Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
Tier2-2: Local Offsets Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Amber Garrard
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a local offsets program through which the institution seeks to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by implementing projects that reduce GHG emissions in the local community?:

A brief description of the program:

In 2011 the College achieved climate neutrality. To meet this goal, a small number of carbon offsets were purchased from Central Vermont Public Service's(CVPS) Cow Power Program, a Vermont-based program that provides revenue to local diary farmers who generate electricity using methane capture projects on their farms.

CVPS uses an anaerobic digester on dairy farms to capture methane from cow manure and then burns this gas to produce electricity. Green Mountain College is committed to buying clean, local, renewable energy wherever possible and in 2006 the College became one of Cow Power's biggest customers.

Since 2007 the College has purchased 50% of its main campus electric usage from Cow Power and 100% on all its other accounts including the president's house, the College farm, the College inn, and an off-campus residence hall in Killington, VT in the form of RECs. The College pays a premium of four cents per kilowatt hour, which goes to participating farm-producers.

When the College proposed buying carbon offsets to reach its goal of climate neutrality, CVPS was among the companies that offered a package which benefited the local economy. CVPS verified the methane capture project on Blue Spruce Farm, just 37 miles from the GMC campus, with AgRefresh, an offset verifier based in Burlington, VT. The offsets were then certified and retired on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

A public process of selecting an offset provider helped the Campus Sustainability Council conclude that local, socially and economically beneficial carbon offset projects were a priority to the College, leading to the partnership with CVPS for local offsets. CVPS is now investigating expansion of this type of project to other utility customers.

The website URL where information about the program is available:

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