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.

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

 

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

View other project profiles or contact us.

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

View other project profiles or contact us.

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

 

 

Corporate Motivators for Sustainability Purchases

corporate-motivations-poster

Corporations aren’t just taking action to address their carbon footprint because it’s the right thing to do for the environment. Leading organizations are beginning to understand there are significant risks involved in electing to do nothing. 

Here are some of the biggest corporate motivators for investing in sustainability – which of these apply to your business?

Want more information? Take a look at our RECs and Global Equivalents and our Carbon Offset Services Pages, or Contact us.

 

Why my work matters: Ryan Pawling

ryan-pawling

Ryan is a Senior Business Manager at 3Degrees.
wind energy

Some of my favorite projects:

  • Worked with toy company Hasbro to develop an international portfolio of environmental products that helped the company meet its goal of 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality.
  • Helped a long-term manufacturing client leverage its internal resources and deepen its commitment to sustainability with its first ever virtual power purchase agreement.
  • Advised a top 10, global supermarket chain on how to operationalize its climate goals and become a sustainability leader in its industry.
  • Worked with the City of Portland, Oregon to break down internal and external barriers to achieving its goal of 100% renewable energy

 

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I like working in renewable energy because this is where the action is on climate change.

 Special skills & expertise

purchase-agreement create-and-design  global teams
Fostering long-term, trusted relationships with his clients Building business cases that unlock hidden value Navigating the complex world of international renewable energy and carbon offsets Superpower:
Mobilizing resources from across 3Degrees to serve his clients

 

Watch Ryan’s video: