Chevrolet Buying Carbon Credits From American Colleges

General Motors’ Chevrolet brands has begun a voluntary carbon-reduction initiative with college campuses.

Chevrolet says this is the first time it is paying campuses to use carbon performance methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative is said to dovetail into a 675-strong college campus initiative with complementary goals.

“Historically, campuses purchased other organizations’ carbon credits to help achieve carbon neutrality,” said Eban Goodstein, director of Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy in New York. “Now they are earning revenues for the carbon reductions achieved right on their own sites, where the long-term clean energy benefits lie for their community.”

Methodologies being used were derived when Chevrolet worked with an advisory team led by the Climate Neutral Business Network with support from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The methodologies have been approved through the Verified Carbon Standard.

Among the first to apply the new methodologies to pilot projects are Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. and Valencia College in Orlando, Fla.

Chevrolet’s funds will be used for additional energy efficiency retrofits at Valencia. Ball State’s pilot involves selling some of the carbon reductions from installing the largest geothermal system at a U.S. college.

“Without such third-party financing of this type, most colleges and universities would not be able to capitalize on the more significant investments needed to bring down their carbon load on the atmosphere,” said Robert Koester, professor of architecture and chair of the Ball State University Council on the Environment

For more info, please consult Chevrolet’s dedicated Web site.