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Green-e Climate Program Description

About Green-e Climate
A one-page summary of the Green-e Climate Program

Overview of How Green-e Climate Certification Works
This chart follows the life of an offset from creation to sale.

Green-e for Natural Gas Sellers
Bundling high-quality carbon offsets with natural gas.

Green-e Certification for Gas Offset Products
An overview of Green-e Climate's green gas certification.

Green-e® Climate was launched in February 2008 by CRS as the first and only independent, third-party certification program for retail carbon offsets sold in the voluntary market. It ensures that Certified Offsets meet the highest standards for environmental quality and are sold and delivered as advertised.

Green-e Climate supplements other voluntary standards organizations—including The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), The Gold Standard, The Climate Action Reserve (CAR), and the American Carbon Registry (ACR)—which serve the market as project standards and certification programs aimed at ensuring valid, verified supply of real emissions reductions to the market. These organizations assess, register, and monitor offset projects on the basis of internationally accepted offset quality criteria, including proper GHG accounting, additionality, verification and monitoring, permanence of emissions reductions, etc. Credits are issued by these organizations to their registered projects for verified emissions reductions, in units of metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e). The credits of each organization—Verified Carbon Units (VCUs), Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs), Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs), and Emission Reduction Tonnes (ERTs) respectively—are assigned unique serial numbers and tracked, transferred, and retired in electronic registry systems maintained by the project certifiers in cooperation with registry development and administration organizations, including APX and Markit.

These credits are sold and delivered to retail consumers by offset sellers in the market. Green-e Climate verifies the sales of these sellers to provide the following assurances to consumers:

  1. Assurance that emissions reductions come from verified and certified supply, and from projects validated and registered under high-quality project standards. Green-e Climate certification limits the supply of emissions reductions sold only to projects registered under robust and transparent project standards and certification programs, which must demonstrate that their program requirements and project protocols/methodologies meet the principles and criteria laid out in the Green-e Climate Standard, and subsequently receive endorsement by the Green-e Governance Board. One of these requirements is that Endorsed Programs use an electronic registry to track credits issued.

  2. Assurance that emissions reductions are not being double sold. Green-e Climate certification requires verification of the purchaser's exclusive ownership—sales must match supply in terms of quality and quantity. Our annual verification process protects against double-selling by verifying that offset sellers purchase and retire correct volumes and types of emissions reductions on behalf of customers—ensuring that what is sold in the market is legitimate and correct. The process consists of a verification audit performed by an independent certified public accountant or certified internal auditor in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Green-e Climate Verification Audit Protocol.

    In this way, Green-e Climate is the only certification which covers the entire chain of custody of the emissions reduction, from verified project to end-use consumer, and connects that consumer to the project.

  3. Assurance that customers are being given complete and accurate information about what they are buying. Sellers of Green-e Climate Certified offsets must agree to a marketing compliance review process, which includes a biannual review of all marketing and online materials associated with Certified Offsets against the customer disclosure requirements in the Green-e Climate Code of Conduct.

Through these unique assurances, Green-e Climate streamlines all of the vital elements of a credible offset into a single, consumer-facing certification mark.

Companies Offering Green-e Climate Certified Offsets

The following offset providers have signed up to have all or some of their carbon offsets Green-e Climate Certified. If you are looking to buy Green-e Climate Certified Offsets and want more information about these provider's offsets, see Find Green-e Climate Certified Carbon Offsets.
  • 3Degrees
  • Blue Spruce Energy Services
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)
  • Carbon Solutions Group
  • City of Palo Alto Utilities
  • Direct Energy Business Marketing (formerly Hess Corporation)
  • Renewable Choice Energy
  • Sterling Planet
  • TerraPass
  • WGL Energy Services