CommonWealth has been a market leader in the creation and monetization of high value carbon offsets based on the capture and destruction of landfill methane, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential at least 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. The methane is captured at projects that use that gas as a fuel to produce renewable electrical power. In that context we have worked over the years with other pioneers in the carbon market space, including the American Carbon Registry (and its predecessor entity the Environmental Resources Trust), the Environmental Defense Fund, the Chicago Climate Exchange (‘CCX”), and the U.S. EPA Climate Leaders Program.
Currently, CommonWealth’s carbon market activity is focused on business-to-business transactions, working with institutions, corporations, environmental commodity traders and market intermediaries. Accordingly, the information that follows is intended primarily for use by entities considering large-volume (i.e., 1,000 metric tons or greater) purchases or retirements of verified carbon-equivalent emissions reductions via bi-lateral transactions that are initiated off-line. Such transactions will typically involve one-time delivery of previously registered, serialized offsets. However, they may occasionally involve forward commitments for delivery of offsets associated with future emissions reductions. The transactions are typically subject to the terms of a standard purchase order or, where warranted, a negotiated purchase and sale agreement.
Offset project type and ownership. At this time, all of the offsets offered by CommonWealth are being generated at the Greater New Bedford LFG Utilization Project, which was developed by CommonWealth and is owned and operated by a wholly-owned CommonWealth subsidiary. The Project is located at a publicly owned landfill in southeastern Massachusetts. The company does not act as a re-seller or broker of offsets generated at projects owned by unaffiliated third parties. A detailed description of the Greater New Bedford project can be found at the following public access pages of the IHS Markit Environmental Registry (“MER”) Greater New Bedford LFG Utilization Project Validation and Verifications Reports.
Offset transaction types and offset quality. All carbon offset transactions result in either (a) the transfer of specific, serialized units between registry account holders, or if the counterparty is not a registry account holder, then (b) the permanent retirement of the requisite number of specifically serialized units on behalf of the “retiree”. In the latter case, it is important for the retiree entity to understand that it does not become an “owner” of the retired units. Rather, those units are taken permanently out of circulation on the retiree’s behalf and cannot be re-transacted. Depending on the project, the offset units may be denominated as either Voluntary Carbon Units (“VCUs”) if issued on the MER or the Verra Registry, or Emission Reduction Tons (“ERTs”) if issued on the American Carbon Registry. Each unit represents one metric ton of CO2-equivalent (“CO2e”) emission reductions that have been independently verified to be real, quantifiable, permanent, and additional in accordance with the guidelines and criteria established by the issuing offset program and/or registry. Independent verification of all project emissions reductions claims is provided by ISO 14064-compliant third-party verification entities accredited by the registry on which the units are issued. Any specific tranche of verified reductions can only be issued and registered as one type of offset product on one registry at a time.
Available quantities. Of course, the quantity of offsets generated by any project will vary based on numerous factors that may affect its operations. For discussion purposes, offsets generated by the Greater New Bedford LFG Utilization Project may be available in quantities up to approximately 100,000 metric tons per year.
Contact. For more information regarding offset price, terms and availability please contact:
Mr. Anton Finelli
CommonWealth Resource Management Corporation
Readers are advised that as of the date of this writing (March, 2020), all data related to the Project will soon be migrated from the MER to the soon-to-be launched proprietary registry of Verra (formerly the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association). Information regarding the planned new Verra Registry System can be found here: Verra Registry System.
 The CCX and the EPA Climate Leaders Program no longer operate.