Month: October 2017

Insights from European sustainability conferences

business-outside-city

3Degrees has been spanning the globe in recent weeks to connect with organizations that are at the forefront of sustainability and climate change action.

We attended several conferences across Europe and wanted to share some of our key takeaways and common themes that we have been hearing.

We attended the following conferences:

  • Sustainable Aviation Summit, October 3-5, Geneva
  • Companies vs Climate Change, October 4-6, Brussels
  • Responsible Supply Chain Summit, October 17-18, London

Here is what we heard:

  • Supply chain is seen as the next area of opportunity. At both the Supply Chain Summit (obviously) and at Companies vs Climate Change, there was a clear recognition that Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions are the most challenging to address. While more companies are reporting, training, and auditing, there was a lot of interest in implementing initiatives that achieve measurable results. We have seen this desire for ideas on how to make real progress from both clients and prospects. As a result, we have partnered with CDP, Smithfield Foods, and Akamai on a webinar focused on concrete actions that can be taken today around supply chain emissions. The webinar is October 26, but if you miss it, you can can still get a copy of the recording.  
  • European firms are very focused on Sustainable Development Goals. One of our key takeaways from all of these conferences is how central Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are for European companies – in a way that is not the case for most U.S. based companies as of yet. As a reminder, SDGs are a set of 17 goals, created by the United Nations in 2015, that tackle a range of issues from hunger, to gender inequality, to climate change. Many companies are using these goals as a guidepost for their sustainability strategies. 
  • Carbon offsets are a hot topic. At both the Aviation Summit and Companies vs Climate Change there was a lot of talk about carbon projects. By and large, the companies that were investing in carbon offsets were focused on projects that support communities in the developing world and offer storytelling opportunities. An open question remains on if there will be enough charismatic projects to meet demand when the airline industry carbon offset requirements go in effect (voluntary starting in 2021, required after 2026). This is something that our own carbon markets team is working on as they look to bring more boutique projects into our portfolio.

Overall, across all the conferences, it became clear that European companies are very focused on carbon neutrality (as opposed to just a percent emission reduction) and the opportunities this creates for improvements in their operations and supply chains. This momentum in Europe should drive companies in other parts of the world to become fast followers, learning from their counterparts on how to make material progress on climate change.  

If you build it (and market it) well, they will come

UP Whitepaper

The residential renewable energy market is primed for rapid growth. A confluence of market factors is increasing choices for residential customers. Utilities in particular are eager to provide more choices and enhanced customer engagement. 

3Degrees recently released a white paper that discusses the challenges for utilities in designing and delivering meaningful products to satisfy growing customer demand.

The white paper covers topics such as:

  • Program attributes that are most desirable to residential customers
  • Comparison from a customer perspective of three program options
  • Case studies with tips and tricks for successfully marketing each option

Want to learn more? Check out our white paper.

 

 

First RGGI carbon offset project launched by 3Degrees

Offers new opportunities to reduce carbon emissions within RGGI

3Degrees, in partnership with Dorchester Renewable Energy LLC, registered the first ever carbon offset project under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a mandatory cap and trade program covering the electric sector in nine states in the eastern U.S.

The project destroys methane gas from the New Beulah Landfill located on Maryland’s eastern shore. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

“We are pleased to continue our history of ‘firsts’ in the carbon market, which dates back to a time when we were still known as TerraPass,” said Mark Mondik, Vice President of Carbon Markets at 3Degrees.  TerraPass, renamed Origin Climate in 2014, became part of 3Degrees in a merger between the companies earlier this year.

The sale of RGGI offsets will provide the sole source of revenue to support the operation of the project.

“RGGI support is critical to this project,” said Tom Koch, Principal of Dorchester Renewable Energy. “Voluntary market prices for landfill gas offsets aren’t sufficient to make projects like this economically viable, but through RGGI we are able to reach higher-value buyers.”

According to the latest “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks” published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), landfills in the United States still account for around 115 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year.