Since the launch of TerraPass’ Carbon Balanced Business in January 2008, hundreds of businesses have demonstrated their commitment to the environment by balancing their emissions. The program provides partners with resources to measure their carbon footprint and a portfolio of carbon offset projects that meet the highest standards of quality. Each partner gets a Carbon Balanced Business badge to display, and a dedicated web page on the TerraPass site to discuss their green strategies.
Now, in addition to its portfolio of carbon offsets, TerraPass is offering business customers Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) certified by Green-e Energy. RECs offer an easy and cost-effective way for businesses to market green power and to earn points for LEED certification.
Supporting the development of wind power in the U.S. helps to displace electricity generation from coal and other fossil fuel-based sources of electricity. Buying RECs also helps to build a market for renewable energy projects by making them more cost competitive with conventional sources of energy.
Are RECs a carbon offset? Wind and other renewable energy sources can be used to make claims of carbon neutrality if the project has been validated under a carbon offset standard, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) or Green-e Climate, which take into consideration whether the project is additional. Ecosystem Marketplace has a good article on the evolving distinction.