In 2010, General Motors’ brand, Chevrolet, made one of the largest voluntary commitments to greenhouse gas reductions in U.S. history. As part of this commitment, Chevrolet is investing in several carbon-reducing projects in the APX VCS Registry from across America with a goal of reducing up to eight million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within five years. The projects include the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Coalbed Methane project in Colorado, and the Red Hills Wind and Dempsey Ridge Wind projects in Oklahoma. Transacting for certified carbon reductions is not core to General Motor’s business, and the size of this investment dwarfs typical transactions conducted within the U.S. voluntary carbon market. In order to manage such a large portfolio of projects and to conduct the due diligence necessary to attract the very best projects, General Motors sought an experienced and credible organization to act as its “buyer’s agent.”
In 2010, GM retained the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to serve as their Carbon Supply Buyer’s
Agent and portfolio manager. Since the start of the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, BEF has worked to develop a world-class portfolio of projects providing certified carbon reductions along with meaningful environmental and social benefits.
“The Chevy Carbon Reduction Initiative is really about taking our environmental progress on the vehicle and plant side a step further by proving our commitment in new and innovative ways that have direct impacts on communities across the country,” said David Tulauskas Director of Sustainability, General Motors Company “For every single project we decide to invest in, we not only look at carbon reductions, but also the affect that they’re having on a community, and the technology that we may be supporting or incentivizing.”
Within the first two years BEF developed and secured project agreements representing approximately ninety percent of Chevrolet’s five-year carbon reduction goal. For the final ten percent of the portfolio, Chevy has asked that BEF concentrate on developing new opportunities in carbon markets to support energy efficiency and renewable energy for higher education institutions.
Very little opportunity currently exists within this sector to generate certified carbon reductions from efficiency or renewables, though there is significant opportunity with ample large and outdated on-campus buildings to draw from. Therefore, BEF teamed up with Chevrolet’s environmental advisors and a group of sector experts to pioneer new carbon methodologies that colleges and universities may utilize in the future to generate carbon credits for the market and to further on-campus energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities. These projects are in the process of being added to the APX VCS Registry and expected to issue VCU in 2015. Visit the BEF website for more information on this initiative.