A Round-Up of Offsets

More good news this week on the use of renewable energy offsets to neutralize carbon emissions:

  • Clif Bar continues to support efforts in the cycling world to make events carbon neutral. This week, they announced a partnership with the Sea Otter Classic, “the world’Β’s largest cycling festival,” to offset all of the event’s carbon emissions through the purchase of wind energy credits:

All told, Clif Bar and Sea Otter will offset nearly 748 tons of carbon dioxide. Since its inception, Sea Otter has been committed to reducing the event’s ecological footprint on the Laguna Seca Recreation Area and the adjacent Bureau of Land Management property. This year’Β’s partnership with Clif Bar marks the first time the event is “climate neutral” and, along with other environmental efforts that will occur on site, represents one of the most significant environmental commitments ever at a major cycling festival.

“We’re very pleased to help a pinnacle event in the cycling world address a major problem facing the entire world–global warming,” said Gary Erickson, owner and founder of Clif Bar & Co., whose organic CLIF BAR energy bars and CLIF SHOT BLOKS are the official energy bar and gel of Sea Otter. A healthy environment is essential to the future of every cyclist–whether you ride five times a year or five times a week.”

Clif Bar & Co. and Sea Otter will purchase renewable wind energy credits or “green tags” from NativeEnergy, a renewable energy firm. The green tags will be used to fund new wind turbines that reduce the need for electricity generated by burning CO2-causing fossil fuels such as coal.

  • And in the “It’s about time” category, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced “…100 percent of its power consumption at its Washington, D.C. headquarters will be supplied by green, renewable power. In addition, the vast majority of energy at over 30 regional and laboratory facilities will come from sustainable sources.”

EPA has contracted to purchase nearly 260 million kilowatt hours of green power each year for 10 of the agency’s offices and 21 laboratories, which places the agency among the top three green-power consumers in the country. Only the U.S. Air Force and Whole Foods Markets buy more green power.

Good news on both fronts. I’ve expressed skepticism before on the perceptions green tags could create, but clearly the offsets industry has addressed such issues through its various certification processes. I’m also very glad to see this idea taking off so broadly — hopefully, stories like these will become standard fare…

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