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Our Carbon Offset Partner Exceeds Expectations
9/30/2010
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We're very pleased to report that the program we use to offset our carbon emissions is generating almost one-fifth more “green” electricity than expected.
 
This means that we're actually offsetting CO2 emissions above and beyond those created by our air shipments to customers.
 
Two years ago, as part of our Vital Green™ program, we started to fully offset the carbon emissions associated with our shipments to customers.
 
Working through the carbon-offset experts at NativeEnergy™, we started with support for a Pennsylvania dairy farm’s methane-to-electricity project, as described in “Vital Choice goes Vital Green.”
 
And we chose to offset not only the direct warming effect of our carbon emissions, but also the additional “radiative forcing” warming effect associated with high-altitude jet emissions.
 
This decision doubles the cost of offsetting our emissions, but makes ours a “full” offset (Many retailers that ship goods by air don’t cover the warming effect of radiative forcing).
 
Then, when the methane project needed no more support, we started supporting construction of the Greensburg Wind Farm, located in the Kansas town made famous by its nearly complete destruction by a tornado in May of 2007… see “Blowin’ in the Wind: Why We're Aiding a Tornado-Torn Town’s Green Makeover.”
 
Last summer, Vital Choice COO Dave Hamburg attended the ground-breaking ceremonies in Greensburg… see 
Carbon Offset Project Breaks Ground.” And see Dave in the dedication video at NativeEnergy (at about 2:50 minutes in).
 
The wisdom of our decision to support the Greensburg Wind Farm fits with growing evidence that wind power can replace a large percentage of fossil-fuel generated electricity… see “Wind Farms Deemed Able to Exceed World Power Needs.
 
And that choice has just been further ratified by news that the Greensburg Wind Farm is performing even better than expected.
 
Here’s how our friends at NativeEnergy™ described the positive developments:
 
Greensburg wind farm exceeds expectations
In the five months since it went online, it [the wind farm] has operated at approximately 19 percent above the forecasted amount—equivalent to an extra 2,900 short tons of CO2 reductions.
 
While this extra performance doesn’t guarantee future results, we are pleased by the encouraging numbers.
 
Because of the way we have structured the buffer for the Greensburg project—a set aside of tons to protect against a production shortfall—these extra carbon reductions are essentially donated to the planet, thanks to all our customers who bought offsets from Greensburg.
 
[Editor’s note: Vital Choice is among the NativeEnergy customers supporting the wind farm, along with Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Stonyfield Farm, Brighter Planet, Aveda, and Reverb.]
 
The Greensburg Wind Farm, located in Greensburg, Kansas, was built in 2010 after the town suffered an EF-5 tornado that destroyed 95 percent of the municipality.
 
Eleven of the town’s 1,400 residents died in the disaster. In their communal search for meaning in the days that followed this catastrophe, the people of Greensburg individually and collectively agreed to rebuild as “the greenest town in America.”
 
NativeEnergy’s carbon offset revenues provided critical upfront funding that enabled construction of the project. For more information, visit the Greensburg Wind Farm project page.
 
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