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 we used carbon management platform Sweep to boost scope 3 decision making (video)

As a global climate solutions provider, 3Degrees helps organizations achieve renewable energy and decarbonization goals. With a full suite of solutions for addressing emissions of all scopes, their climate consultancy team partnered with Sweep to offer clients a carbon management software solution. 

This partnership strengthens 3Degrees’ goal setting, greenhouse gas (GHG) footprinting, carbon credit strategy, supply chain engagement, and renewable energy  procurement offerings. Ensuring the highest quality emissions data, Sweep’s platform allows for better customer assistance in understanding and reducing their carbon footprint. This carbon management platform coupled with 3Degrees’ climate tech advisory services, streamline the climate software selection and adoption process for smoother progress towards a decarbonized future. 

In this short video, Karlina Wu, Manager on the Energy & Climate Practice Team at 3Degrees, covers challenges and discoveries related to supply chain management. Read along or press play to get the scoop. 

What is a common challenge your customers face when combating scope 3 emissions? 

One of the key challenges we see with organizations tackling scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions is that after measurement, it’s not always clear what the next step is. It’s easy to get stuck making the leap from measurement to reductions, and understanding exactly what you need to do or what you need to ask your suppliers to do and having real actionable next steps. 

Can you provide a real life example of the above pitfall? 

We helped an international consumer goods client identify where the majority of their emissions are coming from – in order to provide specific emission reduction actions. Our client knew most of their scope 3 emissions were coming from category 1, which is goods and services. And within that, most of those emissions were coming from advertisements. 

However, we were able to dig into their data and learn that a majority of their advertising emissions are from digital ads, which are being hosted by platforms that actually already have renewable energy targets and decarbonization plans in place. So, rather than focusing on the hosting emissions of those digital ad suppliers, we refocused on the next highest sources of emissions and directed our efforts toward higher impact areas. 

Which key factors come into play when doing this work?

In this case, data transparency was crucial for the organization to trace the emissions back to their suppliers and the specific activities contributing to their emissions. Carbon management software can help with managing emissions data and provide the transparency and reliability needed in order to drive decision-making, allowing our clients to focus on reduction actions with their suppliers. 


About 3Degrees

3Degrees is a leading global climate solutions provider and Certified B Corporation. Our work is driven by the need for urgent climate action, and has been for more than 20 years. We deliver a full suite of clean energy and decarbonization solutions to help global Fortune 500 companies, utilities, and other organizations achieve their climate goals and address emissions in the fight against climate change. The 3Degrees team brings a commitment to integrity and deep expertise in climate strategy and implementation across scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including net zero, global environmental commodities, renewable energy and carbon project development, transportation decarbonization, as well as electric and gas utility voluntary programs. We help develop and deploy impactful climate solutions that make good business sense and advance an equitable transition to the low-carbon future.

Financial structures to support carbon project development (Infographic)

Organizations are now able to play a more causal role in carbon project development which provide a highly customized way to strengthen additionality and deepen their organization’s impact. Download the full infographic here. 

Benefits of carbon project investment: 

  • Making a larger impact, while making progress towards business goals 
  • Setting your organization apart from the competition
  • Paving the way for positive environmental and social impact 
  • Helps tackle hard-to-abate scope 3 emissions (can pinpoint a particular industry or sector)
  • Supply access to volume needed by your organization

3Degrees partners with Merge to craft a fleet electrification roadmap for MA-based solar company (video)

Solect Energy is one of the top 10 commercial photovoltaic (PV) solar installers in the United States. Built with a mission to turn energy into business opportunities for their customers, the company works tirelessly to find smart, clean energy solutions with a bankable return. Solect deploys a modest commercial fleet of just under 50 light-to-medium duty PV installation and operations vehicles. Given the nature of its business and the size of its fleet, Solect Energy was an ideal candidate for 3Degrees to pilot a fleet advisory engagement with EV analytics partner, Merge Electric Fleet Solutions (Merge).


Interested to learn how your organization can take the first step in fleet electrification? Schedule a call with our team of decarbonization experts here

Our team will work to assess your transportation emissions and customize a best-fit solution to achieve even the most ambitious GHG reduction goals.

Merging social impact with RE procurement (Infographic)

As purchases of renewable energy by corporates have surged in recent history, the project criteria that buyers are focused on has changed. An increasing number of buyers are interested in projects with accompanying community co-benefits. 

Download our new infographic to better understand how your organization can embed climate justice initiatives into its corporate renewable energy goals and purchasing strategies. 


What is Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) or Biomethane?

What is Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), as it’s called in the United States, or Biomethane, as it’s called in Europe? Our infographic explains how it is generated, what it is, and more.

Download now to get familiar with the basics behind this alternative, climate-friendly solution to natural gas. 

What is RNG?BIOGAS Biogas is methane generated from: Decomposition of wet organic waste. Anaerobic digesters at: Food processing plants Livestock facilities Wastewater treatment plants Gas collection systems at landfills RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS Renewable natural gas (RNG) is cleaned or “upgraded” biogas that has been injected into the national pipeline system. RNG is a climate-friendly alternative to fossil/geologic natural gas. Synonyms: biomethane, high BTU biogas RENEWABLE THERMAL CERTIFICATES (RTCs) RTCs are the environmental attributes associated with RNG. Synonyms: Thermal RECs, Green Gas Certificates, Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGO), RNG Certificates

What is Biomethane?BIOGAS Biogas is methane generated from: Decomposition of wet organic waste. Anaerobic digesters at: Food processing plants Farms (using crop and/or manure) Wastewater treatment plants Gas collection systems at landfills BIOMETHANE Biomethane is cleaned or “upgraded” biogas, it is a climate-friendly alternative to fossil/geologic natural gas. Synonyms: Renewable natural Gas (RNG), high BTU biogas BIOMETHANE CERTIFICATES Biomethane Certificates are the environmental attributes associated with Biomethane. Synonyms: Thermal RECs, Biomethan Certificates, Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGO), Renewable Thermal Certificates (RTCs), RNG Certificates

What the VCMI Code of Practice means for companies looking to make carbon credit claims

The past few years have seen an unprecedented and ever-growing number of corporate commitments to combat climate change. Carbon credits represent one integral tool that companies with such goals can leverage to support their own claims and contribute to global climate change mitigation. As carbon credit-based claims have become more common, a jumble of terms and recommendations for credible action has also arisen, with many market participants expressing valid concerns that lack of standardization is causing confusion and hesitation at best, and greenwashing at worst.

To address these concerns and promote greater standardization, transparency, and clarity around the use of carbon credits, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), a global non-profit dedicated to enabling a high integrity voluntary carbon market, released part one of its much anticipated Claims Code of Practice in June 2023. The Code aims to provide a clear, operable framework for corporations seeking to make credible carbon claims and for observers looking to assess the integrity of these claims. 

Understanding the VCMI Claims Code of Practice

The VCMI Claims Code lays out an initial suite of high integrity claims, as well as the foundational criteria that organizations must meet before making any VCMI-aligned claim. From a 10,000 foot view, the guidance explains how companies should operationalize one major principle: direct emission reductions should be the top priority, and should not be treated as interchangeable with carbon credits from activities that mitigate emissions outside companies’ value chains. This is a principle that has already been endorsed by other widely-recognized corporate climate guidance, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

VCMI’s Claims Code outlines a four-step process that companies must follow to make carbon credit claims in line with its guidance:

1VCMI specifies that claims must be contribution-based, meaning credits must be used for climate mitigation beyond a company’s internal decarbonization targets.
2VCMI may release additional tiering and naming systems in their second release in Nov 23 

What does the Claims Code mean for organizations already making (or intending to make) claims based on the use of carbon credits?

Moving forward, all companies communicating carbon credit-based claims will face the important choice of whether or not to ensure their claims are VCMI-aligned. Organizations that decide to meet VCMI’s requirements (i.e., can set and show progress towards a near-term science-based target and commit to net zero emissions by 2050) can operate with greater confidence that their carbon strategies are in line with robust, third-party standards moving forward. It is likely that these organizations will also be aligned with other prominent voluntary carbon market guidance, as VCMI has announced close coordination with other leading guidance providers such as the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM).

Companies should consider contribution-based claims 

The Code also provides guidance and suggested language for companies navigating a shift towards “contribution-based” carbon credit claims. VCMI characterizes carbon credits as “contributions” to global climate change mitigation rather than tools to “offset” or compensate for ongoing value chain emissions. This solidifies a growing trend in the voluntary carbon market away from language that may imply carbon credits are interchangeable with direct emission reductions (e.g., “carbon neutral” or “reduced-carbon product” claims), towards a more transparent framing of the impact of carbon credits (i.e., contributing to mitigation beyond credit buyers’ own footprints). This trend has been fueled, in part, by efforts to implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which allows countries to claim and trade carbon credits against their national emission reduction pledges, and has created confusion around acceptable carbon credit claims for non-government participants in the global voluntary carbon market. VCMI has provided an important indication of how companies can credibly claim to contribute to global mitigation using carbon credits, without countries having to formally relinquish the right to count the same emission impacts in their own national registries.

Companies must first align with SBTi guidance to make VCMI-aligned claims

However, VCMI’s requirements of an SBTi-aligned near-term target and a 2050 net zero commitment “in line with globally recognized sustainability frameworks” may significantly limit corporate adoption – and therefore the total emissions impact – of VCMI’s Code. Many companies remain unable to set goals in line with SBTi’s guidance, including certain hard-to-abate sectors (e.g., oil and gas), subsidiary companies of parent organizations, and (in many cases) small and medium enterprises. Throughout 2023, VCMI plans to develop a broader set of claims tiers and an “on-ramp” for companies that are not yet able to meet VCMI’s foundational criteria, which will be crucial for wider adoption and impact. 

Companies with leading investment-based approaches may not conform to VCMI

In addition, VCMI’s decision to default in full to the ICVCM to identify acceptable credits and to require volumetric (“ton-for-ton”)  matching of carbon credits to a company’s remaining emissions may limit adoption by companies with leading-edge carbon procurement strategies. Several companies seen as leaders in the voluntary carbon market have prioritized providing early-stage finance to nascent carbon reduction, removal, and storage technologies whose scale will be essential to stay on track to meet Paris Agreement targets. This is seen as a sophisticated, high risk, pioneering strategy because it comes with crucial tradeoffs: buyers likely receive very small credit volumes well into the future, with high risks of volume shortfall and non-delivery. Additionally, these buyers are often unable to rely on methodologies from major registries as a basic guarantee of credit quality due to the nascency of the reduction or removal approaches they choose to support. Because investment amounts, not credit volumes, are the focus of these organizations’ claims, and because ICVCM approvals will only be given to credits certified under approved programs (i.e., registries) and methodologies, it is unlikely that these types of buyers will be able to make VCMI claims unless the Code is expanded significantly.

What’s Next for the Claims Code of Practice?

With its first release of the guidance, VCMI also announced its plans to significantly expand upon the Code throughout 2023. Key areas VCMI has flagged to build out its framework include: the Measurement, Reporting, and Assurance (MRA) framework companies will need to use to validate VCMI claims, supplementary guidance for specific industries, sectors, and geographies, and potential new nomenclature for its claim tiers (per a review of marketing appeal), in addition to entirely new claims tiers and possible on-ramp option for companies who have not yet met VCMI’s foundational criteria. 

While it remains to be seen how widely companies adopt this new guidance, VCMI’s Claims Code has introduced a new standard that can be a useful anchor point in examining the integrity of carbon credit claims moving forward. The Code’s strong assertion that companies must procure high-quality credits to contribute to global climate ambition while still prioritizing internal decarbonization is a welcome addition to the guidance landscape shaping the voluntary carbon market. Given the potentially limited applicability of this first release of VCMI’s guidance, we hope that the forthcoming release of industry- and geography-specific modules, as well as the much-anticipated Measurement, Reporting, and Assurance framework, will provide a clearer roadmap for companies at all stages of their sustainability journeys to take ambitious action in the voluntary carbon market and make credible carbon claims with confidence.

If you are considering making a carbon credit-based claim, shifting your carbon strategy to prioritize a contribution-based approach, or have any questions about what carbon market evolutions mean for your existing or forthcoming climate commitments, please reach out.


Tory Hoffmeister is a Manager on 3Degrees’ Energy and Climate Practice consulting team




Emma Friedl is a Consultant on 3Degrees’ Energy and Climate Practice consulting team



Consumer goods company builds emissions roadmap to reach targets by 2030


On the path to achieving its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, a Fortune 500 consumer goods company with business activities across manufacturing, retail, and e-commerce (Consumer Goods Company) set a near-term emissions reduction target through the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi). This near-term science-based target was set across all three scopes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a 2018 base year.

The stated goal for the year 2030 mandates the following actions:

Achieve a 50% reduction in absolute GHG emissions for scopes 1 and 2 

Decrease GHG emissions intensity per unit revenue by 60% across three scope 3 categories: purchased goods, upstream transportation and distribution, and business travel. This equates to a 6% reduction in absolute emissions from the base year.

The Consumer Goods Company had several emissions reduction projects planned and underway, but needed a more structured plan for achieving their short term goal. The Consumer Goods Company sought assistance from 3Degrees to:

  • Build an emissions reductions roadmap that enhances its ability to accurately quantify, track, and report on its emission reductions and progress against its 2030 climate goal 
  • Gain internal buy-in across leadership and all business units to promote effective climate action


With less than a decade remaining to achieve its 2030 goal, the Consumer Goods Company did not have a complete picture of their projects’ emission reduction impact and whether they would achieve their goal. To start, 3Degrees customized its proprietary Emissions Reduction Model based on the Consumer Goods Company’s existing data and identified gaps in the Consumer Goods Company’s reduction efforts. Once these gaps were identified, it became evident that by following its current trajectory the Consumer Goods Company would fall short of its near-term goal.

These findings required the Consumer Goods Company to seek approval and funding for new reduction strategies essential to achieving its climate goal. While the Consumer Goods Company had worked with its executive team on funding for its original climate plan, this strategy change would require a new set of approvals and deeper justification for the additional funding.

As with most organizations, the Consumer Goods Company’s scope 3 emissions account for the majority of its total carbon footprint. Though aware of the overall magnitude of its scope 3 emissions, they lacked specific insights required to build and implement a reduction action plan. To address this, they relied on 3Degrees to conduct a thorough analysis of its supplier spend data to determine emissive activities. Upon completion of the analysis, a new challenge materialized—the Consumer Goods Company became acutely aware of the substantial amount of work required to reach its scope 3 target.

How we helped

The 3Degrees team helped the Consumer Goods Company in three key categories: 

Executive engagement and business case

3Degrees initiated the engagement by analyzing the Consumer Goods Company’s emissions footprint and diving deeply into specific emission categories. Throughout this process, the 3Degrees team actively participated in internal coordination and governance meetings. This not only provided the Consumer Goods Company with greater access to the climate expertise of the 3Degrees team, but also helped reveal its actual emissions.

For instance, by examining the Consumer Goods Company’s scope 3 purchased goods and services spend data, 3Degrees identified an emissions hot spot in advertising emissions. After further investigation, it became apparent that a substantial portion of the Consumer Goods Company’s expenditures flowed through Tier 1 suppliers and eventually reached large digital ad companies. This discovery led 3Degrees to uncover that the primary source of the Consumer Goods Company’s scope 3 advertising emissions was the electricity used to power digital videos and advertisements.

When communicating these findings and other emissions footprint drivers, the 3Degrees team ensured the Consumer Goods Company fully understood and felt comfortable with the information. 3Degrees then developed a business case and emissions reduction roadmap that the Consumer Goods Company could present to its executive stakeholders. This enabled the Consumer Goods Company to demonstrate the importance of this climate work to its executive team, facilitating approval and funding for further reduction strategies.

Emissions Reduction Model

3Degrees used its Emissions Reduction Model to model the Consumer Goods Company’s business as usual emissions and the 2030 target emissions.

The Emissions Reduction Model highlighted gaps in the Consumer Goods Company’s current reduction efforts and identified emissions categories that required focused planning to uncover opportunities for closing these gaps. This prompted the 3Degrees team to expand upon the original objective and delve deeply into the data to determine new reduction levers that the Consumer Goods Company could implement to stay on track to reach its near-term targets. 3Degrees added the proposed projects (and their associated emissions reductions) required to achieve the goal into the Emissions Reduction Model to illustrate how the Company could achieve their goal.

3Degrees used the information from the Emissions Reduction Model to develop a emissions reduction roadmap, which provided the Consumer Goods Company with tangible ways to incorporate climate action into their everyday business streams. The roadmap outlined all the required projects and action items, their projected emissions, assigned specific ownership of both emissions and reduction projects, the performance metrics against which each project would be measured, and conveyed important business integration themes.

Upon completing the engagement, 3Degrees shared the finalized Emissions Reduction Model and roadmap with the Consumer Goods Company. The comprehensive model incorporated all current and future reduction interventions necessary to reach its 2030 target across all three scopes of emissions, enabling the Consumer Goods Company to continue its work autonomously. 

Scope 3

Both teams were aware of the enormity of work required to achieve the Consumer Goods Company’s scope 3 targets. Instead of being overwhelmed by the data, the 3Degrees team helped organize it into manageable action items using the Emissions Reduction Model. As a result, they identified that the bulk of the necessary scope 3 reductions could be accomplished through three work streams and fewer than 10 reduction initiatives. These insights helped get the Consumer Goods Company on track to reach its near-term scope 3 goal.


Upon completion of of the engagement, the Consumer Goods Company achieved the following outcomes:

“This company is a role model for corporate climate action. They set an ambitious science-based target, despite having a daunting scope 3 footprint. 3Degrees is proud to have been a partner on their climate journey, from the creation of their climate roadmap to executive approval for bold and thoughtful emission reduction projects.”

— Katherine Canoy, Senior Director, Energy & Climate Practice, Strategy

European Renewable Markets Insight Report | 1H 2023

There have been a number of interesting developments in the European market in the first half of 2023. To help organisations navigate these, we have developed the second edition of 3Degrees’ European Renewable Markets Insight report.

In this edition, we will look into:

  • Price stabilisation in the wholesale and PPA markets
  • Volatility in the GO market
  • Changes in the EU regulatory framework
  • And more

Start reading the Renewable Markets Insight Report now to take a closer look at the energy and PPA market landscape in Europe. 



Uncovering solutions: Carbon Project Basics – Landfill Gas Capture

What is landfill gas capture?

Landfill gas capture, also known as landfill gas recovery or landfill gas management, refers to the process of collecting and utilizing the gas that is produced by the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. As the waste decomposes, it generates a mixture of gasses known as landfill gas (LFG), which consists of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), with small amounts of other gasses, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and trace volatile organic compounds. Methane by itself is an extremely potent greenhouse gas (GHG), which is over 25 times as powerful as CO2 and a major catalyst in ozone pollution.

How does landfill gas capture work?

  • Collection and extraction:
    A network of strategically-placed wellheads and piping systems are installed throughout the landfill site to collect the gas as it is produced. Blowers or vacuum induction systems are used to draw the gas from the landfill to a nearby processing station.
  • Processing and flaring:
    In many basic landfill gas capture sites, the captured methane is sent through a processing center to remove moisture, so it can later be destroyed by way of an onsite flare.
  • Utilization:
    An alternative to flaring is to burn the methane to generate energy. Depending on the end use, the methane will typically require additional processing to remove any compounds, such as siloxanes or hydrogen sulfide, before it is sent to a compressor and generator set where the gas can be utilized as an energy source.

What are the benefits of landfill gas capture?

  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction:
    Landfills are the third largest source of human-made methane emissions, making them one of the most obvious sources to direct our attention to in our fight against global warming. This carbon reduction project type often stands above the rest because landfill gas projects can utilize the captured methane in fuel alternatives or to produce electricity.
  • Health and safety:
    Landfill gas is a harmful pollutant, so capturing the gas directly impacts health conditions and air quality in the surrounding area. Quite often landfills are the source of unpleasant odors to the surrounding communities, which landfill gas capture and combustion all but eliminates.
  • Energy generation:
    The captured methane gas can be used as a renewable energy source to produce electricity, heat, or renewable natural gas, oftentimes utilized by the surrounding communities. This power generation method is another great way to limit our dependencies on fossil fuels.

By the numbers:

  • There are more than 2,000 active landfills in the United States alone. 
  • The most recent calculations by the Inventory Report, U.S. landfills release an estimated 122.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) of methane into the atmosphere annually, representing nearly 17 percent of the total U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions across all sectors.*
  • Methane itself is 25 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period.  
  • On average, one million tons of landfill waste will emit nearly 430,000 cubic feet of landfill gas a day, enough to generate 780 kWh of electricity or 216 MMBtu of heat.  
  • Landfill gas capture technology will abate emissions from upwards of 90 percent of the methane generated at the landfill. 

View other project profiles or contact us.