TerraPass is a
social enterprisethat provides carbon offsetting products to individuals and businesses. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, TerraPass uses proceeds from member purchases to fund greenhouse gas reduction projects such as wind farms and methane digesters. TerraPass products include a Road TerraPass to offset car emissions, a Flight TerraPass to offset airplane emissions, a Home TerraPass for home energy use, a Business TerraPass for organizations, and a Wedding TerraPass for weddings and other events.
TerraPass's portfolio of carbon reduction projects is divided between three project types, all based in the United States: [ [http://www.terrapass.com/projects TerraPass project portfolio] ]
Wind energy. TerraPass purchases Green-e certified wind RECs from wind farms, and calculates the carbon reduction from these RECs based on the EPA eGRID methodology. [ [http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/egrid/index.htm EPA eGRID database] ] Wind farms bring about a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by displacing electricity that would otherwise come from burning fossil fuels such as coal.
Farm methane digesters (or "Farm Power"). TerraPass funds emissions reductions from digesters that collect the
methanefrom animal manure on dairy farms and burn it, often generating renewable energy in the process. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential about 23 times that of carbon dioxide. Most of the digesters funded by TerraPass are built on dairy farms, but some are sited on pig farms.
Landfill methane flaring. TerraPass funds reductions from landfill methane flaring, a method similar to farm methane digesters, in which the methane is instead collected from decomposing garbage.
TerraPass works directly with project developers to validate the greenhouse gas reductions against the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a leading offset standard. All of the RECs TerraPass purchases are
Green-ecertified through the Center for Resource Solutions. [ [http://www.resource-solutions.org/ Center for Resource Solutions] ]
In addition, TerraPass itself is audited according to guidelines established by the Center for Resource Solutions. The audit covers a number of aspects of the company's operations. The primary focus of the audit is to verify that TerraPass fulfills its carbon purchase obligations on behalf of its customers; to enforce certain carbon portfolio quality standards; and to review TerraPass marketing language and disclosure policies for accuracy.
To expand their reach into additional areas of the carbon offset market, TerraPass has entered into several business partnerships:
* In August 2006, TerraPass began selling airplane emission offsets through
Expedia[ [http://press.expedia.com/index.php?s=press_releases&item=336 "Expedia.com Offers Travelers a Greener Way to Fly"] ] . In contrast to offsets sold through TerraPass's website, Expedia offsets are intended to offset the specific flight(s) booked through the travel site.
* In January 2007, TerraPass partnered with [http://www.uship.com/ uShip.com] to provide a "TerraPass Certified Green Provider Program" to shipping companies wishing to offset their carbon dioxide emissions.
* In June 2007,
Flexcarpartnered with TerraPass to provide a premium "Green Membership;" in addition to regular Flexcar privileges, Green members receive one ton of CO2 offsets through TerraPass. [ [http://www.flexcar.com/about/press/pressReleases/pr061907.html "Flexcar and TerraPass Take the Carbon Out of Car-Sharing"] ] [ [http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/2007/06/flexcar-teams-up-with-terrapass-to-reduce-carbon-emissions.html "Flexcar teams up with TerraPass to reduce carbon emissions"] ] Adam Stein, co-founder and VP of Marketing, is also an occasional contributor to environmental news site [http://www.grist.org Grist] [ [http://gristmill.grist.org/user/Adam%20Stein Grist.org user profile for Adam Stein] ]
The voluntary carbon market is a young but rapidly growing industry, achieving worldwide sales of approximately $100 million in 2006. [ [http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org/uploads/file/StateoftheVoluntaryCarbonMarket18July_Final.pdf State of the Voluntary Carbon Market 2007] , Ecosystem Marketplace, July 18, 2007] The industry has experienced a number of controversies, some of which TerraPass has attempted to address:
* Consumer behavior. TerraPass conducted a survey of its customers and found that they are far more likely than average Americans to reduce their carbon footprint through a variety of means, including conservation. For example, 26% of TerraPass customers take public transportation to work, five times the national average. [ [http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/2007/08/terrapass-customer-survey-results-indulgence-myth-pretty-mu.html TerraPass customer survey results: indulgence myth pretty much dead] ]
* Quality. TerraPass addresses additionality and other concerns by putting projects through a [http://www.terrapass.com/projects/feedback.html public review process] which covers project details, environmental impacts, and additionality.
* Standards. All TerraPass projects are validated according to third-party standards, such as the [http://www.v-c-s.org/ Voluntary Carbon Standard] .
* Tree-planting projects. TerraPass does not fund tree-planting projects, preferring instead to focus exclusively on projects in which the carbon reductions are real, immediate, permanent, and verifiable.
TerraPass is an active contributor to standards development, and recently testified before the [http://globalwarming.house.gov/ House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming] , a congressional committee focused on climate change and energy independence. During his testimony, TerraPass CEO Erik Blachford called for governmental involvement in standards for the carbon offset industry. [ [http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/2007/07/terrapass-goes-to-washington.html TerraPass goes to Washington] ]
* [http://www.terrapass.com TerraPass]
* [http://www.terrapass.com/blog/ TerraPass blog]
* [http://www.iaff3786.com Robbinsville Professional Firefighters - IAFF Local 3786]
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