Terrapass funds projects that destroy greenhouse gases and produce renewable energy. We do this by partnering with project owners in communities across the United States. Terrapass is able to support these projects through the sale of renewable energy carbon offsets.
What types of projects do we support?
Farm power: Terrapass works with farms in communities across the United States to make the best possible use of animal waste. Through the use of anaerobic digesters, methane is captured as the manure breaks down and is then destroyed when it is burned as a fuel to produce electricity. Additionally, these digesters can produce a variety of other products that help the farm and reduce environmental impact. The fibrous material can be separated, dried and used as bedding, while the liquid effluent can be used as fertilizer. Anaerobic digestion also aids local communities by helping to reduce water pollution and odor associated with animal husbandry.
Landfill gas capture: Landfill gas capture projects turn garbage into power. As organic waste breaks down, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more powerful than CO2. According to the EPA , landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the United States. Through the installation of gas collection and control systems, these projects result in the destruction of powerful greenhouse gases, and the gas can be burned in a generator to create renewable electricity.
Clean energy from wind power: Wind energy displaces electricity that is generated by dirty fossil fuels like gas and coal (the way that most power is currently generated in the United States). In this sense, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are avoided depends upon the “carbon profile” of the electricity grid where the energy is produced. The carbon profile of each regional grid is calculated periodically by the US Environmental Protection Agency by adding up the weighted average carbon dioxide emissions of all commercial energy sources on that regional grid.
Abandoned coal mine methane capture: Coal mines are a major source of methane emissions in the US, as methane gas naturally exists in coal beds and is released into the atmosphere through mine shafts. Methane escapes both from active mines and from abandoned mines that have reached the end of their useful life. Terrapass only supports methane capture projects at abandoned coal mines, as we seek to avoid providing any benefit or incentive to companies involved in mining operations. Like other methane capture projects, powerful greenhouse gases are destroyed and can also be used to generate electricity, thus providing a “double” benefit.
How do I know these are high quality projects?
Terrapass supports specific carbon offset standards, which assure transparency and quality in the creation, quantification, and verification of offset projects. These standards require that offsets be real, additional (i.e., they wouldn’t have happened under a “business as usual” scenario), permanent, quantifiable, never double-counted or double-sold, and independently verified.
Currently, Terrapass uses the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate Action Reserve as our only carbon offset standards. Learn more about these standards.
How do I know that the projects are actually making a difference?
Terrapass ensures our offsets are making a difference in several ways. Prior to adding a project to our portfolio, we perform due diligence to fully understand the impact of each project. Once the project is in our portfolio, we monitor and verify all of the emissions reductions that are taking place. Finally, all projects in our portfolio must pass the “additionality” test. Additionality refers to the concept of whether your carbon offset purchase really brings about carbon reductions, or whether the reductions would have happened anyway. If the purchase of carbon offsets is a critical factor in making the reductions happen, the reductions are said to be “additional” to the business-as-usual case. By verifying and checking at each step in the process, we are committed to making sure our projects are restoring the balance. Learn more about our terrapass portfolio accountability.