to be mitigated in the future, using rigorous and peerreviewed carbon reduction project methodologies.  These FMUs will be marketed to voluntary buyers by ClimeCo to help fund future reforestation efforts in the basin

The Climate Forward program is designed to accelerate action on climate change by encouraging companies and organizations to proactively invest today in projects that mitigate future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This program provides a means to capitalize on the carbon mitigation potential of a reforestation project, representing a real gamechanger in our efforts to fulfill our mission.  

Pilot Project  

Restore the Earth’s first Climate Forward project reforests more than 5,000 acres of the historic bald cypress forest at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, which is anticipated to sequester more than 1,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Working with Dow Corporation through their partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), an initial 400 acres will generate the first registered FMUs, which will be used to mitigate a portion of the carbon footprint of the IOC and the Olympic movement. 

Moving Reforestation Forward  

Restore the Earth is proud to lead the way with such high profile partnerships and examples, and is hopeful that these efforts will inspire other companies with carbon emission reduction commitments to consider applying the Climate Forward program to address their annual needs, resulting in significant reforestation investments in the United States.  

These investments will arrive at a critical time for the environment and the economy by affecting meaningful climate action in their own backyards, as well as in the communities of their employees, customers and neighbors. Restore the Earth applies EcoMetricsa system that provides verifiable measurement of each projects’ environmental, social and economic impacts and co-benefits, to every restoration project that we implement. While reforestation projects may have different characteristicsthey all provide exponential co-benefits to restoring native ecosystems and habitats that can be measured, quantified, third-party verified and reported on to their project partners.  These can include such benefits as job creation, clean air, improved water quality, enhanced quality of life,  economic growthetc.  

Restore the Earth has spent the past 6 years building a robust business case for landscapescale restoration in North America’s Amazon. These projects provide real impacts to the environment in one of the most ecologicallydegraded areas in the United States, while simultaneously benefiting local communities and economies in an area with the nation’s highest concentration of underserved communities.  

With a portfolio of truly shovel-ready projects, solid public partnerships, the incorporation of rigorous accounting, forward-thinking methodologies and a collaborative culture, Restore the Earth is well-positioned to address climate action right here in the United States.  Our partnership with ClimeCo is a large piece of that business case, allowing for the wide marketability of environmental attributes and the execution of significant investments in a timely and cost-effective way.   

To learn more about our partnership with ClimeCo, please click hereTo learn more about Restore the Earth and how you can volunteer or support our projects, please click here. 

About the Author

Taylor Marshall is the Director of Sustainable Programs at Restore the Earth Foundation.  Wearing many hats, her responsibilities include project development, corporate relations and ontheground management of reforestation projects in the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Basin. 

Prior to joining Restore the Earth, Taylor was with The Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, promoting community-based approaches to protecting and restoring the Gulf coast from storm risk and land loss, and enhancing community resilience to such risks. Previously, she served as a Program Director with the American Council oRenewable Energy in Washington, D.C.  Taylor earned a Master of Science degree in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) from McGill University. 

How to be Green for St Patrick’s Day & Easter

How to be Green for St Patrick’s Day & Easter

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

How to be Green for St Patrick’s Day & Easter

by Nancy Marshall & #TeamClimeCo | March 12, 2020

The next two holidays on our calendar are full of green – green clothes, beers, eggs and grass.  As we prepare for these two upcoming holidays, let’s take a minute to think about how we could celebrate them in a greener way.  How can we make St Patrick’s Day and Easter sustainable?

We asked our ClimeCo team to share some of their top tips on how they practice being green during these two holidays.

St Patrick’s Day

  1. Reuse vs buying new. We used to live in Savannah, GA, where they hold the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebration in the entire U.S.  I save all our green clothing, beads, headbands, etc. and use it year after year.  With kids who outgrow clothing, we have often bought their shirts at consignment shops.  Choosing a simple green shirt allows you to wear them throughout the entire year.  –Nancy Marshall, Corporate Marketing Director.

  2. Dust off your bikes and ride to the St Patrick’s Day activities! As an avid bike rider, I save tons on gas riding my bike, which in turns reduces auto emissions entering the atmosphere.  Don’t have a bike, get one! Riding your bike (to school, work, the store, etc.) will make you healthier and in 3-6 months. The money you saved on gas and parking has officially paid for your new bike.  –Erik Cramer, Business Development Manager (Erik rides 5 miles round-trip a day)

  3. Paddy’s Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. I reuse my beads, shamrock headband, earrings, and shirts annually. –Dani Pingitore, Marketing Coordinator

  4. Drink draft beer over bottle or can beer. Draft beer keg is the most environmentally responsible beverage package in the brewing industry today – it is returnable, refillable, and recyclable. – Justin Freeark, Project Manager, Design/Build Programs

  5. If you plan to go out for St. Patrick’s Day – avoid the crowds and go local! The less you (and the products you consume) travel, the less impact you have on the environment. –Lauren Mechak, Program Manager

Easter

  1. We used to host an Easter potluck at our house for about 3-4 families. Everyone would bring drinks with them for their family and we would have coolers full of cans and bottles.  I made sure we had out recycling bins so all the bottle and cans were collected after use and we could get them to our local recycling center.  –David Priddy, VP of Business Development

  2. If you need to buy Easter eggs, try to find eco eggs. I have seen a handful of stores carrying plant-based Easter eggs made from 100% renewable content. –Dani Pingitore, Marketing Coordinator

  3. Reuse vs buying new. With two young kids, I have bought nicely made Easter baskets and use them every year.  I also reuse our plastic eggs and Easter grass.  Instead of buying a bunch of cheap plastic bunny toys, our Easter Bunny gets my kids things they need for the summer like swimsuits, goggles, beach towels, and of course, candy.  –Nancy Marshall, Corporate Marketing Director

  4. Want to dye Easter eggs? Try using natural dye from fruits, vegetables, and spices you find in your home. Natural dye is safer for the environment, your body, and the compost pile. –Zach Palm, Senior Associate, Policy & Advisory

  5. Shop locally to prepare for your Easter dinner. Purchase local fruits and veggies, homemade pies, honey, and local meat. Your food will have less packaging, fresh, and supports your community. –Maria Finneran, Office Administrator

Whether you’re planning to go out for St Patrick’s Day party with friends or hosting a family dinner for Easter Sunday, try incorporating some of our fun tips and tricks and celebrate sustainably! 

 

About the Author

Nancy Marshall is a Corporate Marketing Director at ClimeCo. She is originally from Maryland and currently lives in Houston, Texas. She enjoys boating and fishing on Lake Livingston, cooking, baking (especially at Christmas), and crafting with vinyl.

Moving Forward with Net-Zero

Moving Forward with Net-Zero

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

Moving Forward with Net-Zero

by Zach Harmer & Nancy Marshall | February 29, 2020

In late January 2020, the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee released a discussion document on the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (“CLEAN”) Future Act, which has the broad sweeping goal of reaching a “100% clean economy by 2050”.  It is one of many attempts from the federal government to align goals for creating an economy that achieves carbon neutrality.  In contrast to the political inertia we have seen in advancing meaningful climate action in some governments, we have witnessed a number of municipal, sub-national and international governments along with many multinational and local companies increase their commitments towards carbon neutrality.  So if we are seeing social, corporate and political trends towards a 100% clean economy, what is the role of legislation if action is already happening?  Why are announcements like the CLEAN Future Act still meaningful and needed?

First, let’s start with the question “What does a ‘100% Clean Economy’ really mean?” Everything has a carbon footprint – you have a personal one, your business has one, so does your favorite sports team and coffee shop. If you can find a way to reduce your personal carbon footprint, offset your remaining carbon impact, and/or support external efforts that make that footprint carbon neutral, you can achieve 100% net carbon neutrality.

Beyond these personal actions, we are seeing increasingly more corporate commitment to achieving net-zero emissions – from Microsoft’s decision to become carbon negative by 2030 to Cenovus Energy’s pledge to carbon neutrality by 2050. This growing number of commitments represents a significant shift towards a more carbon-conscious business world.  Parallel to these milestone announcements, we have begun to see some governments design the enabling and backstop legislation that sets clear and measurable emission reduction targets and provides a broad range of incentives to encourage citizens and businesses to reach a common goal.

At the individual level, reducing your carbon footprint, such as paying extra for green electricity, can be expensive and may not be an option for everyone. Similarly, reducing emissions at the corporate level reducing emissions may not be as economically and/or technologically feasible from sector to sector or from facility to facility. Therefore, one of the most important considerations for any net-zero legislation is to ensure that there are programs in place to support those areas of the economy most affected by the legislation; this can be achieved by providing extra support in the form of funding for the development and trial of new technologies, or for less stringent emission reduction targets.

The CLEAN Future Act provides just one example of how governments can define, target, and delegate the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada, for example, has recently committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 and is developing an action plan. In addition to Canada, there are more than 70 other countries that have committed to being net-zero by 2050. Though the commitment remains the same, each country will have to develop their own unique strategy to achieve carbon neutrality. More interesting, perhaps, is how these countries may look to harmonize and coordinate their climate ambition to scale meaningful change and progress.

Currently, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to achieving net-zero emissions.  As we advance into the 2020s, we are likely to see more commitments to net-zero and new innovative approaches to reducing emissions. So, what can you do?

  1. Stay informed – with the actions being taken locally, at the community, state, and federal levels; and
  2. Make your voice heard – during government consultations or through your local representatives.

About the Authors

Zach Harmer is a Policy Analyst at ClimeCo. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, and is an avid outdoor enthusiast. In his spare time, Zach enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains and cooking for family and friends.

Nancy Marshall is a Corporate Marketing Director at ClimeCo. She is originally from Maryland and currently lives in Houston, Texas. She enjoys boating and fishing on Lake Livingston, cooking, baking (especially at Christmas), and crafting with vinyl.

Catching The Wave

Catching The Wave

Making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

Catching The Wave

by Nancy Marshall | January 31, 2020

 


On Wednesday, January 15th, some of the biggest brands in the Northwest launched “The Wave.” This is a new coalition made up of a diverse set of partners who pledge to work together to tackle some of the biggest sustainability challenges in the Northwest region of the U.S.  Their goal is to accelerate environmental programs for clean energy and transportation, zero waste, sustainable food, and clean air and water.

ClimeCo is happy to be a stakeholder in this coalition and will serve as carbon offset provider & expert. “This is definitely something we wanted to be a part of,” says Dan Linsky, VP of Voluntary Markets at ClimeCo, “big companies are already doing a lot, but a mass movement like this gives people the how, what, and where when it comes to doing more.”  ClimeCo’s role is to help The Wave with their goals for cleaner air and water by identifying and developing projects in the Northwest region to support the coalition with both carbon offsets and renewable energy credits.  “The environmental activity in the Northwest is very progressive,” says Linsky, “and we are ready to play a big role in these activities to help this grassroots coalition be successful.”

So how did this all get started and why?  We talked to Justin Zeulner, President & CEO of Pioneers of Sustainability, and one of the founders of The Wave.  “We must take action that will mitigate our environmental impacts,” says Zeulner, “creating alignment, sharing values and goals so that we can all work together in unison is key to help us all do more than what we are currently doing.”  For Zeulner, part of The Wave’s role is to help their partners understand how their business impacts the environment, help them to identify what goals they should strive to reach and how they can actually reach them. 

The Wave coalition believes that two things need to happen to really make a change.  First, we all need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and second, we need to draw down legacy carbon out of the atmosphere.  Keeping it simple and focused with just these two steps and focusing on 5 areas (clean energy, clean and equitable transportation, healthy and sustainable food, zero waste, and clean air and water), The Wave believes change can happen.  “If we can get folks together, support them, help make change happen at a high level,” says Zeulner, “we will reach our vision of a cleaner world.  With real projects and real results, we will be a beacon for other regions to follow.” 

Click on The Wave to learn more and if you are located in the Northwest and are interested in taking the pledge, please click here.   

About the Author

Nancy Marshall is the Corporate Marketing Director at ClimeCo and soon ClimeCoGreen. She is happily married to her husband for 18 years; they have two daughters and two fur babies. She is from Maryland but is currently living in Houston, TX. She loves to go boating and fishing on Lake Livingston, cook and bake (especially at Christmas), and enjoys crafting.