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Carbon offsets in our back-yard: Northern Virginia Community College & WGES CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Rob Johnson NOVA – Sustainability Officer Laura Pagliarulo.

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Presentation on theme: "Carbon offsets in our back-yard: Northern Virginia Community College & WGES CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Rob Johnson NOVA – Sustainability Officer Laura Pagliarulo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carbon offsets in our back-yard: Northern Virginia Community College & WGES CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Rob Johnson NOVA – Sustainability Officer Laura Pagliarulo WGES- Green Products Manager

2 Agenda Company Introduction- WGES WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets Product Overview Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Carbon Reduction Fund Carbon Offsets to Counter Carbon Emissions Company Introduction- Northern Virginia Community College NOVA’s Sustainability Strategy and a Carbon Offset Purchase Benefits of a WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets Purchase

3 Company Introduction- WGES Part One

4 Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) Subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. One of the largest and longest-serving green energy suppliers in the Mid-Atlantic Selling wind power for over 10 years Launched a carbon offset product in 2010 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Green Power Supplier of the Year DC Mayor’s Sustainability Award Aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals- 70% by 2020 based off of a 2008 baseline

5 WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets: Product Overview Part two

6 Carbon Offsets 101 What is a carbon offset? Most activities that use non-renewable energy create a “carbon footprint,” including natural gas use A carbon offset represents a greenhouse gas emission reduction made in one place to compensate for emissions created in another place Sometimes called a verified emission reduction (VER) or a carbon credit

7 Carbon Offsets 101 Applied to Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions Demonstrates “additionality” Provides critical financial support for projects that avoid or absorb carbon from the atmosphere 1 offset = 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide

8 WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets First of its kind initiative Developed as a way to offer residential and business customers in MD, DC, VA and PA an easy way to green their natural gas usage Carbon offsets matched to a customer’s natural gas usage

9 WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets Offsets support carbon-reduction projects in the transportation and waste management sectors Automatic inclusion of 5% from Chesapeake Bay projects in all of our standard gas supply residential contracts (3.5% small commercial) Residents- High offset option (100%) Businesses- offset only or as a % of natural gas use

10 WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets - Overview Goal is to improve air and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Sourced 100% in the Chesapeake Bay Region Added Value: WGES carbon offsets fund new projects — such as tree plantings along rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay — that are managed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

11 The Carbon Reduction Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Part three

12 Carbon Reduction Fund WGES CleanSteps Carbon Offsets features a reinvestment component to develop new local sources of carbon offsets Carbon Reduction Fund (CRF) managed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation More than 109,000 carbon offsets have been purchased by WGES customers since 2010, this is equivalent to: Taking over 22,000 cars off the road for one year; or Avoiding the consumption of over 12 million gallons of gasoline

13 Carbon Reduction Fund $500,000 In contributions to the Carbon Reduction Fund to date 9,000 acres Of trees planted on 45 acres in several counties in Maryland

14 Carbon Offsets to Counter Carbon Emissions Part four

15 Carbon Offsets to Counter Carbon Emissions Universities and colleges can purchase carbon offsets to help meet emission reduction and carbon neutrality goals Carbon offsets can also be made available to students, faculties, staff, etc. to offset their individual emissions A variety of offset providers depending on your purchase criteria

16 Carbon Offsets to Counter Carbon Emissions Examples of how other Universities are using carbon offsets: Middlebury College- Students neutralize emissions from study abroad travel Seattle University- Counterbalances 100% of their natural gas usage Duke University- Students, faculty, and staff hold ‘carbon neutral’ individual or departmental special events University of Florida- Invests in carbon reduction projects in the area, such as tree plantings, to help achieve carbon neutrality goal

17 Company Introduction- NOVA Part five

18 Northern VA Community College (“NOVA”) 1 of 23 Virginia Community Colleges NOVA = 6 campuses + 4 centers; 75,000 students, 2,600 faculty & staff including Extended Learning Institute and Workforce Development Sustainability Mission: Reduce NOVA’s carbon footprint & educate future generations in environmentally sustainable policies & practices through a combination of projects and initiatives spanning campus operations, academics, workforce training, College community behavior, & external engagement & community outreach. 40miles 30miles 18

19 NOVA’s Sustainability Strategy Why Sustainability at NOVA now? – Resource constraints and impacts – New students’ decision point – Competitive and marketable with peers – Workforce development What’s the plan? – Campus and Executive buy-in – Sustainability in Curriculum – Campus as a Living Lab – Renewable Energy – Green jobs training – Sustainability in facilities and operations – Student, staff, faculty, & community 19

20 NOVA’s Sustainability Strategy (cont’d) 20 LEED Certified Possibly LEED Gold Annandale Woodbridge LEED CertificationsVisible campus projectsCollege strategies & policies Green Festival Hosted events Sustainability is not just recycling … but recycling is one of the most recognizable Sustainability Strategy Greenhouse Gas Inventory Carbon Offsets

21 Why Carbon Offsets at NOVA? 21 Opportunity – College can’t operate without natural gas … infrastructure – Natural Gas agreement an annual renewal Impact – Visible marker of sustainability initiatives – Measurable way to reduce carbon emissions Strategic – College executive-level awareness of sustainability initiatives – Willingness to pay more to reduce carbon footprint Why WGES CleanSteps? – No substantive change in agreement details (& no service provider change) – CleanSteps connection to Chesapeake Bay Foundation

22 Marketing Benefits: NOVA and a CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets Purchase Part six 22

23 Benefits of a CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Purchase Goals: Position NOVA as an environmental leader and reduce NOVA’s carbon footprint Demonstrate NOVA’s environmental commitment to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions Provide an environmental signal to attract top students, faculty and staff Matching every 100,000 therms of natural gas usage with carbon offsets has the environmental benefit equivalent to taking more than 100 cars off the road for one year

24 Benefits of a CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Purchase Student involvement in the annual Carbon Reduction Fund tree planting with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

25 Marketing Benefits of a CleanSteps Carbon Offsets Purchase Marketing tools and press release to promote NOVA’s environmental commitment Increase awareness of NOVA’s environmental efforts

26 Questions?

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