Climate Action Offsetter: Conservation Services Group

April 9, 2015

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written by Conservation Services Group

Conservation Services Group (CSG) designs and delivers cost-effective energy efficiency programs to help millions of homeowners save energy. The nonprofit firm– headquartered near Boston with offices around the U.S.–specializes in mid- to large-scale efficiency programs for existing homes and new homes, and in integrating demand response and renewables with efficiency programs. We also serve institutions and businesses who want to optimize their building performance.

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CSG began tracking, recording, and fully offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in 2006. The emerging carbon offset market was an exciting step toward sustainability and CSG was eager to participate. Purchasing carbon offsets and achieving carbon neutrality began as a way for CSG to promote accountability and show leadership, by assuming responsibility for the negative effects of energy consumption that are inherent in operating a business. We discovered that completing annual greenhouse gas audits provided valuable insights that enabled us to strategically target energy conservation efforts.

We aim to be transparent in our business and operations, and therefore we voluntarily report some additional details of our consumption. CSG offsets all business-related emissions, including 100 percent of those resulting from electricity/gas usage for our offices, gas and air conditioning used in our vehicle fleet, all business travel, and even the emissions created by employee commuting. To offset our 2013 emissions, CSG purchased 6,533 carbon offsets and retired 731 renewable energy credits. As we complete our 2014 greenhouse gas audit we will maintain our commitment to carbon neutrality by purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy credits equal to the amount of total reported emissions.

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CSG also endeavors to help employees understand and act to reduce their own carbon footprints. In 2005 we created and began offering ClimateSAVE®, a product that allows employees to purchase carbon offsets (via pre-tax payroll deductions). In 2013, the average participant in the ClimateSAVE program offset eight tons of CO2 for the year.

CSG’s commitment to carbon neutrality has helped us promote our corporate mission of energy efficiency and the development of renewable resources while protecting the environment. The work we perform every day is focused on helping our clients and customers mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving carbon neutrality strengthens our brand and enables us to gain industry recognition. We are proud to have been recognized as one of 20 U.S. firms that achieved an inaugural Climate Leadership Award from the EPA. We are demonstrating that it is possible to address climate change and reduce our corporate footprint while running a competitive business.