Author: 3Degrees Staff

At 3Degrees, we make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change— providing renewable energy and carbon offset solutions to Fortune 500 companies, utilities, universities, green building firms and other organizations that are working to make their operations more sustainable. And as a certified B Corporation and eight-time winner of the EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year award, we’re primed to deliver custom clean power solutions that will help each organization make an environmental impact. Founded in 2007, 3Degrees is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices across the United States.

Apple, eBay, Samsung Austin Semiconductor and Sprint Accelerate Renewable Energy Development

Cows and wind turbine texas

Clean Energy Aggregation to Support Apex Clean Energy’s White Mesa Wind Project in Crockett County, TX

Apple, eBay, Samsung and Sprint today announced a joint agreement to purchase power from a new wind farm owned and developed by Apex Clean Energy. The transaction—spearheaded by Apple, the largest purchaser in the innovative small load energy aggregation—totals approximately 75 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

Shared energy purchases like this allow companies to pool their energy demands and collectively support the addition of large-scale renewable energy projects to the grid. Apple brought together other technology leaders dedicated to responsible business practices – eBay, Samsung and Sprint – in the aggregation agreement, which will enable all participants to access cost-effective low-carbon renewable energy from the new project. 3Degrees facilitated the agreement.

The full 500-MW White Mesa Wind project is expected to come online in 2021 in Crockett County, TX.

“We’re proud to be powering all of Apple’s operations around the world with 100 percent renewable energy and driving the private sector to support the clean energy transition,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “Businesses of all sizes and of varying energy needs can help bring new, renewable energy online. This collaborative agreement in Texas is a model we hope others will replicate.”

“At eBay, we prioritize operating in the most environmentally and socially sustainable way,” said Wendy Jones, SVP Global Operations, eBay. “This collaboration is not only an important step in advancing our commitment to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, but it also offers an inclusive approach to collaborate with other companies and lead the way toward a clean energy future.”

“Samsung Austin Semiconductor understands the responsibility of businesses to work together to support environmental sustainability and increase the share of renewable energy in our local markets,” said Gil Heyun Choi, president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor. “We see this agreement as a landmark effort for cutting-edge semiconductor technologies and a demonstration of green manufacturing brought to scale.”

“This project marks another step toward reaching our corporate goal of reducing Sprint’s carbon footprint,” said Chas Peterson, Vice President of Procurement for Sprint. “We are also greening our supply chain by partnering with some of our key suppliers on this innovative shared energy purchase.”

“Enabling corporate aggregation for renewable power purchasing is a key focus of Apex’s and an essential way of engaging more corporate customers in clean energy procurement,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy. “The Apex platform is designed to develop utility-scale wind and solar projects that deliver optimized performance paired with the flexibility that aggregated offtakers need to make these deals feasible. White Mesa Wind is a prime example of the future of corporate clean energy transactions: aggregated power purchasing tailored to each offtaker’s needs.”

“REBA members continue to drive innovation in clean energy procurement,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, Renewable Energy Buyer’s Alliance. “By bringing together the buying power of four leading brands, Apple, eBay, Sprint and Samsung, with the professional support of 3Degrees, energy buyers are proving that through the right partnerships these innovative renewable energy projects can come to fruition.”

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About Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC

Samsung Austin Semiconductor is one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world with more than 3,000 employees and 2.45 million square feet of floor space. Samsung Austin Semiconductor has broad semiconductor process technology offerings serving customers in various application areas including mobile, consumer, networking/high performance computing, Internet of Things, RF and automotive. Since 1996, Samsung Austin Semiconductor has invested approximately $17 billion in its Austin, TX campus, making it one of the largest direct foreign investments in United States history. Samsung Austin Semiconductor is a US-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The Austin facility is one of the few semiconductor plants the company has outside South Korea. Visit www.samsung.com/us/sas.


About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.3 million connections as of June 30, 2019 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching a 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.


About eBay

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity for all. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2018, eBay enabled $95 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.


About Apex Clean Energy

Apex Clean Energy develops, constructs, and operates utility-scale wind and solar power facilities across North America. Our mission-driven team of more than 200 renewable energy experts uses a data-focused approach and an unrivaled portfolio of projects to create solutions for the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking customers. For more information on how Apex is leading the transition to a clean energy future, visit apexcleanenergy.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Wind farm photos courtesy of Apex Clean Energy

How Mondelēz International is Achieving an Ambitious Goal to Reduce its Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Roadrunner-construction

Photo: Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project

In 2015, food and beverage giant Mondelēz International set an ambitious goal to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions versus a historic base year in each of its four global operating regions. The company had already made good progress through energy efficiency and other on-site solutions, but these actions alone were not going to be enough to reach its aggressive emissions reduction goal. It needed to invest in additional initiatives in order to close the gap.

To help guide its efforts, Mondelēz International enlisted 3Degrees to conduct an in-depth renewable energy strategy assessment and deliver a global roadmap to achieve the company’s goal, as well as support any resulting implementation work.

Challenges

Mondelēz International had outlined two important criteria:

  1. The company was interested in impact;
  2. There was a strong preference for cost-neutral, or cost-positive, solutions.

After an intensive assessment, 3Degrees presented Mondelēz International with the global strategy roadmap and, within it, highlighted a variety of renewable energy pathways that would meet both of the defined criteria. After reviewing all of the options, there was clearly one solution that was best suited to meet the company’s goals: a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for renewable energy from a new project. 3Degrees quickly got to work to begin the next phase of implementation.

Mondelēz International was interested in impact with a strong preference for cost-neutral, or cost-positive, solutions.

How we helped

To kick off the implementation, we issued an RFP to find the most attractive VPPA for Mondelēz International. By the end of the response period, 48 developers had submitted proposals for a total of 126 projects. 3Degrees carefully vetted each one of these projects, which included:

  • Performing a full qualitative analysis of developer qualifications, which leveraged 3Degrees’ in-house knowledge of the renewable energy developer community;
  • Creating a project evaluation scorecard to gauge each project in terms of project development risk metrics, including permitting, interconnection, financing, and others; 
  • Conducting a deep quantitative analysis to select the project that would offer Mondelēz International the best long-term value, while limiting any potential downside.

At the end of the extensive analysis process, 3Degrees recommended Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project, a new 497MW solar farm in Texas, which best met Mondelēz International’s need for an impactful and cost-competitive solution. We then helped the team at Mondelēz International navigate its broad, global executive stakeholder network to gain the necessary alignment and approvals to proceed with the project.

Results

  • Mondelēz International signed a twelve-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) under which the company will purchase the energy delivered to the electricity grid from a 65 MW portion of Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project.
  • The VPPA is Mondelēz International’s largest renewable energy transaction at a global level and its first renewable energy PPA signed in the U.S.
  • The transaction enables Mondelēz International to make substantial progress against its sustainability goals by reducing 80,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – that’s 5 percent of the company’s global manufacturing emissions.
  • The VPPA will help pave the way for subsequent renewable energy procurements of any kind to help achieve Mondelēz International’s long-term sustainability goals.

“The signing of this VPPA is a major advancement towards achieving our aggressive global emissions reduction goals. We are thrilled about this partnership with Enel Green Power North America to help bring new renewable generation online, and appreciate 3Degrees’ strategic guidance and implementation support that helped make this transaction possible.”

–Erika Schunk Vasconcellos, Global Environmental Manager, Mondelēz International

 

Reducing Scope 2 GHG Emissions at Home and Abroad

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Businesses across the globe are increasing their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. For many, it’s clear how to do this in their home country, but less so when they try to reduce emissions associated with their overseas operations. 

3Degrees recently released a white paper that explains some of the most common international options, where each option is available, and how to ensure that investments follow the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocols.

The white paper covers topics such as:

  • Methods for calculating Scope 2 emissions
  • Reducing global emissions
  • Quality criteria for Scope 2 emissions reductions

Want to learn more? Check out our white paper.

 

California Bright Schools Solar Program

california-bright-schools

Solar Providing a Brighter Future for California Schools 

The California Bright Schools Program was born out of a vision to create a way for school districts to promote solar energy, save general fund dollars, and provide educational opportunities for students and teachers. This program helps to identify the most cost-effective energy saving opportunities and support the installation of photovoltaic solar systems on schools across the state.

The solar installations support curriculum that aligns with the state’s testing requirements and provides hands-on learning tools for schools. The panels installed on campuses bring daily attention to clean energy and provide a direct educational opportunity.

Schools that take part in the Bright Schools Program and implement energy efficiency initiatives are able to enjoy greater budget stability and predictability as a result of locking in long-term fixed electricity prices. Beyond the savings in energy costs provided by hosting these projects, the schools can also sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by the systems, which help fund renewable energy education and provide an additional revenue stream to support school district operations.

The Milpitas Unified School District serves as a great example of how schools are directly benefiting from the Bright Schools Program. 3Degrees worked with the school district to help them build revenue through the sale of RECs generated from their solar system. As a participant in the Program, the district is expected to save $12 million over the portfolio’s lifespan.

 

3Degrees + renewable energy

certificates

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Sunny Knoll Farm Anaerobic Digester

Perry-New-York

Family-owned Farm Anaerobic Digester Project

Sunny Knoll is a family-owned farm with 1,200 milk cows located in Perry, New York. The project generates emission reductions by capturing and destroying methane gas that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Methane gas is a common byproduct of dairy farms, which traditionally manage manure and other organic waste by storing it in open wastewater lagoons. Since these lagoons are usually more than a few feet deep, this waste decomposes anaerobically over time, thereby producing methane. The installation of a digester to accelerate the decomposition and capture the resulting gas is one of the few technologies available to dairy farmers to avoid such methane emissions.

Digester projects are very expensive, especially at a small-scale farm like Sunny Knoll; carbon credits provide a very important stream of revenue to help make the projects economically viable. Sunny Knoll also harnesses the captured methane to generate electricity, enabling the farm to generate its own power and sell excess power to the grid. This helps the farm reduce operating costs and mitigate the impact of milk price fluctuation and other economic conditions.

Like most dairy digesters, this project also provides environmental and social co-benefits, including reducing water pollution that can result from nutrient runoff from wastewater lagoons and reducing odor in the local community.

Sunny Knoll Farm

3Degrees + carbon offsets

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Etsy leads e-commerce toward carbon neutral shipping

Etsy-case-study-offset-shipping

Becomes first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping

etsy-logoetsy-carbon-goalsEtsy, the global marketplace for unique and creative goods, is committed to using the power of business to strengthen communities and empower people. As Etsy works to connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world and advances their mission of keeping commerce human, the company faces a unique set of challenges for managing carbon impacts and fostering responsible resource use.

Key challenges

Etsy is committed to building long-term climate resilience across their operations. They have set ambitious targets to power their offices and computing infrastructure with 100% renewable electricity and running zero waste operations by 2020. However, in 2018, 98% of Etsy’s carbon impact stemmed from items shipped from Etsy sellers to Etsy buyers. 

While these scope 3 emissions from shipping are outside of Etsy’s direct control, Etsy felt responsible to step up and take immediate action on behalf of the millions of buyers and sellers active in the Etsy marketplace.

To do this, Etsy sought to mitigate this carbon impact through verified emissions reductions – with an eye to catalyzing broader industry change. They have also identified a number of additional levers that they hope can drive carbon reduction longer term, including policy advocacy, vendor negotiation, and peer collaboration.

How we helped

3Degrees-approach-etsy-case-study

3Degrees helped Etsy to identify a portfolio of emission reduction projects to meet their desire for immediate action while fostering more sustainable shipping solutions for the future.

The key elements of the Etsy program designed by 3Degrees are:

  • Environmental integrity. This is the most fundamental aspect of the program design and a core element of every carbon offset sold by 3Degrees. Environmental integrity can generally be broken down into two main components: (a) “additionality,” the notion that the emission reductions would not have been achieved without the promise of funding from carbon offset sales, and (b) rigorous and conservative quantification of the actual emission reductions achieved. All 3Degrees projects are registered under internationally recognized standards maintained by not-for-profit environmental organizations, including the American Carbon Registry (ACR)Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). These standards require that project emission reductions are monitored and quantified on a regular basis and that this quantification and project additionality are independently verified by accredited third parties.
  • Impactful and unique projects to address GHG emissions. Leveraging 3Degrees’ proprietary project portfolio and experience addressing transportation emissions, Etsy’s initial investment is supporting four unique projects. Over time, Etsy’s emission reduction investments will support the development of new projects that provide similar impact.
    • UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project, which reduces air pollution and increases the supply of sustainable forestry products. The Blandin Forest supports the continued conservation of nearly 20 million trees and up to 500,000 new trees will be planted this year.
    • Meridian magnesium project, which manufactures automotive parts that help lightweight vehicles and improve vehicle fuel efficiency. Carbon offsets are generated by reducing the use of SF6, a powerful greenhouse gas that is commonly used in magnesium production for automotive parts.
    • Giriraj Bundled Wind Power Project and The Solar Grouped Project by ACME, which generate clean, renewable wind and solar power, respectively, that displace electricity generated by traditional fossil fuel sources.
  • Strengthen communities. Etsy’s emission reduction projects provide co-benefits important to human health, well-being, and the livelihood of local communities. These projects (a) reduce local air pollution, (b) improve water quality and security and (c) promote biodiversity. The portfolio also includes projects that support renewable energy markets and transportation sector emission reductions.

“Etsy has a long-standing track record of working to reduce our environmental footprint. Our carbon neutral shipping initiative is a major milestone within our larger commitment to act urgently and aggressively in the fight against climate change. We are excited to partner with 3Degrees in order to support projects with a high level of environmental integrity that will evolve with our growing needs.”

–Chelsea Mozen, Sustainability Lead at Etsy

 

Results

etsy-results

 


Project Spotlight

UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project

Investing in sustainable forest management

blandin-forestry-project

Photo: Richard Hamilton Smith

UPM Blandin Forestry manages 187,876 acres of native, mixed hardwood forests in Minnesota that supply timber to the UPM Blandin paper mill.  The company is committed to sustainable management of these acres and the resulting products. Blandin’s SmartForestrySM practices protect the diversity of natural forest communities, align management with ecological regimes, and reduce harvest impacts. All UPM-Blandin Forestland is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) certified and all Blandin products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™).

In 2010, working with non-profit partners and the State of Minnesota, Blandin signed a conservation easement that grants public access in perpetuity, guarantees the property will always remain forest and that it will be managed under sustainable practices. This sustainable practice improves carbon dioxide sequestration by the forest which, in turn, is credited under the methodology.

Throughout the span of the carbon offset project, the property will remain a working forest that produces sustainable pulpwood, saw logs, and other high-value forest products for the regional forest industry. The forest supplies 17 facilities in Minnesota, supporting more than 3,200 working families and hundreds more in related businesses.

american-carbon-registry

Supporting Blandin’s conservation efforts provides important co-benefits for the local communities. This forest provides water quality protection, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities for the public. The forest protects a diverse suite of wildlife, including 30 miles of state designated trout streams, 47 species of birds, and over 30 species of mammals including black bear, grey wolf, and moose.

Standard: American Carbon Registry (ACR)

Co-Benefits: Improved local air quality, public use and recreation, biodiversity/habitat.

 

More on 3Degrees Carbon Offsets

UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project

UPM-Blandin-Forestry-Conservation

UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project

UPM Blandin Forestry manages 187,876 acres of native, mixed hardwood forests in Minnesota that supply timber to the UPM Blandin paper mill.  The company is committed to sustainable management of these acres and the resulting products. Blandin’s SmartForestrySM practices protect the diversity of natural forest communities, align management with ecological regimes, and reduce harvest impacts. All UPM-Blandin Forestland is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) certified and all Blandin products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™).

In 2010, working with non-profit partners and the state of Minnesota, Blandin signed a conservation easement that grants public access in perpetuity, guarantees the property will always remain forest, and that it will be managed under sustainable practices. This sustainable practice improves carbon dioxide sequestration by the forest which, in turn, is credited under the methodology.

Throughout the span of the carbon offset project, the property will remain a working forest that produces sustainable pulpwood, saw logs, and other high-value forest products for the regional forest industry. The forest supplies 17 facilities in Minnesota, supporting more than 3,200 working families and hundreds more in related businesses.

Supporting Blandin’s conservation efforts provides important co-benefits for the local communities. This forest provides water quality protection, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities for the public. The forest protects a diverse suite of wildlife, including 30 miles of state designated trout streams, 47 species of birds, and over 30 species of mammals including black bear, grey wolf, and moose.

blandin-forestry-project

Photo: Richard Hamilton Smith

blandin-forestry-project

Photo: Richard Hamilton Smith

blandin-forestry-project

Photo: Richard Hamilton Smith

3Degrees + carbon offsets

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Giriraj Bundled Wind Power Project

Giriraj Bundled Wind Project

The Bundled Wind Power Project is located in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, India and was built to generate power using wind energy and to sell the renewable power generated to the state grid. The wind power generated from the project displaces the electricity generated from coal, diesel, furnace oil, and gas combustion at thermal power stations feeding into the Indian Electricity Grid. The project has a capacity of 112.5 MW and consists of 64 turbines. The revenue from the sale of carbon offsets was necessary to build, operate, and maintain the project.

The Bundled Wind Power Project provides 170,481 MWh of clean, renewable energy annually, which is enough to power 37,093 homes for an average family of four.  The project created local employment opportunities during the construction and operation phases. This renewable energy development has led to infrastructure development in the region, such as expanding roads and access to improved power generation for local businesses.

3Degrees + carbon offsets

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The Solar Grouped Project by ACME

Solar Grouped Project by ACME

The Solar Grouped Project by ACME has 11 project for a combined installed capacity of 381.5 MW.  These solar projects are located on various sites throughout India within the following states: Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chattishgarh, Telangana, Odisha, and Uttrakhand.

The grouped project was built to generate power using solar energy and to sell the renewable power to the various state grids. Electricity delivered by the projects would have otherwise been generated by the operation of grid-connected coal power plants and by the addition of new fossil fuel generation sources into the Indian grid. The revenue from the sale of carbon offsets was necessary to build as well as operate and maintain the project.

The Solar Grouped Project by ACME provides 747,117 MWh of clean, renewable energy annually, which is enough to power 162,558 homes for an average family of four. The project created local employment opportunities during the construction and operation phases. Renewable energy development has led to infrastructure development in the region, such as the expansion of roads and  access to improved power generation for local businesses, and improved communication with nearby cities.

solar grouped project by ACME India

 

3Degrees + carbon offsets

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2018 Impact Together

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In 2018, 3Degrees’ customers supported more renewable energy and carbon projects than ever before.

We are inspired by this commitment to take urgent action on climate change and look forward to joining together to make an even more significant impact in the coming year. 

2018-impact

Click to view a downloadable PDF