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What does my school need in order to join C2P2?

Schools must be in the top 15% of peers in the Climate Leadership Network with respect to annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions to be eligible to generate credits. This is generally at least 5% average annual reduction. However, due to the time and costs associated with developing a C2P2 project it may not be feasible for all eligible campuses to develop projects. Typically, Second Nature looks for campuses that could generate at least 10,000 offsets per year.

In addition to achieving the emissions reductions, schools should have yearly greenhouse gas inventory data for the past 3-5 years, and strong buy-in from campus administration. Schools must also be signatories to either the Carbon or Climate Commitment.

Is there a cost for C2P2 participation?

There is no fee for schools to participate in C2P2. Second Nature covers costs associated with the program, including project validation, verification, and credit issuance fees. When there is a carbon offset sale, Second Natures pays each school the agreed upon value of their credits and retains remaining funds to cover these fees.

How long does it take to develop a carbon offset project?

Participation in C2P2 is a long-term engagement. Campuses should have at least one dedicated person to develop and maintain the project (typically the Implementation Liaison). The time devoted to C2P2 depends on what stage the school is at. The most work is required during the project development stages. Once a campus has successfully validated a project, there is a 10 year window during which they can generate and sell offsets. During this time the focus is on maintaining emissions reductions and completing yearly verifications.

This timeline shows rough estimates of the duration of each stage. The first step is to work with Second Nature to collect data and determine eligibility.

Can my school develop a different type of carbon offset project?

So far schools in C2P2 have only developed projects based on the VCS methodology VM0025, which covers campus-wide Stationary Scope 1 emissions, Scope 2 purchased electricity emissions, and LEED certified buildings. However, if you have an idea for a different type of offset project your campus would like to develop (such as forestry), let us know! Please reach out to innovation@secondnature.org.

If schools are interested in developing local carbon offset projects, but not selling any of the offsets, Peer Verification may be an option. Please visit OffsetNetwork.org to learn more.

Will campus’ carbon reductions be double counted?

No. Campuses that sell offsets will not be able to report those reductions against their own inventories for the years in which they have sold them. Campuses publicly report their annual greenhouse gas inventories in Second Nature’s Reporting Platform, and must include offset sales in these reports to ensure transparency. Schools in C2P2 sell reductions for a limited period in order to advance their clean energy and energy efficiency on campus. As their internal greenhouse gas reduction goals approach, schools stop selling carbon offsets in order to count the reductions on their own inventories.

Are these carbon reductions additional and credible?

Yes. Each C2P2 project has been certified as additional by the independent Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) against a methodology specifically designed for campuses, with the input of a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Each project underwent an evaluation by an accredited 3rd party to validate that they meet additionality and credibility requirements laid out by VCS. The projects’ emissions reductions are considered “beyond business as usual” based on each schools’ performance. “Beyond business as usual” means delivering an outstanding level of emissions reduction in a specific campus category. Campuses must deliver emissions reductions in the top 15% of Carnegie class peers, or manage buildings that perform among the top 50% of LEED certified buildings on U.S. campuses. This approach to additionality is defined as a standardized or performance-based methodology.

In contrast to technology-based additionality, these performance-based projects don’t dictate what it takes to deliver aggressive emissions reductions, which can vary by region and context. The performance approach allows for more innovation and creativity on campuses, and creates incentive for continual clean energy and energy efficiency improvements.