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Colleges and universities that are members of Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network may be eligible to join the Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program (C2P2) and develop campus-based carbon offset projects. C2P2 uses a methodology for energy-based emissions reductions that was designed specifically for U.S. higher education campuses. The methodology (called VM0025) is approved by the Verified Carbon Standard and addresses Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

If schools are interested in determining eligibility under this methodology, or have an idea for a different methodology campuses can use to create carbon offsets, please email Meredith Leigh at [email protected].

How it works

Schools that meet eligibility requirements under VM0025 may turn their emissions reductions into marketable carbon offsets. Second Nature facilitates this process, holds the carbon offsets in its registry account, then helps connect schools with a buyer that will purchase the offsets. Schools should reinvest all proceeds from carbon offset sales into additional energy reduction projects on campus. The goal of C2P2 is to provide schools with an alternative source of finance for campus emission reduction projects. While schools will not be able to take credit in their own inventories for the emissions reductions that they sell, once schools stop selling offsets the campus carbon footprint will be significantly lower.

While selling carbon offsets, campuses report net emissions that are higher than the actual gross emissions. When campuses stop selling offsets, they report the true emissions footprint.


Schools must be members of Second Nature in order to participate in C2P2, either through a signatory commitment, or the affiliate member pathway. Campus average annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions must be in the top 15% of peer institutions in the Climate Leadership Network to be eligible to generate offsets. This is generally an average of at least 5% annual emissions reduction. Interested schools should also have yearly greenhouse gas inventory data from the past 3-5 years, and be able to demonstrate an absolute decrease in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

To learn more about participating in C2P2 and determining campus eligibility, please email Meredith Leigh at [email protected]