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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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.


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CCM – game changer!

The CCM matches buyers (municipalities, businesses and individuals) of Community Carbon Credits/GHG reductions with local sellers (Social enterprises, businesses and non profits that reduce carbon emissions). These organizations were previously unable to access the market because their projects were too small, the costs of assessments were too high, and the bureaucracy and jargon was too thick!


The result is an online “Farmer’s Market of the Carbon Market” featuring local projects that you can feel good about supporting. Each purchase of a community carbon credit (C3) is an investment that helps support the local economy and fosters community resilience!

You can sign-up as
CCM - web graphics updates_b_iconCCM - web graphics updates_lg_iconCCM - web graphics updates_s_icon


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What’s it all about?

There is 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 Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM) Program. This new revenue stream rewards sustainable business decisions and acts as a tipping point in favour of making them. By directing offsetting dollars back to the communities where they originate and monetizing locally-generated carbon credits, the CCM will create additional value for initiatives that reduce GHGs, and create a multiplier effect that supports ongoing growth of the local low-carbon economy.


The Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM) is a community-based carbon exchange initiative to enable local governments, businesses and individuals to meet carbon-neutral objectives by purchasing carbon offsets from community-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build community resilience.


Prior to the CCM initiative, the knowledge and cost barriers to community-scale projects prevented local organizations and small businesses from being able to account for, and realize the value of carbon credits for which their projects would be eligible. First launched in 2012 by Cowichan Energy Alternative (CEA) in consultation with local and regional government as well as the provincial Climate Action Secretariat (CAS), this initiative creates a community-based alternative to existing carbon offset registries that is based on international protocols and works within BC provincial guidelines.