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.

Corporate PPAs in Europe: Where do we go from here? (webinar)

On April 26, 2022, two of 3Degrees experts, Tyler Espinoza, Sr. Director, Energy & Climate Practice, and Noah Bucon, Sr. Manager, Regulatory Affairs, were joined by Flemming Sørensen, Vice President, Europe, and Luis López-Polín, Sr. Manager, Business Development of LevelTen Energy. The group discussed the impact the European power crisis has had – and will continue to have – on corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Catch up on on the event.

View the webinar

Rising Sun expands its impact in climate resilience

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity is a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of economic equity and climate resilience. With offices in Oakland and Stockton, their workforce development programs specialize in preparing youth, women, people of color, and individuals in reentry for high-road careers and green pathways that offer family-sustaining wages across the greater Bay Area.

3Degrees is a global climate solutions provider that seeks to accelerate a clean energy transition in a manner that builds the economic and political power of historically disadvantaged communities, such as low-income communities and people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Because of Rising Sun’s leadership on many climate and DEI-related initiatives, 3Degrees identified Rising Sun as a partner and offered it non-profit, pro-bono climate consulting services. The 3Degrees and Rising Sun teams identified the following priorities to build on Rising Sun’s existing services and expand its impact:

  • Explore ways to bring climate resilience into existing resident-facing programs
  • Investigate opportunities for potential development of a resilience hub 
  • Offer support for a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory so Rising Sun could understand its own carbon footprint

Challenges

3Degrees is quickly growing its knowledge on the subject of climate resilience, and is aware that it’s critical to create ample opportunities to listen to many different voices in the community. As the team dove into the project, it learned that there are a variety of approaches – or frameworks – to structuring resiliency programs. Since a core principle of effective resilience planning is recognizing community members as leaders and experts in their own resilience needs, community engagement was critical before any final recommendations on the frameworks could be presented. To honor this principle and ensure 3Degrees delivered recommendations that would resonate with directly impacted individuals, it held a series of conversations with the Rising Sun team members, who work closely with community members in Oakland and Stockton, as well as other subject matter experts working on community resilience on the ground.

How we helped

Objective: Climate Resilience

3Degrees kicked off the engagement by exploring how Rising Sun’s successful community-based Climate Careers program that educates households on energy efficiency could be expanded to build resilience in the communities where Rising Sun works. The first step was to facilitate discussions with Rising Sun team members to define what they meant by resilience. Collectively, the group landed on “the ability to withstand, recover, and build back better from shocks, such as impacts of climate change.” 

Next, based on this definition of resiliency, 3Degrees conducted an analysis on how Rising Sun could make this resilience a reality in their community. The teams looked at which climate impacts are expected to pose the most severe threat to the well-being of individuals in the communities where Rising Sun works in the coming few decades. The group then held a brainstorming session and workshop to leverage the Rising Sun team’s knowledge of the priorities and needs of these communities. Simultaneously, 3Degrees conducted expert interviews with people working in the area of climate resilience. The whole process culminated with Rising Sun’s decision to focus on providing intervention bundles for the threats of extreme heat and air pollution as its first resident resilience program. The recommended interventions for household visits included data gathering on vulnerable individuals, which could be leveraged to support government programs in the future, as well as educational components like how to check air quality and what to do on a poor air quality day.

Objective: Resilience Hubs

To support another phase of the project, 3Degrees worked to assess opportunities to develop a resilience hub in Stockton, where Rising Sun already has a small office. Once again, the team began by facilitating alignment on a shared definition for a resilience hub: a community center that serves many functions to everyone in the community, including under normal, disruptive (i.e. a significant weather event), and recovery conditions. 

Next, 3Degrees conducted research and community interviews in Stockton, which informed the development of a roadmap with high-level phasing on how Rising Sun could make its resilience hub vision a reality. The roadmap included a library of resources that Rising Sun could utilize, including a climate assessment of the region, a list of potential community partners, and various funding opportunities.

Objective: GHG Inventory

The third component of 3Degrees’ work with Rising Sun was an inventory of the non-profit’s GHG emissions footprint, since Rising Sun wanted to lead by example and implement sustainability improvements for its own organization. Throughout this work, 3Degrees engaged the Rising Sun staff to ensure they understood the GHG inventory process and could take actionable next steps using the data. At the conclusion of the project, Rising Sun had established an emissions baseline, made initial progress toward reductions, and learned how to replicate the GHG inventory in future years.

Results

Rising Sun received specific support for each of the three priorities it outlined at the beginning of the project: 

  • Actionable recommendations for new programs that include climate resilience for extreme heat and air pollution, so the organization can help prepare the communities where it works to withstand and recover from extreme climate impacts; 
  • A roadmap tool and set of resources that Rising Sun can use to establish a well-funded climate resilience hub in an area of need, including programming and services provided by the community and for the community;
  • The organization’s first GHG inventory and an understanding of how to repeat the process in future years, enabling Rising Sun to continue making progress toward its sustainability goals year over year.

Carbon credit basics with carbon neutral milk company Neutral (video)

carbon credit basics

Portland, OR-based milk company Neutral works to minimize emissions from the dairy industry by helping farmers implement carbon reduction technologies.

The company also works with 3Degrees to purchase carbon credits to address all remaining emissions. In this video interview with Neutral, Steph Harris, 3Degrees’ director of carbon markets provides foundational information about carbon credits including how they are created, what makes a quality credit, and how they can be used in a comprehensive climate action plan. 

Watch the video

 

 

Freshpet Enhances its Commitment to the Planet with Decarbonization Initiatives

Freshpet logo

Freshpet logo

Freshpet was founded with a mission to revolutionize the way all pets are fed by making fresh, natural food. Since day one, the company has been committed to changing the industry through positive innovation that is good for pets, pet parents, and the planet. So in 2019 when Freshpet reached out to 3Degrees to help address its global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint, we were eager to support the company in its quest to be the most sustainable pet food that consumers can buy.

Challenges

When Freshpet approached 3Degrees, the company was in the earlier stages of its climate action journey and was looking for a renewable energy and decarbonization solutions partner to help take its sustainability commitments to the next level. It had a lot of ambition and wanted to ensure it was making the most meaningful impact. While the Freshpet team members knew they were interested in making a renewable energy purchase, they were looking for a partner with deep expertise who could help educate them on their options and guide them beyond that initial investment.

How we helped

After the Freshpet team executed its first purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), it continued to gain stakeholder support to further build out its sustainability program. The company came back to 3Degrees with the desire to accelerate its climate commitments, and we crafted a multi-step approach to help the company build a more comprehensive climate action plan. 

This phased approach included:

  • Full Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory. As a first-time inventory, there were three important components to this analysis: to help Freshpet gather the needed data in the most efficient way possible, to educate relevant stakeholders on recordkeeping and data management processes which can streamline future inventory efforts, and to assemble the data, calculate the emissions, and present the full GHG inventory to Freshpet.
  • Scope 3 emissions screen. 3Degrees examined Freshpet’s indirect value chain greenhouse gas emissions – those related to but not directly controlled by the company (Scope 3). Because the universe of Scope 3 emissions is so large, we first screened Freshpet’s Scope 3 emissions using an industry-standard open-source tool that uses purchasing data to estimate emissions from fifteen categories.
  • Stakeholder education sessions and competitive benchmarking. During this workshop that 3Degrees hosted for the Freshpet executive team, we shared the following information:
    • The landscape of stakeholders influencing the standards by which Freshpet’s goals and actions may be judged (e.g. Environmental Working Group, CDP, CERES, etc.);
    • Key initiatives launched or used to encourage corporate action (e.g. RE100, Net-Zero, CDP, Science-Based Targets, UN Sustainable Development Goals);
    • A benchmark review of the goals and programs underway across a select group of companies in relevant sectors and industries.
  • Materiality workshop. 3Degrees facilitated a materiality workshop with Freshpet’s executive team members during which they evaluated near-term areas of focus for climate action according to criteria such as level of emissions, impact on the fulfillment of the company’s mission, and stakeholder expectations. As a group, we discussed Freshpet’s particular position as a leader in a new market category and the unique opportunities it presents to influence change. 
  • Deeper GHG footprinting analysis. In addition to updating Freshpet’s Scope 1 & 2 inventory for 2020, 3Degrees also added more granularity to the Scope 3 assessment by digging deeper into the details of the company’s largest categories of emissions. 
  • Goal setting & implementation plan. 3Degrees helped Freshpet set an ambitious, well-planned climate goal by using the company’s inventory data and growth projections to model reductions necessary to meet 3-4 goal scenarios. We then translated those reductions into categories of actions that Freshpet could take to achieve the goals and provided directional costs for those actions.
  • Introduction to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). TCFD is a risk assessment and mitigation planning tool that helps companies uncover the transitional, physical, and financial risks associated with climate change and develop appropriate governance strategies to manage these risks. Through an honest and transparent discussion with Freshpet’s executive leadership, 3Degrees helped them understand the “why” and the “what” of the TCFD required disclosures to kick start the process for eventually reporting to the standards.

Since its founding, Freshpet’s mission to nourish Pets, People, and Planet has included a significant focus on the environment. We were one of the first pet food companies to operate a landfill-free manufacturing facility and have been purchasing wind power since 2014. As we increased our efforts to help fight climate change, 3Degrees has been an instrumental partner in Freshpet’s sustainability journey. Their multi-disciplined climate science knowledge has allowed us to measure our carbon footprint and take meaningful actions that meet demands of our consumers, investors, and team members.

— Justin Joyner, Sustainability Lead, Freshpet

Results

From the beginning, Freshpet demonstrated a dedication to digging deep and taking a strategic approach as it marched towards additional sustainability commitments. The team was curious and eager to take action once it had the appropriate information. As a result of this phase of work, Freshpet has a better understanding of the sources of its emissions, which allows the team to focus resources on high-impact reductions. Freshpet arrived at a carbon neutral goal for its Scope 1 and 2 footprint, while it works towards setting additional long-term decarbonization plans. 

GreenBiz VERGE – Ask an Expert: Advancing Fleet Electrification with 3Degrees

3Degrees’ Dave Meyer (Director of Transportation Markets) and Ryan Pawling (Director of Business Partnerships, Energy and Mobility) provide practical guidance on fleet electrification, including information on how to access the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other market-based incentive programs at GreenBiz Group’s VERGE 21 conference.

Watch the video