Individuals and organizations in the US increasingly feel compelled to act alongside an international community already taking important steps to mitigate climate change. However, there has at times been a lack of third-party certification that certify mitigation efforts, like carbon offsetting, are indeed what they claim to be because these actions are voluntary. In this context, TheGreenOffice.com has chosen to act with the utmost transparency in laying out a set of standards by which our customers can evaluate the merits of our carbon offsetting service and the Green Office Offsets™ that support your claim of carbon neutrality. Wherever possible, we have deferred to the best practices established by independent experts in the field and trusted third-party certifiers.
- Accurate Emissions Calculation
- Top Quality Emission Reduction Credits
- Top Quality Renewable Energy Credits
- Verification of Credit Retirement & Annual Auditing
Accurate Emissions Calculation
Making a legitimate claim of carbon neutrality begins with an accurate calculation of the carbon emissions associated with your workplace. The Office Footprint Calculator™ is designed to measure those areas of your daily operations that have the greatest impact on our climate: transportation, facility, energy, waste, products, and services. To ensure the highest degree of precision possible, in 2005 TheGreenOffice.com partnered with Redefining Progress, an internationally recognized pioneer in the development of ecological footprint calculators. The current Calculator is based on the 2.0 Methodology of Redefining Progress, representing a series of enhancements to the original release. TheGreenOffice.com performs an annual evaluation of the assumptions and formulations behind our calculator and engages leading experts in the field to make refinements as warranted. To learn more about what’s behind the calculator, click here.
Top Quality Emission Reduction Credits
TheGreenOffice.com has chosen to source emission reduction credits for our Green Office Offsets™ exclusively from ClimateCare, an internationally recognized organization dedicated to effective climate change mitigation. In doing so, we have also chosen to adopt their standards for the selection of emission reduction projects. These include not only rigorous third-party certification under the mechanisms established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but mandatory contribution to sustainable community development. Below are the adopted project standards of TheGreenOffice.com:
Use of Internationally Recognized Standards
TheGreenOffice.com carbon offset projects are based on internationally recognized criteria, which stems from the project-based mechanisms of the Kyoto protocol. Projects are developed in accordance with procedures, criteria, and methodologies from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Use of Only Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency
TheGreenOffice.com only supports projects in the categories of renewable energies and energy efficiency. So-called carbon sink projects, such as reforestation projects, which only temporarily absorb CO2, are not considered.
Detectable Reduction on Greenhouse Gases
Independent authorities must control the emission reductions from carbon offset projects during the entire life span of the project.
Contribution to Sustainable Development
All projects sourced by TheGreenOffice.com must provide a positive contribution to sustainable on-site development and be compatible with all dimensions of sustainability: ecological, economic, and social sustainability. Positive side effects of the projects include an increase in the standard of life, transfer of knowledge and technology, the generation of local jobs, and a reduction in air and water pollution. The criteria of the Gold Standard serve as a guideline for all projects sourced by TheGreenOffice.com.
Experienced Project Partners
The project portfolio is compiled and managed with extreme care. In particular, much importance is placed on competent and experienced project partners, whom accompany and maintain the projects throughout their lifetime.
Carbon offset projects are continuously inspected and certified by independent organizations. Depending on the project size and type, validation may take place either through CDM accredited certification institutes such as the SGS, TÜV, DNV, or by a board of experts.
TheGreenOffice.com places great importance on the additionality of projects. This implies that the purchase of emission reductions enables project success and that the projects are not constructed in an ad-lib manner.
Top Quality Renewable Energy Credits
Renewable energy credits (RECs), except when certified by a third-party to have met additionality criteria, are used by TheGreenOffice.com to neutralize only those carbon emissions related to the generation of conventional energy. Therefore, RECs within the Green Office Offsets™ portfolio are not technically claimed as offsets, but rather as credits used to green our customer’s use of electricity. RECs within our portfolio must derive from providers of Green-e Climate Certified products, currently supplied by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In addition, TheGreenOffice.com seeks assurance from our suppliers that RECs are generated by renewable energy projects where all reasonable efforts have been made to minimize ecosystem disruption and maximize the contribution of the project to equitable community development.
Verification of Credit Retirement & Annual Auditing
TheGreenOffice.com has chosen to work with non-profit industry leaders with impeccable track records for product integrity. Every month TheGreenOffice.com reports its offset sales to our nonprofit suppliers, reconciles payment, and confirms the impending retirement of the credits purchased. Record of these transactions is made public annually under current 501(c)3 reporting statutes. In addition, TheGreenOffice.com requires annual verification of the retirement of the emission reduction and renewable energy credits that compose our Green Office Offsets™. This verification is provided in the form of a receipt indicating that all credits sold within our portfolio have been permanently removed from circulation, or retired, by climatecare and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation respectively. At the end of each calendar year, TheGreenOffice.com undergoes an independent audit of its financial records in order to verify that the credits we sell match up with the credits purchased by our customers. If you have comments or questions about our verification process, please email or call at 800.909.9750.