Certification Matters

Every year, I head online to buy carbon offsets. Three times, actually – for Flisrand Consulting, for my 4-unit apartment building, and for my personal consumption.  (For more background on my motivation, see my Greenwash Brigade post from two years ago.)

IA farmers

This year, odds are good I'm supporting these IA farmers build a wind turbine in their fields. (Photo from Native Energy)

I’m  a demanding customer, and I want to know I’m getting what I am paying for.  (An unanswered question is whether my carbon offset purchase is a charitable donation or a consumer purchase.  The IRS says it’s charitable, I perceive it as a consumer purchase.)

If there’s anything in the world that’s abstract and impossible for a consumer to personally evaluate, it’s the quality of a carbon offset.  How am I to know whether someone is really NOT producing a pound of carbon because I paid them not to???

Because there’s no other way for me to know, I demand my carbon offsets be verified by a third-party (scroll down to the bottom to see the verifiers).  The last few years, I’ve chosen Native Energy.  I love their projects, they do the verification right, and they make it easy to do business right.