Certified Renewable Energy
You’ve probably been seeing a little green logo around – the one with the “e” pretending it’s a light bulb and a plant. If you’re a graphic designer like me, you’re most familiar with the logo on paper promotions, next to a claim that said paper line is made with 100% wind energy, or happens to be carbon neutral. Well that useful little mark represents Green-E, a third party certification program run by the non-profit organization, Center for Resource Solutions, and seeing this logo next to a claim means you can save those hours of research, and trust that the claim is true.
I recently met with a representative of this program and he was able to shed a little light on how this all works. To help explain it, let’s imagine my company wanted to get Green-E certified as being 100% wind-powered. Easy enough. I would either buy the renewable energy through my utilities company (many of them have that option now), or I would purchase RECs (renewable energy credits) to offset my regular energy usage. Once I’ve done that, I can apply for certification with Green-E, who will then verify my energy usage and my purchase of enough green energy or credits to cover that use, and if all the numbers check out, I pay my fee (based on the size of my organization) and get the right to use their logo. It’s all pretty straight forward, and doesn’t break the bank or take forever and a year to get through the system.
This can even get way more sophisticated, of course, by certifying just one product line a company manufactures, or confirming that the company's personal solar panels are providing enough energy to offset their usage, etc. And If you visit their website, www.green-e.org, you can find some handy tools to search for ways to buy renewable energy for your home or organization, or RECs if you prefer, and even a list of companies that are already certified.
I for one, am hoping to see more of this little green logo – because a third party program like this is the only way to know for sure that a claim is true, and I want to know I’m buying the real thing when making decisions on behalf of my clients.