For the third year in a row, 3Degrees has achieved B Corp (Benefit Corporation) certification. This certification means that 3Degrees has legally expanded its corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder – not just shareholder – interests. 3Degrees met B Lab’s rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and joins a community of like-minded companies that are redefining what business success means.
3Degrees became a B Corp in 2012 because the firm was built upon the idea that businesses need to consider the impact of their products and services on their employees, suppliers, community, and environment. In becoming a B Corp, 3Degrees demonstrates that social and environmental responsibility is not just a value of theirs, but one that they have integrated into their corporate DNA.
In the 2014 Benefit Corporation Annual Report, CEO Steve McDougal explains:
“We are proud to be a B Corporation. It is a touchstone for us and the work that we do. B Corps stand for positive, innovative, and practical solutions to global problems. B Corps redefine the meaning of success in business. B Corps look to create enduring prosperity for all stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, the community, the environment and shareholders.
We embrace this definition of success and strive to align our company with the value of meaningful and prosperous engagement for all stakeholders. It is a journey, and in 2014 we made significant progress on this journey.”
In the top 10% of certified B Corporations worldwide for governance
3Degrees was recently honored for our accomplishments by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations. Specifically, we were recognized in the “Best for the World: Long Term” category as a result of our mission driven, transparent governance.
The 2017 Best for the World for the Long Term evaluates companies on their adoption of a social or environmental mission, and how they engages employees, board members and the community to achieve that mission. Moreover, it assesses employee access to financial information, customers’ opportunities to provide feedback, and the diversity of the company’s governing bodies.
“Receiving this award from B Lab is testimony to one of our company values – that we are passionate about our mission…really,” said Steve McDougal, CEO of 3Degrees. “It’s a great tribute to the work that our employees do every day to make sure that we live the values of the B Corp movement.”
Only the top 10 percent of Certified B Corporations received awards. 2017 Best for the Long Term companies winners represent 79 different industries and 13 countries.
This is the third time that 3Degrees has received a Best for the World award. In 2016, we won in the Best for the Environment category, and in 2013, we won in the Best for the Worker category.
3Degrees has been a certified B Corp since 2012 and continually strives to improve our performance across all metrics, including social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
New program allows for continued environmental improvement, leadership
In a continued effort to decrease its environmental impact, 3Degrees has offset its 2014 water footprint through the purchase of Water Restoration Certificates (WRC).
Similar to how companies purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to balance out their electricity consumption for areas where they cannot reduce their energy usage, 3Degrees has purchased WRCs to cover the areas where water usage cannot be reduced, such as day-to-day office operations. Each certificate represents 1,000 gallons of water restored to critically dewatered rivers and streams through solutions like water conservation, updated management and irrigation systems, and changes to water rights and agreements. All projects are certified by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
3Degrees is proud to be supporting the Sevenmile Creek project in the Klamath River Basin, and the Colorado River Delta project, located in Sonora, Mexico. The Klamath River Basin straddles Oregon and California, two of the states where 3Degrees operates its largest office sites. The basin is home to six National Wildlife Refuges, but extreme over allocation and diversion of water resources has resulted in inadequate stream flows and the degradation and loss of critical aquatic habitat. The Colorado River Delta, located at San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, was once one of North America’s great desert ecosystems, but due to historical treaties between the U.S. and Mexico that neglected to allocate water to sustain the river, the delta has been almost completely dry for the past five decades. The projects that our purchases support are restoring these important water resources.
“3Degrees is committed to reducing our environmental impact,” says Steve McDougal, President of 3Degrees. “Water Resource Certificates provide an opportunity to support projects that restore critical wildlife habitat while offsetting the use of water in our business operations.”
Water Resource Certificates are 3Degrees’ latest commitment to environmental stewardship. As a Certified B Corp, 3Degrees meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. Our on-going commitment to the environmental is evidenced by our recent designation as Climate RegisteredTMPlatinum and being named one of the National Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies®. More details about our focus on sustainability can be found on our About page.
3Degrees is seeking a third-party group to work with our diversity & inclusion committee, executive team, HR, and individual employees across the company to conduct an equity assessment/audit at the beginning of 2018, and provide recommendations to be incorporated into early 2018 goals. The full request for proposal, including instructions for submission and deadlines, can be downloaded here.
At the end of 2016, we formed an employee-led diversity & inclusion committee and began forming company-wide goals for improvements in equity focused policies, processes and culture. We also created and submitted several goals to align with the BCorp Inclusion Challenge.
One of these goals centers specifically around completing an equity audit. Our hope is that this will include an assessment of our current efforts to create an equitable work environment for current and future employees as well as identify how to improve our recruitment practices to ensure maximum inclusion and build policies to better support equity through our partnerships with suppliers and vendors.
Although we’ve already implemented several diversity & inclusion trainings for employees, we recognize how important it is to establish an understanding of where we are at as a company. We’re confident that an equity audit will inform our goals and efforts moving forward.
Scope includes green program design, marketing services and support for community solar, energy efficiency
3Degrees Inc., a leader in utility green power programs, recently signed a multi-year contract with Seattle City Light to support innovations in their renewable energy programs. Through this contract, 3Degrees will provide consulting services to Seattle City Light on a number of green power topics.
In addition, 3Degrees will be responsible for a variety of marketing activities, including support for an overall green program marketing strategy which is designed to cross promote energy efficiency and renewable energy through all appropriate marketing channels. 3Degrees also will provide marketing and outreach services for the utility’s existing green power programs, including Green Up and the utility’s award-winning community solar program.
“Seattle City Light has been a leader in offering renewable energy options to its customers,” says Adam Capage, Vice President of Utility Partnerships at 3Degrees. “We are excited by the opportunity to help them as they grow and expand the Green Up and community solar programs.”
About Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.
Offers new opportunities to reduce carbon emissions within RGGI
3Degrees, in partnership with Dorchester Renewable Energy LLC, registered the first ever carbon offset project under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a mandatory cap and trade program covering the electric sector in nine states in the eastern U.S.
The project destroys methane gas from the New Beulah Landfill located on Maryland’s eastern shore. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
“We are pleased to continue our history of ‘firsts’ in the carbon market, which dates back to a time when we were still known as TerraPass,” said Mark Mondik, Vice President of Carbon Markets at 3Degrees. TerraPass, renamed Origin Climate in 2014, became part of 3Degrees in a merger between the companies earlier this year.
The sale of RGGI offsets will provide the sole source of revenue to support the operation of the project.
“RGGI support is critical to this project,” said Tom Koch, Principal of Dorchester Renewable Energy. “Voluntary market prices for landfill gas offsets aren’t sufficient to make projects like this economically viable, but through RGGI we are able to reach higher-value buyers.”
According to the latest “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks” published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), landfills in the United States still account for around 115 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year.
3Degrees welcomes Tyler Espinoza as our newest Renewable Energy Analyst. Tyler joins Kim Fiske’s team at 3Degrees which is focused on advising customers through the direct purchase of renewable energy, such as via PPAs or on-site solar. In this role, Tyler will evaluate direct procurement energy deals with an eye for risk and opportunity, an assignment that is trickier than it sounds.
“These transactions can have a real financial upside,” said Tyler. “However, there are many variables to be considered. For example energy prices may remain low, or curtailment or congestion issues may develop and have a significant and unexpected financial impact. My goal is to paint the entire picture for decision makers so they can make a fully informed decision.” Also important to consider is the contract structure. Term, price and location must meet the client’s risk, environmental and financial goals. The experience Tyler brings to 3Degrees will help illuminate these details for clients.
Tyler brings extensive industry experience to the role. Previously he led renewable energy procurement services for public and private clients, including the Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. During his career Tyler has helped aggregate solar purchasing for several universities, helped bring 78 megawatts of new solar capacity online and assessed over seven million square feet of space for its solar potential. He will use this vast experience, and knowledge of regional power market dynamics and environmental policy trends, to thoroughly evaluate business and financial risk for 3Degrees clients. Tyler has an MA in International Energy and Policy from Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Commonly referred to as PPAs, power purchase agreements are a common mechanism for renewable energy procurement and are a growing global trend, thanks to rising interest in sustainable business operations and declining costs of green energy options.
Connect with Tyler on Linkedin.
Initiatives around Diversity and Inclusion and Work-Life Balance recognized
3Degrees announced today that it was named a 2017 San Francisco Bay Area Best and Brightest Company, which recognizes companies that provide superior work environments for their employees. The results are based on an employee survey and a review of HR practices. This year, the award highlighted 3Degrees’ focus on diversity and inclusion as well as the organization’s attention to appropriate work-life balance.
“We consider improving diversity within our workforce and our industry to be of strategic importance,” said CEO Steve McDougal. “We know we have a lot more to do, but our proud to be recognized for our progress.”
3Degrees is known for creative human resource practices and more recently has been acknowledged for its efforts around inclusion. As a global organization with a large part-time and seasonal workforce, the company has a long history of creating a culture that supports work-life balance through flexible work arrangements, an innovative leave policy and paid volunteer hours.
In the past year, 3Degrees has increased its focus on diversity and inclusion. An employee-led committee has organized several training sessions for employees and is currently managing an equity audit that will allow us to determine priorities for the coming year. In addition, this year, 3Degrees became a sponsor of Energy Scholars, a program that helps encourage women and minorities consider careers in renewable energy.
See a list of available jobs on our careers page.
3Degrees announced a five year contract with the Maine Public Utilities Commission to continue to offer Maine Green Power to the state’s electricity users. This second contract between the two organizations ensures customers of Central Maine Power and Emera Maine – the utilities servicing the majority of Maine’s population – will continue to have the option to support green energy.
2000 customers are already enrolled in the program, together supporting 10,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy in 2015 alone. Maine is New England’s leader in hydro and wind power generation and as such it is no surprise that the program has garnered a positive reception during its first three years. “It makes sense that electricity users in Maine would want a program like Maine Green Power. It’s a natural outcome of Mainers’ passion and commitment for keeping things local” said Ryan Link, Director of Utility Partnerships at 3Degrees.
Maine-based program staff will continue marketing the program through events and door to door canvassing. Representatives will also focus on helping commercial businesses meet sustainability goals by using green energy. “Businesses are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competition. Choosing renewable energy with Maine Green Power is a way to match business operations with customer values,” added Link.
About Maine Green Power
Maine Green Power is a program developed and overseen by the Maine Public Utilities Commision which allows any entity paying an electricity bill in Central Maine Power or Emera Maine territories to pay an additional charge to purchase renewable energy made in Maine. There is no contract, no equipment to install, and a person can enroll regardless of their competitive electricity supply.