Glossary

NCAA Championship Basketball Carbon Neutral in 2021

NCAA Championship Basketball Carbon Neutral in 2021

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
CONTACT
Nancy Marshall, Corporate Marketing Director
484.415.7603 or nmarshall@climeco.com

NCAA Championship Basketball Carbon Neutral in 2021

August 17, 2021 (Boyertown, PA) – ClimeCo is pleased to be a part of the effort to make the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship carbon neutral.  ClimeCo teamed up with Heritage Interactive Services (Heritage) to contribute offsets to mitigate this year’s tournament, held in Indianapolis, IN.   

IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability, a partnership between Indiana University and Purdue University, collected emissions data across seven event venues, including electricity, gas, steam, and chilled water.  This data was used to quantify the greenhouse gas footprint and determine the number of carbon offsets necessary to achieve carbon neutrality for March Madness. 

“As long-time NCAA Tournament fans, we are really excited to work with Heritage to help ensure the 2021 NCAA tournament is run in an environmentally sustainable fashion,” said Bill Flederbach, President of ClimeCo.  “Having events like this become carbon neutral is a big win when it comes to combating climate change!” 

March Madness used over 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy to power the practice and tournament facilities. That number is equivalent to the amount of electricity it takes to power approximately 2,200 households in Indiana for one month.  In addition, all operational emissions from venues of tournaments were mitigated by selecting carbon reduction projects across the country – supporting wind energy, landfill gas capture and destruction, and preservation of natural forest habitat.

ncaa march madness championship 2021

About ClimeCo

ClimeCo is a respected global advisor, transaction facilitator, trader, and developer of environmental commodity market products, projects, and related services. We specialize in voluntary carbon, regulated carbon, renewable energy credits, plastics credits, and regional criteria pollutant trading programs. Complementing these programs is a team of professionals skilled in providing sustainability program management services, and developing and financing of GHG abatement and mitigation systems.

For more information or to discuss how ClimeCo can drive value for your organization, contact us at 484.415.0501, info@climeco.com, or through our website climeco.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using our handle, @ClimeCo.  

About Heritage Interactive Services 

Heritage Interactive Services is a division of Heritage Environmental Services, a privately held, family-owned environmental services business with more than 1,600 employees across North and Central America. The company provides a full suite of tailored solutions from emergency response, waste disposal, and sustainability services to on-site support and technical solutions to thousands of customers in hundreds of industries and verticals. Heritage regularly achieves a high-level of cost savings and landfill avoidance through innovative total byproduct management solutions, including customized waste and recycling programs, even helping hundreds of sites achieve zero waste to landfill status.

Moving Forward with Net-Zero

Moving Forward with Net-Zero

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.

The New Age (Old) Question:  What does it mean to be “Carbon Neutral”?

The New Age (Old) Question: What does it mean to be “Carbon Neutral”?

The New Age (Old) Question: What does it mean to be “Carbon Neutral”?

Carbon neutral blog image - trees and buildings

If you are reading this, you may already have some curiosity about carbon neutrality.  Maybe some knowledge, experience.

However, you may also have in mind the common question that we at ClimeCo hear from our clients and prospective clients:  What does it mean when a company says they want to become (more) “carbon neutral”?

Well, fearless reader, we can offer you one of many internet-found, quick and succinct definitions with this one from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary:

Climate Neutral is an adjective under the subsets of environment and social responsibility and defined as:  If something such as an organization or activity is carbon neutral, it removes the same amount of carbon dioxide from the environment as it releases into the environment.  (© 2019 Cambridge University Press)

Still confused?  Feeling inquisitive?  Good!

I proffer that there is more to it.  There are many definitions, understandings and misunderstandings; however, there isn’t absolute guidance regarding how a company or individual can become carbon neutral.  The central tenet is a bit easier to carry and is becoming more standardized.  Being or becoming carbon neutral is not an all-or-nothing effort, nor should it be.  It also need not be a one-time-only effort, rather, there are steps and considerations to be made. 

Central to all of this is determining your carbon footprint (carbon emissions associated with your activities), as this is what must be offset.

Carbon neutral blog - trees

Fortunately, amongst the many widely accepted discussions and guidance, we find the Greenhouse Gas Corporate Protocol (GHG Protocol) ( https://ghgprotocol.org/ ), whose crafters note is used by 9 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies.  From our experience, we have no reason to doubt that claim.  The GHG Protocol is far from new, so it’s no wonder it has global traction.  It is a wonderful answer to the question at hand, too.

Around the late 1990s and early 2000s, much time and effort were spent by a partnership between World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), along with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry, governments and many others focused on creating the GHG Protocol.

At 116 pages, the Corporate GHG Protocol is not short; however, it is an easy, educational, and thorough read.  Most important in any carbon-neutral plan is considering just what your direct and indirect emissions are and accounting for them.  For instance, do you generate emissions from your ongoing site operations, or do you purchase generated power from elsewhere (either with or without emissions)?  Do you transport products?  The list goes on; however, the GHG Protocol offers a solution by providing a 3-step list of GHG “Scoping” for consideration (known as “Scope 1”; “Scope 2”; and “Scope 3”).

Scope 1 emissions deal with direct emissions.  

In other words, traceable right down to your personal/corporate activities.  Burning wood in a fireplace.  Driving to work.  Producing a chemical product and/or using fossil-fueled equipment, such as boilers.  On-site power generation.  You get the idea.

Scope 2 emissions deal with indirect emissions fostered by electricity consumption.  

In general, such emissions are generated offsite, but precisely because you need electricity.  So, you then account for those greenhouse gas emissions in your tally.

Scope 3 emissions address the balance of indirect emissions.

This scope tends to be optional under the GHG Protocol.  Examples of such items include transport and purchased manufacturing materials that are used onsite.

Apply GHG Protocol

Applying these “Scopes” to assess emissions has become one of the more common bases for calculations in determining annual emissions and/or a baseline to be offset.  The limits of just how far to go thereafter result from a bespoke plan, as these are the emissions that would need to be offset to become carbon neutral (be it partially, or in full).  Please recognize one of the old truisms as a part of such planning; reduce emissions the best you can and then offset the rest.

Carbon neutral means 100% net emissions balanced for a defined period of time.  Those reductions; however, do not necessarily need to all be accomplished on site.  Some, if not all, of these emissions can be offset by purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs).  Note that use of such credits represents an ongoing obligation.  Emission reduction projects, both on and offsite, are creating reductions necessary for such balancing.  Part of the strategy should be to assess where reductions might first be made internally (e.g., switching to LED light bulbs) and then combining with environmental credits to balance the remaining emissions associated with the facility and its power consumption.  

Carbon neutral blog image - team meeting

The Future of “Being” Carbon Neutral

2019 has seen the continued advent of companies, organizations, and even rock bands looking to become carbon neutral.  Many have published extensive press releases about how they will be carbon neutral by 2023, 2025, 2030, etc.  This is because shareholders, investors, lenders, senior managers and other stakeholders are focused on the need “to do something” about climate change.  Fans, consumers, environmentalists, etc. are pushing for it, so this effort has become a public social responsibility that companies need to promote to show that they are trying to do the right thing and to build brand loyalty. 

From assessments to analysis, planning to execution, project development to sales, and marketing and acquisitions, this is what keeps companies like ClimeCo nimble; constantly developing, assessing, and executing carbon neutral efforts.

What does “being carbon neutral” mean at a higher level?

It means that you are responding to climate change.  You are taking a stand in a socially, financially, and environmentally beneficial manner.  How often is there a triple win in something you do for yourself or your company?  Not very often!  So, what are you waiting for?

Carbon Neutral blog - skyscraper building

About the Author

Andy Kruger, Esq., is well-versed in both law and engineering.  He holds degrees in both fields and has more than 30 years of experience in environmental markets and policy.  He is passionate about Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and helping individuals, organizations, and companies to be better stewards of our world.