Author: Leslie Myers

3Degrees and Origin Climate Unite

3degrees press release mic

Companies join together to offer comprehensive range of renewable energy and climate solutions for U.S. and global clients

Today, 3Degrees and Origin Climate announced that 3Degrees will acquire Origin Climate. Many U.S. and global organizations, from corporations to utilities, are navigating the complex world of carbon, renewable energy and sustainable development goals without the necessary resources. The combined company brings together industry-leading pioneers to offer a comprehensive range of renewable energy and climate expertise to transform clients’ organizational goals into impactful strategies and results.

Erin Craig and Mark Mondik, the managing directors of Origin Climate, will take on leadership roles within the newly expanded 3Degrees. Craig will lead the consulting organization that will serve clients’ climate and renewable energy needs. Mondik will lead the carbon market business, including carbon credit origination. Both Craig and Mondik will join the 3Degrees executive leadership team and board of directors. Dan Kalafatas will remain the executive chairman and Steve McDougal will continue to serve as the CEO.

 “We are pleased to join forces with Origin Climate. Our product and service offerings complement one another exceptionally well, enabling us to serve the tailored needs of more customers and serve them more comprehensively, both in the United States and around the world,” said Kalafatas.

Expanded Custom Offerings for Commercial and Industrial Clients

Over the past several years, many organizations have significantly broadened their climate and energy goals. These leaders need a wide range of products and an evolved set of services to ensure their success. In recent years, Origin Climate has quietly advised on more than 1400 MW of completed renewable power procurement transactions, and become a major force guiding corporate renewable energy strategy in the United States. By joining forces with Origin Climate, 3Degrees will enhance the depth of its offerings across consulting and transaction services—including PPAs, contracted purchases from competitive energy providers, green tariffs, and tax equity and other owner-investment options—as well as customizable renewable energy certificate (REC) and carbon offset products sourced from around the globe.

 “Origin Climate guided our organization as we committed to achieving 50% renewable energy and an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for our highly distributed content delivery network spanning 120 countries,” said Nicola Peill-Moelter, Ph.D., senior director of environmental sustainability for Akamai Technologies. “They helped us develop our procurement strategy and led us through our first virtual PPA (VPPA) process. We are excited to see how Origin Climate will bring success to more companies as part of the 3Degrees team.”

The expanded 3Degrees team provides energy users an unbiased assessment of a variety of climate-smart energy supply options. Their approach enables internal stakeholders to weigh in on the costs, risks and benefits of all possibilities, navigate the regulatory complexities, and help determine the best option. As a result, execution can proceed quickly and without surprises.

“We’re seeing a number of companies with impressive renewable energy goals rushing to sign VPPAs,” said Craig. “VPPAs are a great structure, but they’re not for everyone. The companies we work with are seeking renewable energy as a primary objective; participating at-risk in wholesale power markets is not on their ‘to-do’ list. By combining 3Degrees’ leadership in commercial, industrial and utility sectors with Origin’s experience advising companies on a wide variety of energy supply structures, we are now uniquely positioned to help clients identify and implement the solution that best meets their needs—whether a VPPA or otherwise.”

Serving the Utility of the Future

For more than a decade, 3Degrees has helped investor- and publicly owned utilities across the United States with custom compliance and voluntary REC products in order to meet renewable portfolio standards, as well as create successful voluntary renewable programs that engage their customers and drive satisfaction.

As utilities seek to retain customers and attract new economic development to their service territories, 3Degrees is now better equipped to help utilities navigate the renewable energy requirements of their largest energy users. 3Degrees’ leadership in managing community solar and voluntary green power programs is augmented by Origin Climate’s trail-blazing work designing and implementing one of the first utility “green tariffs” to allow electricity users to buy 100% project-specific renewable energy through their utility.

“For more than a decade, 3Degrees has helped us deliver compelling renewable energy choices that meet the commitments and interests of our customers. With the integration of Origin Climate, 3Degrees is even better positioned to serve a growing interest among our largest customers and position Silicon Valley Power as a utility of the future,” said Larry Owens, customer services manager of Silicon Valley Power, one of the top utility sellers of renewable energy.

Strong Alignment of Culture and Values

Both Origin Climate and 3Degrees are certified B Corporations. The combined company retains the 3Degrees name and now has more than 100 employees spanning offices in San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Seattle, and Richmond, Va. The Origin Climate team members will relocate to the 3Degrees headquarters in downtown San Francisco.

Added McDougal, “3Degrees and Origin Climate’s core values and company cultures are perfectly aligned, providing foundation to craft creative, impactful solutions for clients and make a greater impact on energy markets and climate change.”

Service Spotlight: Door-to-Door Outreach

Neighborhood lit by orange sunlight


Recently the power of person to person outreach was featured by energy communications professional John Egan in his piece 
Utilities, Do More Face-to-Face Public Engagement! In the post, Egan makes the case that despite the proliferation of digital communications tools there are still plenty of times when you need to “look someone in the eye to see if you can trust what they’re saying.”

We couldn’t agree more — and, in fact, we’ve built a service around this belief.

Egan spoke with our National Outreach Director, Garrett Downen, who rated door-to-door outreach as one of the most effective uses of a utility’s marketing dollar. “It’s scalable, and the results are predictable,” said Downen.

Considering adding door-to-door outreach to your marketing program?

View of the exterior of a home with trees in the foregroundOur experience has been that community outreach offers incredible growth potential for many utility programs as well as an opportunity for the utility to become an even more visible part of the communities it serves.

For any utility considering person to person outreach we recommend you use a foundation of well-trained staff who know how to represent your organization and brand. At 3Degrees, we call that need “S3”: Safety, Service, Sales. Whether or not a customer chooses to participate in a program, each interaction with a representative must be positive and professional. We suggest you follow our mantra: 

  • Safety is paramount
  • Customer service is critical
  • Program uptake is a key objective

Of course you don’t have to go it alone either. 3Degrees offers outreach services for our clients, tailored to your unique customer base and service goals. Interested in learning more? Contact us.

Industry Analysis: Renewable Power to the People White Paper

CS_CoverRenewablePowerToThePeople

As more states develop policy mechanisms for developer-led community solar, projects are proliferating. While some are highly successful, others struggle to sell out their capacity.

To help build this market, we conducted research to determine what consumers want in a community solar product. The research was designed to answer the question:

What community solar product design will attract the most customers and still be financially attractive to developers and financiers?

We used a conjoint analysis to have consumer trade off amongst various product attributes. This approach allows us to understand which attributes are most important and the impact they have on customer demand for the offering.

The report also offers insights into awareness of community solar and marketing messages that will resonate with consumers.

 

3Degrees Joins RECS International

NASA - view of the earth

Deepening our commitment to European renewable energy markets.

3Degrees is pleased to announce that we have joined RECS International, an organization committed to building global renewable energy markets that are standardized, transparent and most importantly, consumer-driven.   

“3Degrees – through its work with Green-e and WRI – has a proven commitment to building high-integrity renewable energy markets,” says Jared Braslawsky, Secretary General of RECS International. “We are proud to have them join RECS International and support our mission of creating reliable attribute tracking markets in Europe and around the world.”

Since its founding, 3Degrees has helped customers with needs for international renewable energy certificate (REC) and carbon offset products. Today, we offer comprehensive international offerings including GOs, I-RECS, TIGRs, carbon offset products, as well as PPAs, VPPAs and consulting services. We have done business in over 40 countries and are proud to be a CDP Global Renewable Energy Partner.

“More and more of our customers are looking to us to help them address their global needs around renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Steve McDougal, CEO of 3Degrees. “Joining RECS International allows us to stay plugged into the nuances of the European renewable energy markets and better serve our customers.”

3Degrees will be speaking at the upcoming RECS International conference in March of 2017, providing a perspective on the US RECs market.

3Degrees named Best Trading Company by Environmental Finance

3degrees wins award

Creative products and stellar service sets 3Degrees apart

3Degrees was again named the 2016 Best Trading Company in the Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) – North America category by Environmental Finance magazine. This is the second year in a row the company earned the top position and is based on a survey of customers and peers.

The award reflects the value 3Degrees products and services bring to partners throughout the voluntary and compliance marketplaces. “These markets are complex and ever-shifting,” explained Scott Eidson, Vice President of Environmental Markets. “In response, 3Degrees has developed flexible products that use renewable energy certificates as well as other solutions to help clean energy suppliers and buyers mitigate risk and meet carbon reduction goals.”

3Degrees products and services span the globe including North America’s most complex markets such as the WECC, PJM, New England and Illinois but it is the extensive industry knowledge and focus on high-touch customer service that keeps hundreds of energy suppliers and buyers returning to Scott’s team each year. “Our focus on relationships and ease of transacting gives our partners a simple way to support the type of clean energy that is most beneficial to their business and geographic location.”

Since 2015 3Degrees has transacted  more than 90 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy from over 500 facilities – with nearly 50% of those facilities coming online in the last six years. Overall, this is the fifth time 3Degrees has earned a top designation by Environmental Finance readers in this category.

Find out more about RECs available from 3Degrees

3Degrees Wins Bay Area Best and Brightest, 3rd Year in a Row

San Francisco

Attention to “work-life balance” sets 3Degrees apart as an employer

3Degrees announced today that it was named a 2016 San Francisco Bay Area Best and Brightest Company. Based on employee assessment, the award highlighted leadership’s attention to “work-life balance” as a point of differentiation.

“Employees are happier and more productive when they’ve taken time away from the office to decompress,” said CEO Steve McDougal. “Fostering work-life balance is important to their health and happiness, and thus our business.”

3Degrees is known for creative human resource practices. As a global organization with a large part-time and seasonal workforce the company has a long history of empowering mobile workers and offering flexible hours. After certifying as a Benefit Corporation in 2012 the company added paid volunteer hours and an innovative “Flex-PTO” plan that uses the honor system to manage paid time off.  

“Providing a variety of options to the differing job types and needs of employees is critical to achieving the goals of the organization as a whole,” continued McDougal. “The annual Best and Brightest survey provides valuable benchmarking data that we can use to set us apart from other employers.”

See a list of available jobs on our careers page.

3Degrees Honored as Best for Environment

3degrees press release mic

Independent non-profit assessment identifies 3Degrees as a creator of positive community impact

3Degrees was honored today at the first annual Best for the World Celebration and Awards Ceremony. The company was recognized for the positive environmental impact of its products, services and internal business practices.

“We are honored to be part of today’s ceremony,” said Steve McDougal, CEO of 3Degrees after he accepted the award. “3Degrees is a company centered around two fundamental notions. First, that many people in this country are willing to direct their money and time to support renewable energy. Second, that as a business we could hold ourselves to a higher standard in how we built and operated the business. This distinction from B the Change Media recognizes that union.”

The Best for Environment category judges business practices and product offerings against environmental impact. In addition to its mission-based product line 3Degrees matches 100 percent of their electricity usage with renewable energy certificates, offsets employee commute emissions and gives preference to local, sustainable and fair-trade suppliers, just to name a few.

“The companies we are honoring as the best for the world represent the cutting edge of a global movement using business as a force for good. We are inspired by them, and feel deeply honored to join them in this historic and ground-breaking celebration,” said Bryan Welch, CEO of B the Change Media.

The ceremony took place at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas Business School. Only the top 10 percent of Certified B Corporations received awards in a variety of categories.

 

Learn more about 3Degrees commitment for positive community change in the 2015 Sustainability Report. 

Lancaster County Landfill

statesProfiles_PA

Lancaster County Landfill

In July 2016 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced final guidelines for managing greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing waste in landfills. Many in the waste management industry are now making plans to come into compliance. Sitting pretty is Lancaster County Landfill.

A little over a decade before, management at the landfill began a series of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of their business. One such project is capturing dangerous greenhouse gas and turning it into an asset.   

Forward thinking at Lancaster County Landfill pays off

For every metric ton of gas not released into the atmosphere, one carbon offset becomes available for other organizations looking to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the offsets create a cost-recouping revenue stream for the county-owned landfill.

The gas itself provides additional benefits too. It is burned to produce power for the nearby utility and a local dairy to power manufacturing equipment. Some is even piped as far as 13 miles away to heat businesses in the county.

Emission reduction verification and registration

The emission reductions are verified by an accredited third-party verifier using the Climate Action Reserve’s Landfill Project Protocol. The Climate Action Reserve is a Green-e Climate certified, third-party greenhouse gas (GHG) Project Certification Program.

All carbon offsets generated by the verified emission reductions are registered by the Climate Action Reserve and receive a unique serial number. This ensures that the carbon offsets are not double issued.

Green-e Climate

Green-e.org 
3Degrees offers purchasers the option to buy Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets sourced from this project.

 

3Degrees + Carbon Offsets

The Climate Registry affirms: RECS and Offsets are an Important Decarbonization Tool

driving on highway

A small organization with a worldwide reach, The Climate Registry (TCR) is a non-profit that designs and operates greenhouse gas reporting programs across the globe and consults with governments worldwide on all aspects of GHG measurement, reporting, and verification.

Measurement is the first step

“Before looking for ways to reduce your climate impact, you need to understand your baseline,” says David Rosenheim, executive director of The Climate Registry. To that end, TCR has created a General Reporting Protocol that provides guidance and consistency in reporting on emissions and emission reduction or mitigation tactics such as renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.

Like its member companies, TCR annually measures its own GHG emissions. And, not surprisingly, given its mission, TCR is continually looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint. But with a large portion of their emissions coming from business travel, their options were limited.

The role of RECs and offsets in the decarbonization toolkit

First, TCR looked to reduce their emissions as much as possible, using tools and policies like video conferencing and telecommuting.  For those emissions that can’t be eliminated, the organization sees the use of RECs and offsets as a best practice.

Based on a recommendation from their policy team, in 2015, for the first time, they purchased RECS and offsets to cover their scope 1 emissions (these are direct emissions from sources owned and controlled by the company) and market-based scope 2 emissions (which are from purchased electricity, heat or steam) as well as their business and commuting travel emissions.

air travel

“With aggressive decarbonization goals needed to address climate change, RECs and offsets have to be part of the answer – efficiency is not enough,” says Rosenheim.

To ensure that the products are high quality and legitimate, it is important to purchase verified RECs and offsets from a reputable source. When TCR was ready to buy, they turned to 3Degrees and selected Green-e Climate certified offsets and Green-e Energy certified RECs.

“We knew our purchases in particular would receive lots of scrutiny. That’s why we chose to buy from 3Degrees. They are a leader in the industry and set the bar high in terms of quality and integrity.”

Small businesses are an important part of the solution

As a small organization, TCR’s overall emissions are relatively modest.  But big or small, what each company does matters, according to Rosenheim.

“Being a responsible corporate citizen is not just the purview of large organizations. Small businesses have an important role to play in combating climate change, as almost half of all private sector employment and output comes from small businesses. These businesses are making decisions that impact our energy and fuel systems. At the aggregate and individual level, it is meaningful.”

More on 3Degrees + RECs or carbon offsets

Better Business, Better World (Books)

shipping a package

Who doesn’t like getting a package in the mail? Whether it is expected or not, opening the box always carries with it a moment of anticipation. What’s unfortunate is that the delivery comes with a carbon price tag. That’s because no matter how it is transported, all shipping has some measure of carbon emissions.

So what do you do when you are an organization dedicated to making a better world, yet success also equals a higher your carbon footprint? It becomes a balancing act.  

(Carbon) Balancing Workplace Demands

Better World Books’ business is to relocate books from one part of the globe to another and get them in the hands of new readers. Funding for this activity is raised by selling other books online direct to consumers. To reduce the carbon cost of all this transportation the team at Better World Books works with 3Degrees to purchase carbon offsets generated at projects actively keeping carbon from entering the atmosphere like McKinney Landfill in Texas.

To make this work for the company there were two other key considerations: keep costs low so budget can stay focused on their mission. And managing the carbon footprint of all these shipments could not become an administrative burden. In response, the organization automated the process by building it into every transaction. The system is easy: a customer buys a book, pays a few pennies more and the book’s shipping-based carbon footprint is neutralized. Those pennies then goes into a pool that is annually used to purchase carbon offsets.

It’s wise decisions like this that have helped Better World Books become the global literacy player it is today.

betterworld_2

Better World Books + 3Degrees

Once ready to purchase Better World Books knew they wanted to work with 3Degrees. “Their award winning reputation and work with Fortune 500 companies gave us confidence in their abilities,” said Diane Maier, Director of Global Marketing and Sales Support at Better World Books. “The fact that they are a B Corp too was a real bonus – we want to align our company with others that share the same values.”

Better World Books also supports renewable energy with renewable energy certificates (RECs), purchased from 3Degrees. Their combined purchase of RECs and carbon offsets in one year has an environmental impact similar to:

equivalencies

About Better World Books

Better World Books is a for-profit social enterprise and a global e-retailer providing products and information to socially conscious consumers. Better World Books collects and sells new and used books online matching each purchase with a donation, book for book, and with each sale generating funds for literacy initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. Since its founding in 2003, and Mishawaka, Indiana-based company has raised more than $23 million for libraries and literacy, donated 20 million books; re-used or recycled over 229 million books and achieved 44,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon balanced shipping.