SAN FRANCISCO (April 17, 2013) — Last night, the American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, hosted its annual awards event. Welcoming invitees, Winrock President and CEO Rodney Ferguson affirmed Winrock’s continued commitment to supporting the American Carbon Registry in its role as an innovator in the voluntary carbon market, as well as in the role of helping to make the California cap-and-trade program a success.
ACR Director John Kadyszewski presented ACR’s Climate Leadership award to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in recognition of decades of inexorable passion and leadership to motivate climate action by governments, businesses and individuals.
“Christiana shares Winrock’s belief in the science of climate change and our deep-rooted concern that climate change will have a disproportionate impact on the poor,” Kadyszewski said. “She believes that climate change is the greatest challenge we face in the world today, but also that addressing the challenge provides an unparalleled global opportunity to spur an ambitious technology revolution. This conviction has led her to dedicate her career to achieving meaningful commitments and a global policy framework for climate action, to engaging the private sector to accelerate the industrial transformation, and to inspire civil society to be part of the solution. She has taken on this challenge fearlessly, thanklessly and with enthusiasm. We are proud to honor her with our Climate Leadership award and know that along with us, future generations will be grateful for her work.”
ACR also recognized outstanding environmental achievements of trailblazing organizations with awards based on the organization’s guiding principles of innovation, quality and excellence. The Innovation award went to two pioneering entities that made possible the development and piloting of a revolutionary U.S. carbon offset methodology for deltaic wetland restoration: Tierra Resources and Entergy Corporation. The methodology, developed by Tierra Resources with funding from Entergy’s Environmental Initiatives Fund, creates a pathway through the sale of carbon offsets to raise much-needed funds for wetland restoration. Tierra Resources is piloting the first projects under the methodology in the Mississippi Delta and plans to work with ACR to expand the methodology for applicability in California.
“As a scientist, I chose to work with the American Carbon Registry because of the team’s extensive knowledge of terrestrial carbon sequestration and science-based approach to ensure the environmental integrity of offsets,” said Dr. Sarah Mack, CEO of Tierra Resources. “We are proud of this recognition of the many years of work that led to the development and approval of this first-of-its-kind methodology and are thrilled to be blazing the trail to register the first blue carbon wetland restoration projects on ACR.”
“Entergy is pleased to receive this award from the American Carbon Registry, an organization that has worked with us for more than a decade to explore innovative emission reduction project opportunities,” said Chuck Barlow, vice president, environmental strategy and policy for Entergy Corporation. “Wetland restoration not only will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs but also preserve ecosystems and infrastructure by protecting against storm surge and flooding in the communities Entergy serves.”
General Motors received the ACR Corporate Excellence award for its demonstrated commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and mitigating its climate impact. GM has decreased its manufacturing emissions by 60 percent since 1990, recycles 90 percent of its manufacturing waste, has made reductions in water and fossil fuel use, and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build fuel-efficient vehicles like the Chevy Volt. In addition to the company’s numerous awards and top environmental sustainability rankings, in 2010 General Motors announced the $40 million Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, one of the largest voluntary commitments to greenhouse gas reductions in U.S. history. As part of this commitment, Chevrolet is investing in local, community-based carbon-reduction projects throughout the U.S. with a goal of reducing up to eight million tons of CO2 emissions. Through the initiative, Chevrolet will retire carbon credits from a variety of projects including an ACR-registered National Forest Foundation project, which is restoring 250 acres of the San Juan National Forest in Colorado, as well as the ACR-registered IdleAir project, which reduces GHG emissions from long-haul freight transportation through truck stop electrification technology.
“The Chevy Carbon Reduction Initiative takes Chevrolet’s commitment to the environment a step beyond providing fuel efficient and electrified vehicles like the Volt from plants that do not send any wastes to landfills. It’s about connecting with our customers in a different way, a way that directly impacts them and the communities in which they live and work,” said Chris Perry, vice president Chevrolet Marketing. “We appreciate American Carbon Registry’s recognition of our commitment.”
The Walt Disney Company and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation were both honored with the ACR Commitment to Quality award. ACR recognized Disney for its commitment to reviving and restoring forests. The company has invested $30 million in global forest carbon projects, and purchases only the highest-quality offsets that meet rigorous environmental criteria. Disney met its 2012 net direct greenhouse gas emissions target through a hierarchy of avoiding fuels where possible, using fuel more efficiently, seeking low-carbon alternatives, and lastly through investing in forest carbon projects. Since 2009, Disney has invested in a number of forest conservation, reforestation, and forest management projects designed to avoid or sequester carbon emissions. One of those projects is an ACR-registered National Forest Foundation project to reforest 900 acres in the Angeles National Forest through the planting of 154,000 trees to help recover from the Station Fire.
ACR selected the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to highlight the organization’s pilot activities, such as reforestation and fertilizer management projects to be registered on ACR, that will not only provide quantifiable water quality benefits for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our mission is to save the Chesapeake Bay,” said Dr. Beth McGee, Chesapeake Bay Foundation senior water quality scientist. . “It will be a win-win if we can demonstrate through our pilot projects that the carbon market can provide alternate revenue streams to help local farmers and landowners adopt practices that will improve water quality in addition to achieving real greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits.”
About the American Carbon Registry
The nonprofit American Carbon Registry, (ACR), an enterprise of Winrock International, is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity. Founded in 1996, ACR has over fifteen years of unparalleled experience in development of rigorous, science-based carbon offset standards and methodologies as well as operational experience in the oversight of high quality offset project verification, registration, offset issuance, serialization and transparent on-line transaction and retirement reporting. In addition to its voluntary carbon market activities, ACR is an approved Offset Project Registry (OPR) for the California Cap-and-Trade Program. As an OPR, ACR works with the state regulatory agency to oversee the registration and issuance of compliance-eligible Offset Credits. As the first private greenhouse gas registry in the world, ACR has set the bar for offset quality that is the market standard today and continues to lead carbon market innovation.