Community Carbon Marketplace Blog


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FIVE MUNICIPALITIES ACHIEVED CARBON NEUTRALITY THROUGH THE COMMUNITY CARBON MARKETPLACE.

For immediate release

Duncan, BC, June 9th 2015

The City of Duncan, Town of Ladysmith, Islands Trust, District of Highlands, and District of Ucluelet all met their carbon neutral commitments through the Community Carbon Marketplace in 2014 by retiring 646 tonnes of community carbon credits. As a direct result, these local governments have invested over $16,000 into the local low-carbon economy.

The Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM) provides a new local approach for communities to lower their carbon footprint while kick-starting the local low-carbon economy. For the first time, small to mid-sized businesses and community organizations can generate revenue streams for every tonne of carbon reduced through eligible GHG projects by participating in the innovative online CCM Program. This new revenue stream rewards sustainable business decisions and acts as a tipping point in favor of making them.

Green businesses rewarded for reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the CCM program include the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op, Island Bio-Diesel Co-op, Greasecycle Inc., and Net Zero Waste in Abbottsford.

For local governments, the CCM is a positive way to meet their Climate Action Charter commitments while investing in the growth of their local low-carbon economy. Currently, 178 out of 182 communities in BC have made the commitment to become carbon neutral. Through their participation in the CCM, the City of Duncan, Town of Ladysmith, Islands Trust, District of Highlands, and District of Ucluelet are sending a clear message that they can support community solutions to climate change by investing in their local green economy.

The Community Carbon Marketplace is an initiative of Cowichan Energy Alternatives (CEA), a community non-profit organization. If your organization or business is working on a green project that reduces GHG emissions, you may be doing more than a good thing for the environment – you may be generating revenue which until now has been inaccessible. The CCM is a carbon exchange initiative that enables local governments, businesses and individuals to meet carbon-neutral objectives and build community resilience by purchasing community carbon credits from local businesses and projects that reduce GHG emissions such as such as switching from fossil fuels to bio-fuels or electric vehicles, diverting organics from landfill, and building retrofits.

The CCM provides an accessible, transparent investment vehicle for contributing to the success of green initiatives that have the greatest potential for making a difference. CCM aims to set an ethical precedent in the BC Carbon market that true sustainability is about acting locally and thinking globally. Contact the CCM if you are still in the market for community based carbon credits. As expressed by Brian Roberts, Executive Director – Cowichan Energy Alternatives Society.

“This is exactly the way I believe the carbon market should be working: supporting a paradigm-shift to a truly sustainable, globally-minded economy in a way that increases the viability of renewable alternatives at a local level.

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If you would like more information, please contact M Hassaan Rahim at 250-597-1491 or email at hassaan@cowichanenergy.org

For more information on the Community Carbon Marketplace, visit the CCM website at: www.communitycarbonmarketplace.com

 

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We are Hiring!

Position: Research & Outreach Assistant

Role:  Research Assistant to support Carbon Footprint Assessments and GHG Reduction project assessment and outreach in an exciting and growing field of community GHG management and offsetting.

Job Description:  The successful applicant will join an experienced team to work with local governments, businesses and non-profits to:

  • Assisting with research and data collection for carbon footprint/baseline and GHG reduction project assessment
  • Research existing protocols and guidelines, and help develop new approaches where needed
  • Outreach to local governments, businesses and non-profits to help build awareness of the innovative new CCM approach to making communities carbon neutral while growing the local green economy
  • Outreach to identify and develop new GHG reduction projects suitable for generating offsets
  • Admin and Office Assistance
  • Provide a support role for CEA sister companies and staff as needed

Desired Qualifications:  The successful applicant will have the following skills and qualifications:

  • A working knowledge or interest in learning about carbon accounting and GHG reduction projects assessments. Direct experience in both an asset.
  • Excellent abilities to communicate complex subjects in both simple and technical terms, depending on the audience.
  • Completed (or at least working towards) an applicable University Degree or Technical diploma preferably in environmental sciences/sustainability.
  • Ability to work together in a team and independently without supervision
  • Initiative and diligence to be able to independently look ahead to what is needed to successfully complete a task, and then do it.
  • Ability to research and understand scientific studies and to apply this to help develop methodologies for GHG accounting and assessment
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced work environment (project-based work may require evenings and weekends to meet those deadlines)
  • Previous experience using CRM software such as Salesforce.
  • Fundraising skills or experience

Position: Project & Outreach Assistant

Role:  Project and Outreach Assistant will provide hands on support for CEA’s renewable energy projects. You will have an important role in every aspect of the organization and its initiatives and interact with key partner, employees, members, and suppliers.

Job Description:  The successful applicant will join an experienced team to work with local governments, businesses and non-profits to:

  • Support for renewable projects such as project coordination, communications, reporting and outreach
  • Assisting staff and team with biofuel production from feedstock collection to distribution
  • Working with members of BC Biofuel Network to provide increased access to biofuels in BC
  • Researching new environmentally friendly recycled and value add products that are made from waste cooking oil and biofuel by-products.
  • Outreach to local governments, businesses and non-profits to help build awareness of the use of biofuels to grow the local green economy
  • Admin and Office Assistance
  • Support the maintenance of the company database/CRM with up-to-date information and data.
  • Provide a support role for CEA sister companies and staff as needed

Desired Qualifications:  The successful applicant will have the following skills and qualifications:

  • A working knowledge or interest in learning about alternative energy and biofuel production. Direct experience in both an asset.
  • Excellent abilities to communicate complex subjects in both simple and technical terms, depending on the audience.
  • Completed (or at least working towards) an applicable University Degree or Technical diploma, ideally in environmental sciences/sustainability.
  • Ability to work together in a team and independently without supervision.
  • Initiative and diligence to be able to independently look ahead to what is needed to successfully complete a task, and then do it.
  • Ability to research and understand scientific studies and to apply this to help identify new areas of growth.
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced work environment (project-based work may require evenings and weekends to meet those deadlines)
  • Experience working for a non-profit agency
  • Previous experience using CRM software such as Salesforce.com
  • Any direct sales, graphic design and marketing experience is a bonus.

Eligibility criteria for both positions: 

Please only apply if you meet the following criteria:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.
  • CEA is based in Duncan on Vancouver Island and the best candidate will also be located here or able to work in Duncan.

Job perks for both positions:

  • Get practical knowledge of sustainability and environmental protection.
  • Learn industry leading knowledge about the emerging field of carbon accounting and energy management from our experience and qualified team
  • A shorter work week, 35 hours instead of 40 hours
  • Strong emphasis on your professional and personal development
  • Dedicated mentor to provide support and knowledge wherever and whenever needed
  • Workplace orientation to get you started and to ease you in our company culture and projects
  • Ability to get your hands dirty and learn about biofuel production from feedstock collection, processing to distribution.
  • Ability to improve your research, organizational and communicational skills.
  • Contribute to providing local tangible solutions to fight climate change

These two positions are part of the Canada Summer Job program on a contract basis for 14 weeks starting May 19th, 2015 with the potential for a permanent full-time career for the successful candidates in the future once the participants completes their academic pursuits.

Applications, consisting of a cover letter and resume, will be accepted until May 4th with the email subject referring to the position you are applying for.

Please direct all applications and inquiries regarding the position to in an email to:

Deborah Fawcett, Administrator,

Cowichan Energy Alternatives Society

admin@cowichanenergy.org

*Please make sure you are eligible before applying*

For more information on the Community Carbon Marketplace visit: www.communitycarbonmarketplace.org


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Social Enterprise Demystifies Carbon Market

Community Carbon Marketplace simplifies carbon credit purchases online

When one hears carbon offsets, what might come to mind is an opportunity for a business or individual to purchase credits, which mitigate the total carbon output for running their business or taking a flight. Where this money goes hasn’t always been clear. People increasingly want to know it’s going to good projects with real social and environmental benefits.

Brian Roberts spotted this need and helped to pilot a solution — an online marketplace that matches those interested in purchasing carbon offsets while also bringing revenue into the local green economy with community-based carbon-offsetting projects that need funding in order to materialize.

 
  Four steps involved in using the Community Carbon Marketplace online platform.

“We like to think that the most accountable projects are those being done right in the communities where you live and do business,” says Brian, executive director of Cowichan Energy Alternatives Society (CEA). “Many local green projects often do not know that they are eligible to sell credits, or how to do it. At the same time, municipalities and other buyers can’t find or access local credits even if they want to.”

Carbon offset projects can range from a company that invests in bio-fuels instead of fossil fuels to an organization involved in forest conservation, other forms of alternative energy or even preventing organics from decomposing in landfills, which releases methane, a significant contributor to global climate change.

The Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM), developed by CEA, is now expanding throughout Vancouver Island and beyond after an award-winning year piloting the project in the Cowichan Valley.

“We’re energized with how well it’s been received by local governments,” Brian says. “It seems that it was really well-timed.”

Most of B.C.’s local governments have signed the Climate Action Charter, making a commitment to measure and report on their community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Many municipalities buy carbon credits as part of this pledge.

A significant learning for Brian and his team over the last year has been around the need for education about the carbon marketplace.

 
  Island Biodiesel Co-op receives cheque for carbon credits from the Community Carbon Marketplace.

“One of the things we’ve learned is just how complicated the carbon market is and how misunderstood it is,” he says. “We find it takes a lot of one-on-one time to explain how this can work.”

Supplementary to the marketplace, CEA offers carbon footprint assessments to businesses that want to better understand their energy use and emissions.

The team is also producing a video to shed light on the carbon market and how businesses and community groups can now access its benefits through the CCM.

“It’s like recycling — it took a while for it to get through to the critical mass needed to make it an accepted way of life,” Brian says.

The grand hope for the initiative is to expand the marketplace throughout B.C. and other parts of Canada. Anyone can purchase community carbon credits from the online CCM, from governments, businesses, organizations and individuals. For businesses that want to be carbon neutral but cannot because of the nature of their business, the marketplace offers a means for them to mitigate their greenhouse gas output by supporting carbon-offsetting projects with local benefits.

The Social Enterprise Portfolio Program, a partnership between the Vancity Community Foundation, Vancity credit union and the City of Vancouver, extended its funding for the project after its successful first year. The program supports 10 social enterprises through financial and other forms of support.

“We support groups that have a strong business plan that lays out a social enterprise with a strong and needed impact in the community,” explains manager of strategic programs Emily Beam.

 
  Vancouver Island’s first B.C. Biofuel Network biodiesel blending pump.

The program supports initiatives with strong business plans designed to make significant impact by providing early-stage equity so that organizations can grow into achieving their goals and running self-sustainably.

Brian is energized by the enthusiastic reaction the marketplace received from governments and other interested buyers.

“We had more demand for community carbon credits than supply. Now we have to get the word out to businesses that they can generate a whole new revenue stream by making sustainable business decisions that also reduce emissions,” he says.

“I think there’s been an awakening and I think we’re at the forefront of it. More and more companies are demonstrating social and environmental responsibility and being rewarded for this by a public that is increasingly aware of the issues and voting with their dollars. The CCM is just another way of facilitating this shift to a local, green economy.”

You can comment on this story below, or e-mail patricia(at)axiomnews.com.