Glossary

Creating Carbon Offsets – It Starts With A Methodology

Creating Carbon Offsets – It Starts With A Methodology

Creating Carbon Offsets – It Starts With A Methodology


by David Priddy, VP of Business Development | February 24, 2021


With the continued push by businesses in recent years to establish more stringent sustainability goals with lower GHG thresholds, there’s been a corresponding rush by corporations, project developers, technology providers, and charitable foundations to implement emission reduction solutions to help meet this growing demand.  This has led to a plethora of innovative ideas and concepts from entities seeking to utilize carbon financing to bring their ideas to life.  As a leader in the carbon emission reduction and sequestration space, ClimeCo will frequently field requests on how to implement these ideas to generate and sell carbon offsets, which incentivizes continued investment in project activities that deliver emission reductions.  But after listening to entities pitch their ideas, the question that I most often hear is:  “Can we create carbon offsets?”  Well, the answer to that question can depend on many factors, but it all starts with an appropriate methodology.


Carbon Offset Methodologies

A carbon offset methodology is a framework document that defines the quantification and parameters that are required to generate carbon offsets throughout the life of a project. It establishes the project’s baseline, identifies qualifying practice changes to reduce carbon, and defines the monitoring requirements necessary to ensure that the reductions are real, quantifiable, verifiable, and additional to what would have happened in the absence of the project.

There are seemingly as many different offset methodologies available today as there are carbon reduction project ideas, but continuous innovation in this space keeps challenging that theory.  Voluntary registries, along with those carbon compliance programs that allow for the use of offsets, generally utilize their own protocols and methodologies.  In the North American voluntary market, we primarily work with three voluntary offset registries:  The Climate Action Reserve (CAR), American Carbon Registry (ACR), and Verra; these three registries offer more than 100 established methodologies.  Most of these existing methodologies can be classified into one of several primary categories, including industrial, agricultural, energy efficiency, waste, transportation, and renewable energy; however, the requirements for a particular methodology are usually written for a specific project activity, such that there is little room for interpretation or variance.  This often results in the need to modify an existing methodology or create a new one to support a proposed project’s activities if those activities do not precisely fit the parameters of an existing methodology.


Methodology Development

To ensure the integrity of carbon offsets, credible methodologies employ best practices based on the ISO 14064 standard, providing guidelines for quantifying, monitoring, reporting, and verifying GHG emissions and reductions.  These standards require that each project conducted under a methodology is calculated in a way that is relevant, complete, consistent, accurate, and transparent, and meets the aforementioned key crediting criteria (real, quantifiable, verifiable, and additional).  Therefore, the development of a new methodology requires a significant amount of input from the scientific community and various stakeholders, including industry groups, NGOs, and the legal and environmental justice communities.  The process can be lengthy and will typically include an individual proponent or group that authors the draft methodology, the formation of a stakeholder working group that provides technical and legal review, and a public comment period.  In our experience, it is quite common for a methodology development effort to take at least 12 months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to complete. 


Lessons Learned

The ClimeCo team has been involved in developing several project methodologies, either as an author/co-author or by serving on a working group.  Our experience ranges from methodologies focused on industrial gases, such as the destruction of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and the abatement of nitrous oxide (N2O) from Nitric Acid and Adipic Acid production, to avoided methane emissions from organic waste composting and agricultural methane destruction.  We are also working with clients on the development of some new methodologies that hold significant promise.  Through all of this, we have learned that the process is best served by a collaborative and transparent effort between the project proponent and the registry that balances scientific integrity, conservativeness, and financial viability to ensure a robust, practical, and defensible methodology.


The Bottom Line

As companies continue to ratchet down on their GHG commitments, the voluntary carbon market is poised for significant growth.  Buyers in this market have become increasingly savvy; they are demanding more from the offset projects they support, including a sharper focus on those that align with their businesses and produce various co-benefits.  This opens opportunities for creative thinking and project innovation in areas that existing offset methodologies may not serve.  To maximize the potential for success, a project owner/proponent should align themselves with an experienced consultant like ClimeCo to guide them through this process.


About the Author

Dave Priddy is ClimeCo’s Vice President of Business Development.  He has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental management field and is responsible for the firm’s strategic market initiatives and the evaluation of new project opportunities.  David holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

 

Five Ways To Reduce Your Household Emissions

Five Ways To Reduce Your Household Emissions

Five Ways To Reduce Your Household Emissions


by Danielle A. Pingitore, Marketing Specialist | January 27, 2021


Our homes played a significant role in our lives during 2020, and it seems that the trend is continuing into 2021. Although it has been a challenging year for many, some positives were derived from it. Many of us have transitioned into working from our homes, acquiring new hobbies, and revisiting old ones, spending quality time with ourselves and our immediate families, connecting with mother nature, and genuinely doing our best to find joy in slowing down.


Although we are lowering our costs and energy use by cutting back or eliminating our commute to work and the need for office space, we are merely displacing some of it by spending so much time at home and ensuring we are comfortable. Our households are significant environmental polluters, especially now that we are under a global pandemic. Many of the polluters in our homes are costly and play a key role in our carbon footprint. Below is a chart that breaks down the top 5 household energy users with their estimated related costs per year, kilowatt-hours used, and pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. 

*The information in the below chart is collected from the US Energy Information Administration.

Top 5 Household Energy Users



Five Easy Ways to Save

Several factors contribute to the amount of energy individual households use, such as climate and geographic location, type of home, the type/amount/efficiency of energy-consuming devices, duration of use, and how many people occupy the household.


Of course, if you are a homeowner, there are significant energy and cost-saving changes you can make to your home, such as reinsulating, winterizing, or replacing old units. However, there are also smaller changes that both homeowners and renters can take advantage of. Below, we break down five easy ways to reduce your household emissions.



1. Smart Thermostat/Programming Thermostat

Smart thermostats are growing in popularity. Not only do they make it possible to adjust your heating and cooling system settings from virtually anywhere using your computer, tablet, or mobile phone, but additionally, they generate significant energy and cost-saving benefits. Since energy use is a primary polluter, adjusting or programming your smart thermostat while asleep, at work, on vacation, or away from home can dramatically minimize your environmental impact and reap cost-saving benefits of up to 10% per year.

We understand that not all homes have a heating or cooling system easily programmable or operated with a smart thermostat. If your home uses alternative sources, such as a heat pump, electric resistance heating, steam heat, or radiant floor heating, there are still options for cutting down your energy use and utility bills. You can find additional information on these systems and your options here.

2. Clean Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerators are one of the main energy-hogging appliances in our homes. Reducing the energy used to keep it running efficiently is simple, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will result in savings on your electric bill.

The best option to save energy when it has to do with your refrigerator is to clean the coils. This task can reduce the amount of energy it uses to keep your food fresh and cold by up to 30 percent!

Keeping your fridge and freezer clean and organized is an additional way to cut back on energy and cost. Try to be mindful that your fridge and freezer are neither jam-packed so that air can circulate adequately, nor empty, so there is something to retain the cold when the door is open.

3. Showerhead Swap

Standard showerheads use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute.  Of course, there is the option of either taking a bath or limiting your shower’s length to cut down on your water bill and the energy used to heat the water. However, a quick and easy switch to install a low-flow showerhead is most effective.

A common misconception is that these showerheads do not have the same water pressure and temperature capabilities as a standard showerhead; however, this misconception is merely untrue. With the use of technology developed over the years, you can now have a satisfying shower experience while saving money, thousands of gallons of water each year, and being kinder to our planet.

Pro-tip: Look for the WaterSense label when shopping for a new showerhead.

4.  Using Cold Water for Laundry

You can cut your laundry’s energy use in half by making the effortless switch to cold water instead of using warm or hot. There are plenty of cold-water detergents available to ensure your wash is sanitized effectively if that is concerning.

Bonus: Cold water will prevent your clothing’s color from fading so quickly, and you will see the saving’s in your bill, just like the tips previously mentioned.

5.  Weather Stripping & Insulation for Attic/Crawl Space Hatches

As anyone with an attic or crawl space knows, there is typically a direct pathway for cold or hot air to naturally travel into the occupied areas of your home, which in turn leads to energy loss. Although this upgrade to reducing household emissions might not be as simple as tips 1-4, it is still relatively easy and effective in minimizing wasted energy and saving money.

The attic hatch is a panel in the dry-walled ceiling, often located in your home’s closet or hallway. To learn more about how to install weather stripping insulation in your home, click here.

Additional Tips

A great way to be part of the solution to a cleaner and greener planet is by carbon offsetting. Carbon offsetting is the act of compensating for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the purchase and application of certificates representing an equivalent amount of GHGs voluntarily reduced by another entity that has invested in carbon reduction sequestration projects. Each carbon offset represents one metric ton (approximately 2,205 lbs.) of carbon dioxide reduced. By calculating your household emissions, you will better understand what you are emitting into the Earth’s atmosphere. By purchasing offsets to mitigate your footprint, you can support a project of your liking, reach your sustainability goals, and be part of the fight against climate change. Learn more about how to calculate and offset your carbon footprint by visiting ClimeCo Green.

Making these small changes in your lifestyle can significantly impact your savings account and, more importantly, our beautiful home, planet earth. Start by creating a list, placing each item in order of priority, and checking off each one until you reach your personal goal of reducing your household emissions.

 


About the Author

Danielle A. Pingitore has 10+ years of experience in sales and marketing and is enjoying the challenges of the carbon market. Dani holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a Certificate of Recognition in Advertising through Kutztown University. Dani loves music and enjoys attending concerts and festivals, traveling, river tubing, cycling, working out, and spending time with loved ones.

Check out Dani’s other blog, Carbon Consciousness & The Live Music Experience, by clicking here.

*Data in tables provided by EarthUP

 

BioCycle Interview with Dr. Scott Subler, Connections: Reality Check On Carbon Trading And Organics Recycling

BioCycle Interview with Dr. Scott Subler, Connections: Reality Check On Carbon Trading And Organics Recycling

BioCycle Interview with Dr. Scott Subler, Connections: Reality Check On Carbon Trading And Organics Recycling

ClimeCo’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Scott Subler, joins forces with Sally Brown, Senior Adviser of BioCycle, The Organics Recycling Authority, for Part X.2 of an interview, Connections: Reality Check On Carbon Trading And Organics Recycling

In this interview, Scott, a one-time vermicomposter turned carbon market expert, yields insights into credit opportunities for composting and AD facilities.

Click here or the image below to read the full interview.

Compost 2021

 

About ClimeCo 

ClimeCo is a leader in the management and development of environmental commodities. We combine unrivaled commodity market expertise with engineering and environmental assessment, permitting, and transaction structuring to help clients maximize their environmental assets and minimize their regulatory costs. 

From policy advisory to ESG strategy, offsets sourcing to project development, we provide comprehensive, vertically integrated solutions to help enhance our customers’ sustainability impact—whether they are responding to emissions regulations or satisfying voluntary sustainability goals. 

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 contact page.

ClimeCo Expands Sustainability Services with the Hire of Emily Damon

ClimeCo Expands Sustainability Services with the Hire of Emily Damon

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

ClimeCo Expands Sustainability Services with the Hire of Emily Damon

January 14, 2020 (Boyertown, PA) – ClimeCo announces the expansion of its sustainability services, launching a dedicated sustainability and ESG team. The team is joined by Emily Damon, who, prior to joining ClimeCo, led the North American ESG Sustainability practice for a multinational, 7,000-person consulting firm. The team brings cross-sectoral expertise in sustainability reporting, tracking, risk management, target-setting, and ESG strategy.

“Our customers are seeking advice on ESG as pressure mounts from their board, shareholders, and consumers to be more sustainable,” says Bill Flederbach, President and CEO of ClimeCo. “As expectations intensify, companies are finding them increasingly complex to navigate, so it was a natural step for us to add Emily to our sustainability team. The experience and skillset she brings to the team is key to keeping our customers on top of this challenge.”

Damon will serve as Vice President and leader of the Sustainability, Policy and Advisory team. She specializes in ESG performance and disclosure. Her work spans reporting, materiality assessment, rating and ranking optimization, and risk assessment. She also has deep expertise in corporate climate strategy, including greenhouse gas accounting, target-setting, abatement strategy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

“The growth we’ve seen in sustainability demands on companies continues to accelerate,” says Damon. “We help our clients turn what can be a headache into an opportunity to improve performance. This expanded ESG team, along with ClimeCo’s net-zero experts, is in a unique position to help our clients become sustainability leaders.”

Damon holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. She has spent over a dozen years in sustainability consulting. Her work has spanned many industries, including retail, apparel/fashion/footwear, real estate, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, energy & extractives, industrial processing, and logistics.  She loves a good challenge, whether it’s a spreadsheet or stakeholder, and is proud to support ClimeCo’s mission — making a difference today for a better world tomorrow.

About ClimeCo

ClimeCo is a respected advisor, transaction facilitator, and trader of environmental commodity market products. We specialize in regulated carbon, regional criteria pollutant trading programs, voluntary markets, sustainability, and project development 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. 

ClimeCo Green Launches a New Website to Calculate and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

ClimeCo Green Launches a New Website to Calculate and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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

ClimeCo Green Launches a New Website to Calculate and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint



December 1, 2020 (Boyertown, PA) –
 ClimeCo Green, a division of ClimeCo LLC, announces the launch of its new website that provides individuals the opportunity to offset their household carbon footprint easily. With rising greenhouse gas (GHG) levels resulting from human activities, we must all take responsibility for climate change. ClimeCo Green allows individuals to do their part by helping them understand and then reduce their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon offsets, which are generated by projects that either sequester or permanently destroy carbon emissions, preventing them from impacting our climate. 

In 2020, many of us found ourselves working and learning from our homes versus our offices and schools. This change came at a more significant price than we may have initially considered. Instead of being out and about during the day, we found ourselves in our homes using more electricity to power our laptops and computers while running our heating and air conditioning systems for extended periods to feel comfortable and productive. We noticed our electricity, grocery, and gas bills were higher than usual. Yet, we may not have realized that our household carbon footprints were also more significant than they had been. Carbon offsets from ClimeCo Green are a great way to mitigate our carbon footprints and are an essential path for individuals to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. 

Everyone’s carbon footprint is different, depending on their location, habits, and personal choices. ClimeCo Green offers an easy-to-use e-commerce platform that makes it simple to calculate household carbon emissions and to purchase offsets that mitigate them. Our calculator estimates an individual’s footprint in five key areas: home energy, transportation, food, goods, and services. This calculation provides you with a basic understanding of your unique impact and compares it against others within your area.  It then offers you the option to purchase offsets from one or more of several featured projects. The entire process generally takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

In addition to purchasing offsets, ClimeCo Green also provides the user with incentives, environmental tips, rebates, and products that allow you to improve your everyday life by reducing emissions, waste, and water and energy use. Visit us at www.ClimeCoGreen.com to see how we can help you live greener and healthier!

About ClimeCo

ClimeCo is an Inc. 5000 company that is a respected advisor, transaction facilitator, and trader of environmental commodity market products. Specialized expertise in regulated carbon, regional criteria pollutant trading programs, voluntary markets, and project development and financing of GHG abatement and mitigation systems complement ClimeCo’s diverse portfolio. For more information or to discuss how ClimeCo can drive your organization’s value, contact us at 484.415.0501, info@climeco.com, or through our website ClimeCo.com.