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Renewable Energy, Additionality and Impact: An FAQ on the U.S. Voluntary Renewable Energy Markets

2.15.18 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

With a surging focus on sustainability, organizations around the world are becoming increasingly concerned with their climate impact.  48% of the Fortune 500 and 63% of the Fortune 100 have set greenhouse gas (GHG) and/or renewable energy targets.  In the higher education sector alone, almost 600 colleges and universities have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and over 400 institutions are active participants in AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS).  Others are following suit and making their own climate commitments, many of which involve reaching “net carbon neutrality” – or zero net emissions on an annual basis.  The next question for many is, “how do we reach our goals?”  For energy-related GHG reduction targets, efficiency and conservation are logical first steps.  These projects can create significant reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions, but they will not eliminate an organization’s entire carbon footprint.  In order to make this next step, many will enter the world of renewable energy, RECs, and carbon offsets – and quickly get confused about which option is best for them and how much of an impact each one will have.  Available for download, Edison Energy’s white paper, “Renewable Energy, Additionality, and Impact:  An FAQ on the U.S. Voluntary Renewable Energy Markets,” clearly and effectively answers many of the most common questions surrounding carbon reduction strategies.  The Stone House Group is experienced in this field, having completed energy & sustainability strategies and climate action plans for numerous clients.  Our team is filled with experts recognized in their fields, including Professional Engineers, Certified Energy Managers, Renewable Energy Professional, and Carbon Reduction Manager.  Contact us today with your questions or concerns surrounding climate action planning and carbon reduction strategy management.

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Podcast: REC or Wreck? Making GHG Accounting Sense of Green Power Claims, Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

In the podcast, Michael Gillenwater discusses RECs and how they differ from true Carbon Offsets, like VER’s (verified emissions reductions). Dr. Gillenwater is a leading expert on climate change and renewable energy, with a specific focus on greenhouse gas measurement, reporting, and verification issues. Listen to the podcast here.

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What is Additionality? Part 1: A long standing problem – Michael Gillenwater (2012)

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

Michael Gillenwater’s discusses and defines terms such as “additionality” and “baseline” as they relate to environmental policy and proposes a conceptual framework for applying these concepts within offset programs. Read the full paper on the Greenhouse Gas Institute website here.

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Is Your “Green Power” Really Just “Green Washing?” – Michael Gillenwater (2014)

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

Michael Gillenwater makes the argument for why many believe Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the voluntary green power market are not the same as emissions offset credits. Read the full article on the GHG Management Institute website here.

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Open Letter on Scope 2 GHG Reporting (2015)

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

This letter, posted February 12, 2015, is authored by GHG Accounting practitioners and academics concerned that the GHG Protocol’s Scope 2 Guidance allows reporting entities to use contractual/REC-based emission factors in reporting Scope 2 emissions. To read the full Open Letter, please visit the link here.

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Are Green Power Programs a Scam? – Laura McCandlish (2010)

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

An Oregon-based journalist’s perspective on Green Power programs. To read the full article, click here.

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Clean Energy Trainwreck: Why Most RECs are Bad, and How to Find the Good Ones – Stephen Lacey and Auden Schendler (2011)

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

Stephen Lacey and Auden Schendler discuss how buying RECs, for the most part, do not drive change and do not represent carbon reductions in the atmosphere. To read the full article, click here.

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Additionality

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

The topic of ‘additionality’ is the most fundamental – and thus contentious – issue in the carbon offset market. To read about Additionality on the Carbon Offset Research & Education (CORE) website, click here.

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Cornell University’s Mission-Linked Carbon Offsets

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

One of Cornell University’s goals laid out in their Climate Action Plan is to implement broad-based, mission-linked carbon management strategies such as forest management, carbon capture and sequestration, and community projects to offset unavoidable university emissions. To read more about how the University plans to implement these goals, click here.

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Options for Achieving a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035 – Cornell University (2016)

2.7.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

In March 2016, Provost Michael Kotlikoff charged the Senior Leaders Climate Action Group (SLCAG) to analyze viable energy alternatives for the Ithaca campus to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Reducing energy demand while adapting to renewable energy sources will require innovative technological solutions, a significant increase in capital investment in renewable energy sources, and broad support and engagement from all members of the campus community. To read more about the analysis of solutions, click here.

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300+

The Stone House Group has served over 300 clients to date.

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Throughout our partnership, SHG has been creative and forthright; combining technical prowess, operational focus and energy finance to serve the Hospital well.

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Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center, St. Croix, USVI  |  Peter Abrahams