This Week in V-Carbon: At The Water Cooler

The Olympics get Sandbagged. Carbon for water draws interest on dual fronts as Triple Quest seeks Gold Standard validation for its water purification project in Kenya, while new opportunities to monetize blue carbon incubate in the voluntary carbon space. Meanwhile, rainforest projects gain traction under Plan Vivo in Sri Lanka and VCS in Peru.

The Olympics get Sandbagged. Carbon for water draws interest on dual fronts as Triple Quest seeks Gold Standard validation for its water purification project in Kenya, while new opportunities to monetize blue carbon incubate in the voluntary carbon space. Meanwhile, rainforest projects gain traction under Plan Vivo in Sri Lanka and VCS in Peru.

This article was originally published in the V-Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.

15 August 2012 | As we continue tuning into the London 2012 Olympics, the games seem to be drawing controversy over more than just referee calls and NBC coverage. Sandbag and the Low Carbon Community Network (LCCN) recently called for steelmaker ArcelorMittal – an official London 2012 Olympic Supporter that was behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit and reportedly the most oversupplied company in the EU ETS – to offset the Games’ carbon emissions entirely.

In the words of Sandbag’s Rob Elsworth, “For ArcelorMittal, a carbon neutral London 2012 would be a far better Olympic legacy than the Orbit could ever be. What is more the steelmaker could achieve this effortlessly by cancelling less than 3% of the spare carbon allowances that European governments awarded them for free. Such a gesture would also help reduce the supply of allowances in the EU emissions trading scheme at a time when it is struggling to remain relevant.”  

The Sandbag piece omits the fact that at least spectator travel emissions for the Games are being offset by BP Target Neutral, the Games’ Official Carbon Offset Partner. BP’s  offset ticker  shows that so far, over 415,000 journeys have been offset (tonnage unreported), against the ultimate goal of offsetting 400,000 tCO2e – the estimated carbon footprint of spectator travel to the Games.


New prospects emerged for financing the distribution of water filters with the support of carbon finance, as Michigan-based Triple Quest  seeks Gold Standard validation  for its Hydraid BioSand project in Kenya. The voluntary carbon markets are making headway in water elsewhere as well, in a new twist on the term “blue ocean strategy.”  An article  in The Tyee touches upon the potential to monetize the blue carbon space, based on existing progress made by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the American Carbon Registry (ACR) on wetland methodologies, and the idea of bundling blue carbon with other social and environmental co-benefits into “value-added” terrestrial forest carbon offsets under the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standards.


On the topic of biodiversity, Sri Lanka’s Hiniduma Biolink Project – developed by Conservation Carbon Company and Rainforest Rescue International –  was recently registered, reportedly the first project to receive validation under the Plan Vivo Standard in Asia. In Peru, Bosques Amazí³nicos  received VCS validation  for its REDD project.


New offset options are on the table for both consumer and professional drivers. In California, Propel Fuels recently enabled drivers to offset their emissions at the pump, while ARCA driver Leilani Mí¼nter  pledged  to offset her unavoidable emissions from racing through Wildlife Works’ Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary REDD project in Kenya under the Code REDD Campaign.


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V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

A blue ocean strategy


An article in The Tyee highlights efforts BC is making to preserve its coastal marine environments – better known as blue carbon – starting with mapping and measuring carbon stocks. When it comes to monetizing them, no blue carbon offset projects are registered just yet, but things are stirring in the voluntary carbon market. By October, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is slated to finalize rules for wetland carbon offset projects – possibly including mangroves and salt marshes. In addition, the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) could provide a potential outlet to bundle  blue carbon with other social and environmental co-benefits into “value-added” terrestrial forest carbon offsets. In the US, the American Carbon Registry (ACR) unveiled a wetlands program earlier this year – beginning with efforts in the Mississippi Delta, but using a modular approach that can accommodate future projects in other regions.


   – Read more from The Tyee
   – Read more from BBC


Letting offsets filter in

Triple Quest (TQ), a Michigan-based water filter manufacturer, typically distributes its $34 Hydraid BioSand water filters through non-profits – which obtain and deliver the filters to end users in developing countries. The firm reports that because of the high price NGOs have to pay for the filters under this model, TQ only produces 8,000 units per year, compared to its potential capacity of 250,000 a year. In hopes that carbon finance will support broader distribution, TQ is now pursuing Gold Standard validation for its carbon offset project in Kenya. Each filter reportedly prevents 10,000 tCO2e annually in avoided emissions from boiling water. If the validation goes through, companies seeking carbon credits will be able to buy TQ’s credits from third party vendors like the CarbonNeutral Company and Native Energy.

   – Read more


Plan Vivo’s cup of tea

Project developers Conservation Carbon Company and Rainforest Rescue International recently received Plan Vivo validation for their Hiniduma Biolink Project in Sri Lanka – the first project in Asia to receive Plan Vivo validation. Aiming to create a biodiversity corridor between two rainforest patches in Galle District, the project works with smallholders, mainly tea farmers, in a reforestation programme using over 90 tree species. It has so far piloted systems with 15 farmers over 11 ha and will scale up gradually over the project lifetime, aiming to eventually reforest and restore over 2,000 ha between World Heritage forest sites at Singharaja and Kanneliya. Further Plan Vivo validations are underway in India and Nepal.

   – Read more


BAM gets stamp of approval on REDD project

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) recently announced VCS validation for what the project developer reports is Peru’s first validated REDD project. Predicted to generate 2 MtCO2e in VCUs per year, the project will leverage carbon credit revenue to prevent illegal deforestation on 290,695 ha of Madre de Dios forestland, while investing in a Brazil nut processing plant to increase livelihood conditions of Brazil nut concessionaries. Project sponsors include the Federation of Brazil Nut Concessioners of Madre de Dios (FEPROCAMD) and Peru-based Bosques Amazí³nicos (BAM), which was also behind the VCS-validated Campo Verde reforestation project in Brazil.

   – Read more


Mí¼nter musters up with Code REDD

ARCA driver Leilani Mí¼nter races not only cars, but deforestation as well. She recently announced her support for the Code REDD Campaign, pledging to offset her unavoidable emissions from racing through Wildlife Works’ Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary REDD project in SE Kenya, one of the approved REDD+ projects in the campaign. In 2007, she became the first carbon neutral race driver, adopting an acre of rainforest for every race she’s run ever since. “We are in a race against deforestation,” Mí¼nter said, adding that “in the time it takes me to finish one race, 7,500 acres of forest will be lost to deforestation.”

   – Read more


From search engine to car engine


The Foundation, a Bethesda-based offset provider, just announced the re-launch of a refurbished, a free, Bing-powered search engine that enables anyone to help protect the environment through web searches. uses Bing’s engine and ad and link revenue relationships to support projects including a reforestation initiative in Haiti, a mangrove project in India, and tree-planting across the US. For every user that makes their homepage or adds it as their preferred search engine and Likes it on Facebook, plants five trees – up to 500,000 trees.


Another partner made headlines this month, allowing consumers to support clean energy even if they don’t drive with renewable fuels. At Propel Fuels’ flagship Clean Mobility Center in Fullerton, California, drivers can now offset their emissions when refueling at the pump. is directing Propel’s contributions toward the Truck Stop Electrification Project, validated to the American Carbon Registry. Despite high fuel prices, customers have fully offset emissions from their purchase over 1,000 times since Propel launched its program in May. The pilot has offset over 72 tCO2e, i.e. taking 84 cars off the road in the same two-month time period.


   – Read more about Envirosearch/a>
Read more about Propel Fuels


ASAE meeting finds ReLeaf

For the first time, The Center for Association Leadership (ASAE) – a member association representing 10,000 organizations from various trade associations, individual membership societies, and voluntary groups in the US and nearly 50 countries around the world – is partnering with conservation nonprofit American Forests to plant 5,000 trees, one for each person who attends the 2012 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition (August 11-14). This effort, part of American Forests’ new Meeting ReLeaf program, will offset the meeting’s carbon footprint by planting trees in Texas in honor of the host state for this year’s meeting.  

   – Read more


Burke leaves WCI pack

The Western Climate Initiative, Inc. announced last Friday that Anita Burke has stepped down from her position as the organization’s first executive director – citing personal reasons. Burke was hired in March to establish and coordinate technical and administrative support for the emissions trading programs of WCI, Inc.’s participating jurisdictions, including the allowance auctions, market monitoring and tracking of carbon allowances and offsets. While the organization searches for her replacement, the development of support and administrative mechanisms for the emissions trading program will continue without interruption.

   – Read press release


Reduce & Retire: The Latest on Carbon Neutral

The Olympic hurdles event…


…in tonnes, not meters, that is. London 2012 is the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over its entire term, which reportedly totals at about 3.4 MtCO2e. Accordingly, Sandbag and the Low Carbon Community Network (LCCN) recently made a request to steelmaker ArcelorMittal – a London 2012 Olympic Supporter that was behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit and reportedly the most oversupplied company in the EU ETS – to offset the Games’ carbon emissions entirely. To do so would require ArcelorMittal to cancel 3.4 MtCO2e in spare carbon allowances, under 3% of the 123 million in excess EU certificates the steelmaker received for free from European governments.  In the meantime, efforts to offset Olympic travel emissions continue, with BP Target Neutral exceeding 415,000 sign-ups for offsetting spectator travel emissions.


Through his spinoff firm, Offsetters, UBC Sauder School of Business professor James Tansey is also offsetting the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team’s travel emissions (totaling around 1,500 tCO2e) to London. The team’s carbon emissions are being offset by carbon credits invested in two landfill gas ventures in Canada, a biogas project in Thailand, and a wind farm in Turkey.


   – Read about Sandbag and LCCN request
   – Read about offsetting Canadian team’s travel emissions
   – Read more Games’ milestones


Nanaimo charts new course


Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) municipalities recently signed on to BC province’s legally non-binding Climate Action Charter, which requires signatories to become carbon neutral in 2012. An RDN study suggests that the perfect threshold for the program to be effective is about 10,000 tCO2e, about the same as all of the RDN member communities. “We’re better off going together because pooling our offsets, our emissions, pushes us close to that 10,000-tonne threshold and, in a sense, pooling our jurisdictions overcomes some of the geographical constraints,” said RDN’s Chris Midgley. Signatories can opt to buy offsets rather than make reductions, and can withdraw from the charter with suitable notice. Implications for the City of Nanaimo as a signatory include creation of a reserve for emission reduction projects and annual funding into a reserve to fund offsets instead of going toward the city’s sustainability reserve.


   – Read more


Carbon neutrality caught on film

For the third year, Wyoming-based Teton Gravity Research (TGR) – reportedly the first action sports production company to offset all carbon emissions from a film production – and California-based Protect Our Winters (POW) – a nonprofit that works to counter climate change by engaging the winter sports community – have partnered to go carbon neutral on TGR’s film production process. TGR is buying carbon offsets through POW (sourced from offset provider EarlyBird Power) from a Methane Waste Avoidance project at a facility in Joslin, IL. Previously, TGR purchased offsets for its films Deeper, Light the Wick, and Re:Session from a Conservation Based Forest Management project involving the Van Eck Forest in Humboldt County, California.

   – Read more


Featured Jobs

Senior Program Officer – VCS

Based in Washington, DC, the officer will oversee validation/verification bodies working under the VCS Program. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s at minimum, and 5+ years’ work experience in carbon markets, preferably for or with VVBs or similar entities under other GHG programs, and in particular the CDM.

   – Read more about the position here


Technical Officer, Beijing – Gold Standard

Based in Beijing, the officer will play a key role in both project and methodology reviews and the further development of Gold Standard rules. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s in engineering, science, or related discipline (Master’s or PhD in energy and/or EIAs desirable), 4-5 years’ work experience in carbon markets, and preferably fluency in Chinese.

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Associate, Climate Change & Sustainability – ICF

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Senior Advisor on Energy Economics, Global Climate & Energy Initiative – WWF

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Graduate Energy Manager – Envido

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Director of Global Projects – Carbon War Room

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Senior Policy Researcher, AFOLU Climate Change Mitigation Policy – SEI

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Junior Project Intern – Carbon Leapfrog

Based in London, the intern will be responsible for creating and administering a survey to Carbon Leapfrog’s members to create reliable metrics on their work. Candidates should have good communication skills and basic project management expertise.

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Carbon Footprint Intern – Global Footprint Network

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