This Week In V-Carbon: Tackling CO2’s Bigger Brother

Universities weigh in against N2O as Michigan State University puts finishing touches on ACR-approved methodology and Duke University accepts delivery of CRTs based on N2O abatement. Back to carbon, BP Target Neutral exceeds 200,000 sign-ups to offset travel emissions for this year’s Olympics in London.

Universities weigh in against N2O as Michigan State University puts finishing touches on ACR-approved methodology and Duke University accepts delivery of CRTs based on N2O abatement. Back to carbon, BP Target Neutral exceeds 200,000 sign-ups to offset travel emissions for this year’s Olympics in London.

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

30 July 2012 | As we settle into writing mode for our State of the Forest Carbon Markets  2012 report (due to launch in September!), we are temporarily scaling back the V-Carbon News brief to focus on voluntary carbon and carbon neutral topics.  


Voluntary climate action in the UK has recently dominated carbon headlines, as Toshiba’s air conditioning subsidiary in the UK  announced  carbon neutrality with offsets purchased through The CarbonNeutral Company. Starting in August, England’s H&H Reeds Printers announced it will offset its emissions through REDD projects supported by the World Land Trust. Meanwhile, BP Target Neutral is gearing up for even more voluntary sign-ups (200,000 and counting) to offset travel emissions to and from London for this year’s big Olympic Games.


Farmers in the US will soon have the option of tapping into carbon revenues from reduced application of nitrogen fertilizer (reportedly without hurting yields) under the American Carbon Registry’s (ACR) newly approved methodology, developed by scientists at Michigan State University.


ACR Director of Business Development Mary Grady muses about the potential supplementary carbon revenues, “That may be icing on the cake in good years as well as welcome income in years like this one when (due to extreme weather) many US corn farmers have lost their entire crop, but still have bills to pay.”


Also in the US, universities are not only researching methodologies around nitrogen, but also buying into projects, as Duke University  – which arranged to  supply carbon credits to Google last year – recently accepted delivery of Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) from a ClimeCo fertilizer manufacturing nitrous oxide abatement project.


In Latin America, Patagonia Sur  received validation  from the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for its native-species reforestation project in Chile. Building upon its joint venture with the Jatropha Mali Initiative, Eco-Carbone  registered  what is reportedly  the first agroforestry project under VCS earlier this month in Africa – a landmark for the biofuel sector. In South Asia, India’s State of Maharashtra is playing with the idea of “tree credits,” a variation on carbon credits pending government approval.


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—The Editors

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V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

A jatropha seed for your health

Earlier this month, Paris-based developer Eco-Carbone registered what is reportedly the first project to sequester carbon through agroforestry under VCS – a landmark for biofuel given the project’s focus on jatropha.  Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has agreed to buy all carbon credits, including those for future plantations, for an undisclosed amount.  Through a joint venture with the Jatropha Mali Initiative (JMI), Eco-Carbone created an agroforestry system in the Kita region of Mali that covers over 4,000 ha of plantations, working in partnership with 3,500 farmers to adopt sustainable practices for their jatropha curcas plantations and up plantings to  15,000 ha. The grains will then be processed into either oil or fertilizer, and sold to the local community.

   – Read more


N2O ear today, gone tomorrow

Fresh coverage has arrived on the new N2O management methodology, developed for the American Carbon Registry (ACR) by Michigan State University scientists (with support from the Electric Power Research Institute). While farmers already manage fertilizer to avoid large losses of nitrogen from cropland, to further reduce losses currently costs more money than the reduced fertilizer saves. Under ACR’s newly approved methodology – also undergoing final stages of validation for use under VCS – farmers will be earn carbon revenues for using less fertilizer to produce crops. By applying the fertilizer more precisely, they minimize the risk of reducing yields (in order to prevent leakage). The methodology has been successfully piloted by a Michigan farmer in Tuscola County. Whether such agricultural protocols will gain traction in the California cap-and-trade program remains to be seen.

   – Read ACR-MSU-EPRI press release
   – Read more from Phys.Org


Duke University back on the farm

Universities are not only pitching in on nitrous oxide reduction methodologies, but also buying into projects. Duke University – which arranged to supply waste-to-energy carbon credits to Google last year – recently accepted delivery of CRTs from a ClimeCo fertilizer manufacturing nitrous oxide abatement project. In doing so, it became the first school to tap into ClimeCo’s carbon neutral commodity investment menu. The terms of the Duke purchase are undisclosed. The offsets will go toward reducing Duke’s annual greenhouse gas emissions through the university’s climate action plan, under the guidelines of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. ClimeCo plans to invest proceeds from Duke’s voluntary market participation to finance development of carbon offset projects in the agricultural sector.

   – Read more on Duke-Google deal
   – Read more on Duke-ClimeCo deal


Maharashtra pays it forward

Within three months, India’s government is slated to decide on a proposal (submitted by the social forestry department in late June) to offer “tree credits” to residents for planting trees. Building off the carbon credit concept, the social forestry department has proposed to offer incentives for individuals, corporates, institutions and industries to grow or protect trees on owned or possessed plots. Under the proposal, tree nurturers would receive a share of credits earned by the government, to be offered until the tree reaches maturity, after which certificates would be redeemable. The proposal is aimed at raise Maharashtra State’s forest cover to 33% from its current 20.13%. To achieve the target, the government aims to plant 100 crore trees annually for the next five years.

   – Read more


Validators sur about Chilean project

Patagonia Sur’s native-species reforestation project in Chilean Patagonia has received validation under the Verified Carbon Standard, becoming the first project to use reforest using trees native to Chile while focusing on restoring the country’s indigenous biodiversity. Since 2010, Patagonia Sur has been creating carbon offsets through its Reforestation and Biodiversity Project on its Valle California property in the Palena province of southern Chile. Three types of native-species beech trees – Coigí¼e, í±irre, and Lenga – are planted. Each tree is expected to sequester 0.48 tCO2 over an 80-year period. In 2012, Patagonia Sur expects to plant over 1,000,000 trees.

   – Read more


O Little Town of Bethlehem

Pennsylvania’s City of Bethlehem tapped into a new asset in its watersheds recently, when the Bethlehem Authority announced completion of its forest management plan by the Nature Conservancy, and certification from the Forest Stewardship Council – which both fed into the generation of carbon credits. According to Mayor John Callahan, the authority sold four years’ worth of carbon credits to a household-name multinational manufacturer for more than predicted (in 2010, authority Executive Director Steve Repasch said the credits may net $500,000 to $1 million over a 10-year period). Blue Source, which brokered the credits, is now marketing the remaining six years of carbon credits. The Nature Conservancy’s William Kunze said the deal to preserve the authority’s watershed, certify timber, and market carbon credits is the first of its kind.

   – Read more


David Nilsson and his discontents

“Who else is giving them a better deal in the world?” said Australian property developer David Nilsson, a self-proclaimed “carbon cowboy” who signed carbon contracts with indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon, promising billion-dollar carbon deals that give him control over their rainforest for 200 years, half of all profits, and some of his own terms and conditions – illegible as far as the Yagua tribe was concerned when they reportedly signed off without being able to read the contract itself. The agreement’s executive summary belies Nilsson’s plans to eventually log the forests and replace them with palm oil plantations. Liam Bartlett from 60 Minutes has exclusive interview footage of Nilsson in and out of his element.

   – Read more


The award for carbon’s fastest growing challenge…

After some indecision, World Finance has named London-based carbon credit trader Worldwide Commodity Partners “Western Europe’s Fastest Growing Broker.” The same publication named Tullett Brown “Commodities Broker of the Year in Western Europe” just before the UK High Court ordered Tullett Brown into liquidation. Whether Worldwide Commodity Partners will follow Tullett Brown’s suit remains to be seen. REDD Monitor provides the low-down on the strange PR and marketing stunts that the new awardee has pulled, ranging from its retraction of a Youtube video of its staff accepting the award to its past life making high-pressure calls under the name of World Carbon.

   – Read more


Transactions take a bow

Last week, the 2012 Environmental Finance Awards tipped its hat to two movers of innovative carbon finance. The LifeStraw Carbon for Water project  – developed by  Vestergaard Frandsen and commercialized by ClimateCare using carbon credits  in Western Kenya  –  took home “Carbon Finance Transaction of the Year.” An EF editor commended the duo for “laying the foundations for new sources of revenue for climate change projects – using MRV techniques from the carbon markets to demonstrate projects’ health and societal co-benefits.”


On the forest carbon end, Terra Global Capital received the “Sustainable Forestry Deal of the Year” Award for its work with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to structure and underwrite the world’s first political risk insurance contract for a REDD project, which protected Terra Global’s investment in the Oddar Meanchey REDD project in Cambodia.

   – Read press release from ClimateCare
   – Read press release from Terra Global Capital



London-based Carbon Neutral Investments recently announced a new partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, affiliated to Make-A-Wish Foundation International – the world’s largest wish-granting organization. The partnership involves CNI installing a carbon calculator on the Make A Wish Foundation UK’s website, whose visitors will have the option to purchase a carbon credit. For every credit sold, CNI has agreed to make a donation to the charity.

   – Read more


Reduce & Retire: The Latest on Carbon Neutral

Passing the offsets torch

The BP Target Neutral London 2012 programme has reached over 200,000 sign-ups as ticketholders, athletes, and Olympic Partners look to lower the carbon footprint of the Games. BP Target Neutral is offering to offset the carbon footprint of all ticketed spectator journeys to and from the Olympic and Paralympic Games for free. So far, emissions have already been offset for participants including all 70,000 Games volunteers, along with Team GB, ParalympicsGB, and a number of Olympic Committees. Participating countries include Team USA, Turkey, Trinidad & Tobago, Azerbaijan, Egypt, UAE, Angola, and Georgia. All carbon emissions will be offset from a portfolio of six ICROA-compliant offset projects chosen to represent each participating continent.

   – Read press release


Toshiba A/C hits absolute zero

This summer, Toshiba’s air conditioning subsidiary in the UK has just announced that it has gone carbon neutral through a mix of emission reductions and carbon offsets purchased through The CarbonNeutral Company. Supported offset projects include energy saving projects being undertaken in Kenya and China, under the VCS, Gold Standard, Climate Action Registry, and CDM standards. Over the years, the Japanese giant has also dabbled in carbon neutral products ranging from a carbon neutral laptop in the UK with offsetting going toward tree-planting, to carbon neutral barcode printers with offsetting going toward energy efficient stoves in Kenya.  

   – Read more


Alberta’s alternative to Two Buck Chuck


Under Bellstar Hotels & Resorts’ new program at its Kicking Horse properties, Bellstar collects $2 per night from guests, the proceeds of which go toward carbon offsets in support of emission-reducing projects across Alberta, Canada such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, composting and recycling – making each stay carbon neutral. Bellstar Hotels & Resorts’ Kicking Horse properties recently joined the EcoStay Program, which supports hotels across North America in reducing and offsetting their carbon footprints. Carbon offsets are supplied by LivClean, listed on CSA Group’s GHG CleanProjects Registry in alignment with the ISO 14064 standards.


   – Read press release


H&H Reeds for REDD

134-year-old H&H Reeds Printers announced last week that starting next month, it will become the first “carbon balanced” publication printer in the Northwest of England, and one of just a few in the whole of UK. The company will use carbon balanced paper and offer all customers a service whereby the carbon emissions from its products are offset at no additional cost to customers. As part of the initiative, H&H Reeds Printers will have its carbon footprint audited annually, third-party verified by the Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Management, then offset through the World Land Trust from REDD projects that preserve endangered tropical forests.

   – Read more


Featured Jobs

Sustainable Business Solutions Manager – PWC

Based in California, the manager will provide project leadership and management of engagements from pre-sale and initial scoping through final delivery and signoff. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s degree, and project leadership and management experience on multiple large/complex engagements, ideally with 5 years of relevant consulting experience in sustainability or climate change.

   – Read more about the position here


Manager, Energy Efficiency & Climate – The Coca-Cola Company


Coca-Cola has five listings for this position, spanning Belgium, Germany (East), France (North), Austria, and England (London & Greater). The manager will lead the TCCC Europe group program to reduce Coca-Cola’s carbon emissions in line with its 2020 roadmap. Candidates should have a strong background in climate and energy management, with good influencing skills and ability to work with bottler CEOs, as well as BU presidents and plant managers.


   – Read more about the position here


Director of Market Development – Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves


Based in Washington, DC, the director will develop and implement the Alliance’s market enabling approach/framework and activities around its goal of having 100 million households adopt clean cooking solutions by 2020. Candidates should have a Master’s in a relevant subject, at least 10 years’ work experience in both business and international development, and experience promoting clean cookstoves and fuels or similar products.


   – Read more about the position here


Director, Carbon Origination – NRG


Based in New Jersey, the director will direct efforts toward building NRG’s carbon offsets business, ranging from educating stakeholders on market developments to structuring transactions and supporting project development. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s with 5+ years’ energy industry experience, ideally with an MBA.


   – Read more about the position here


Various Positions – C40


C40 is looking to fill multiple positions. Based in London, the  International Media Relations Manager  should have 3-5 years’ experience in media relations.  Based in New York, the  Director of Research Projects  should have 2-3 years’ experience in data analysis, knowledgment management and/or M&E experience. Regional Directors for Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia & Australia, East Asia, and South and West Asia (one each) will be responsible for managing relationships with all C40 cities in their region, and should have a Master’s and 10+ years’ relevant experience.




Finance & Carbon Market Specialist – Terra Global Capital


Based in Washington, DC, the specialist will assist countries with REDD+ plans through capacity-building and contributing to the evolving REDD+ framework. Candidates should have 5+ years’ of relevant managerial or technical experience in forest carbon, PES, carbon markets, and/or NRM project finance, and 5+ years’ experience in private sector finance related activities.


   – Read more about the position here


Environmental Specialist – First Environment

Based in New Jersey, the specialist will assist with technical assistance and verification of GHG inventories and reduction projects, preparing deliverables and presenting findings to clients and other stakeholders. Candidates should have a degree in engineering, math, environmental science/policy, economics or physical Sciences, and minimum of 2-3 years’ work experience.

   – Read more about the position here


Two Positions, Sales – Offsetters

Offsetters is looking to fill two positions in its Vancouver office.  The  VP of Sales and Marketing  will lead a team that maintains existing clients, while building a sales strategy to expand Offsetters’ client base in the North American market. Candidates should have an MBA or business/marketing degree, and 15+ years’ related experience with 10+ in an executive-level position in sales and marketing. The  Director of Sales  will undertake sales research, identify and contact target customers, and deliver customer presentations. Candidates should have 8+ years’ relevant sales experience.



Two Positions, Policy – Climate Action Reserve


The Reserve is looking to fill two positions based in Los Angeles. The  Policy Associate  will help with GHG project protocol implementation and development work. Candidates should have a relevant Bachelor’s (Master’s preferred) and 1-2 years’ work or equivalent experience.  The  Policy Manager  will manage development of new GHG offset protocols, as well as maintain and support implementation of existing protocols. Candidates should have a relevant Bachelor’s (Master’s preferred) and 3+ years’ work or equivalent experience.




Director, Research and Development – Biolite


Based in Brooklyn, the director will lead core systems development for home-energy products. Candidates should be a seasoned engineer or applied scientist with 5-10 years’ experience leading technical development efforts and projects.


   – Read more about the position here


Policy Analyst – SAIC

Based in McLean, Virginia, the analyst will be part of a team providing services including policy analysis, training development, organizing workshops on climate change impacts and adaptation, and calculating GHG emissions. The analyst will conduct research, assist with written communications, support workshop planning efforts, and perform emission calculations. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies, Sustainability, Climate Change or related field, and must be a US citizen.

   – Read more about the position here


Carbon Management Project Manager – SGS

Based in New Jersey, the project manager will contribute to the development of the sustainability services business in North America, with an emphasis on supporting development in emerging markets within the SGS network. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s in a relevant engineering or science subject, a Master’s in a related discipline, and 5+ years’ experience.

   – Read more about the position here





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