I am proud to announce that SACE reduced our carbon dioxide emissions by another ten metric tons from 2011 to 2012! As in years past, after calculating our footprint, we purchased offsets for the equivalent of 166 metric tons of carbon dioxide from NativeEnergy. As with the last three years, we calculated Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. This means we calculated carbon dioxide emissions associated with our office energy consumption, air and ground transportation, and overnight stays related to work. Our emissions have consistently gone down since we started tracking our CO2 emissions in 2009, as shown in the table below.
This is the second year that we have calculated our emissions in house.The major benefit of calculating our own footprint is that we know what all of our assumptions are, and can more easily understand why our emissions go up or down each year. The chart below shows our emissions from 2011 and 2012. We reduced our building and ground transportation emissions, but increased our air transportation emissions. You may also notice that we added a new category for our company electric vehicle, which could account for some of the reduction in our ground transportation emissions!
Our building energy consumption dropped because of our solar PV array in our Knoxville office – we produced negative emissions in 2012 in Knoxville due to our Green Power Switch purchases from TVA and our electricity production from our solar panels!
NativeEnergy enables businesses to help finance the construction of wind, biogas, solar and other carbon reduction projects with their Help Build carbon offsets program. The projects that NativeEnergy helps to fund are all new projects with social and environmental benefits, and are validated by one of three national and international standards: Climate Action Reserve, Verified Carbon Standard or The Gold Standard. NativeEnergy reviewed our carbon footprint calculations and gave us three projects that we could choose from to buy our carbon offsets.
We chose the Shenandoah School Wind Project. The project is comprised of a single 900 kW turbine, to be owned and operated by the Shenandoah School Corporation in Middletown, Indiana. With an upfront carbon funding commitment from NativeEnergy, the school corporation is able to fund the installation of the turbine. The project will reduce nearly 1,260 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The projects emissions reductions are validated and verified under the Verified Carbon Standard.
We anticipate our 2013 and 2014 carbon dioxide footprint will drop even more because we recently purchased a building for our Asheville staff, which we hope to retrofit with energy upgrades that will result in energy savings. Check back for more information about the upgrades we will be making in Asheville!