Madison, WI (PRWEB) June 29, 2006
Leonardo Academy (http://www.leonardoacademy.org) announced today that it is launching the development of ANSI standards for quantifying and documenting environmental emission inventories, offsets, and reduction credits. These standards are needed to accelerate the growth of market driven emission reduction actions, and will make it easier for consumers, building owners, and companies to get credit for the environmental benefits of their emission reduction actions. They will provide consistent integrated coverage of the full range of emissions types, from greenhouse gases to mercury. The open and transparent standards will make it clear in the marketplace what stated emission inventories, offsets, and reduction credits really mean.
Al Gore, the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee, the World Bank and the HSBC bank all recently brought great attention to emission inventories, offsets, and reduction credits by announcing their action to offset emissions. Al Gore offset the emissions caused by the production of his documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth”, the World Cup Organizing Committee offset the emission of the World Cup event, and the World Bank and HSBC Bank offset the emissions caused by their organizations.
These announcements bring to mind questions about the meaning of emissions offsetting. How does one calculate the emissions caused by a given human activity? What types of emissions should be calculated and offset? Should only greenhouse gasses like CO2 be offset, or should toxic emissions like mercury be addressed as well? And how should we define, measure and verify emissions offsets?
Leonardo Academy launched today an ANSI standard development process to create an integrated set of answers to these questions. This process will create a single standard that combines the breadth of current information on the topic into an integrated, easily understood package providing the essential benefits to both the environment and the business world. The objective of this initiative is to develop credible and effective standards for emission inventories, offsets, and reduction credits that are practical for both end users and the marketplace, and are therefore effective drivers for environmental improvement
Leonardo Academy President Michael Arny said, “This is an important initiative because effective emissions crediting and offsetting standards are key to solving both our global warming and toxic emissions problems. Such standards make it economically and socially advantageous to increase this type of environmental stewardship, engaging the creative energy and drive of the marketplace to achieve important environmental goals.”
The need for these standards is profound. Individuals and organizations take action to reduce emissions for many reasons including altruism, the opportunity for recognition, and to capture the market value of these emission reductions. Having a consistent and practical way of keeping score is a driver for action. The development of integrated emissions standards will make it possible for car buyers to capture the economic value, at the time of purchase of their low emission vehicles’ pollution reductions over the life of the car. It will make it possible for a building owner that documents reduced energy use to capture the economic value of emission reductions created by their actions. These are only a few examples of the many applications of the standards being developed.
Numerous government, non-government and nonprofit organizations have made important contributions to the knowledge base on emission reduction credits and offsets in both the regulated an unregulated arenas, but standards and programs remain disjointed and limited in the types of emissions they address, the geographic areas they cover, and the applicable participants. The goal of this standard development initiative is to provide an integrated standard that has broad coverage for types of pollutants, geographic scope and participants.
“This ANSI standard development process will build on all the great work that has been done to date to create an integrated standard that has broad coverage and works well for both the users and the public, “ said Arny.
Projected Scope of these Standards:
- A multi-pollutant approach to emissions issues that awards credit for all types of emissions reduced
- Levels of documentation and verification needed for various applications
- A clear description of qualified verifiers for achievements
- Baselines set to recognize all positive achievements
- Emissions inventories for organizations, products, services, events, travel, families, individuals and other causes of emissions
- Emissions offsets for organizations, products, services, events, travel and other causes of emissions
- Direct and indirect emission reduction
- Emission reductions created by pollution sequestration, renewable energy, energy efficiency projects, and other emission reductions
- Market vehicles for emission reductions and offset transactions, including emission reduction credits, white (energy efficiency emission reductions) tags, green (renewable energy emission reductions) tags, etc.
Funding for all Leonardo Academy projects is being gathered from a variety of sources on an ongoing basis. Johnson Controls, a major creator of emission reductions through energy efficiency, has contributed $20,000 to become a Silver Level Sponsor of this project. Johnson Controls is delivering enough energy efficiency for its customers to meet 4% of the Kyoto goals. Leonardo Academy is seeking additional sponsors at all levels for this project.
ANSI Project Information
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, non-profit organization (501c3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Leonardo Academy is an ANSI (http://www.ansi.org) accredited standards developer, and this project will be carried out in accordance with Leonardo Academy’s ANSI approved standard development process. This project was announced through the ANSI Project Initiation Notification System on June 23, 2006 and has the ANSI standard development number BSR/LEO 5000-200x.
About Leonardo Academy
Leonardo Academy (http://www.leonardoacademy.org) strives to put the competitive market to work on improving the environment, by developing outcome-focused products and resources that facilitate sustainability. Leonardo Academy develops rating systems, certification programs, educational resources and other tools that make practicing sustainability practical. Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greenersm Program (http://www.cleanerandgreener.org) provides certification of the offsetting of the emissions caused by events and organizations. This program has certified the offsetting of emissions for the 2002 Winter Olympics, each of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Greenbuild conferences since 2002, and numerous other events. Other areas of Leonardo Academy work include the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® rating system. Michael Arny, the president of Leonardo Academy, was the chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Committee from 2001-2005 and led the Committee’s work on the development of LEED-EB. Leonardo Academy has supported the LEED-EB program as a contractor to the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001. In this role, Leonardo Academy managed the LEED-EB Pilot Program, was the primary author of the LEED-EB Reference Guide and has conducted all the LEED-EB certification reviews to date for the U.S. Green Building Council. Leonardo Academy is a charitable (501c3) nonprofit organization.
Michael Arny, President
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