Carbon Offsets Projects

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“Palo Alto has set a high bar for other cities and municipalities across the United States. Neutralizing the carbon impact through tree planting cleans the air, and it also cleans the water, protects endangered species, and helps control flooding. Trees are nature’s technology and can reverse the impact of human activity on the environment."

-Chandler Van Voorhis, Managing Partner of GreenTrees

About Carbon Offsets

In July 2017, the City of Palo Alto began purchasing carbon offsets to balance greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our natural gas use.  The City's carbon offset purchases support projects that reduce the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere by planting trees or capturing methane from dairy farms.  Purchasing carbon offsets is a good first step towards reducing carbon in the atmosphere, but our longer-term goal is to reduce our use of natural gas by maximizing efficiency and switching to high-efficiency electric appliances where possible.

About the Projects


GreenTrees is the most successful reforestation program in North America with nearly 120,000 acres under contract in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. The program plans to restore one million acres of forest along the Mississippi River. GreenTrees produces more than 1M Tons of CO2 offsets annually. The offsets are verified and registered on the American Carbon Registry. 

To learn more about Greentrees, visit

Grotegut Dairy Farm

Grotegut Dairy Farm is a 3,900 milk-cow operation located in Newton, Wisconsin.  The farm installed two anaerobic digesters – one in March 2009 and one in early 2011 – to control its emissions of biogas, a greenhouse gas (GHG).  The digesters separate solids from the digester effluent using two screw presses. Devices capture and combust the biogas to remove it as a greenhouse gas (GHG). Combustion occurs in one boiler, two lean-burn engines, and two open flares. Project activities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also provide renewable electricity for the farm and grid

To learn more visit Grotegut's Facebook page.

San Juan Lachao

The community of San Juan Lachao has launched a forest offset project under the Climate Action Reserve’s Mexico Forest Protocol with support from Mexico environmental nonprofit Pronatura and The Walt Disney Company. The project improves the management of the forests and helps the native community of San Juan Lachao in Palo Alto's Sister City, Oaxaca. The forests, which include cloud forests and pine/oak forests, contain diverse ecosystems. Grazing has left these communities in poor conditions with an increased risk of wildfire and reduced water quality. Funds from the sale of offsets help to provide clean water, fire protection, education and an improved standard of living for the community as well as improved forest habitat.  

To learn more about San Juan Lachao, visit their page on the Forest Carbon Portal.

Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project

The Blandin forest in northern Minnesota comprises more than 180,000 acres of native, mixed hardwoods . This forest provides important benefits for people and wildlife. In 2010, Blandin signed an agreement hat guarantees the property will remain sustainably-managed. Blandin allows the public to use the property for recreation. The project area provides critical habitat for rare species such as the northern long-eared bat and the golden winged warbler.


Coal Mine Methane Capture and Use at North Antelope Rochelle

This project is the first of its kind. Peabody Natural Gas, LLC removed methane from the North Antelope Rochelle Coal Mine before mining. The methane was compressed and transported to a natural gas pipeline and distributed to a national gas grid for use as fuel. Before implementation of the project, all the methane was vented to the atmosphere.


North Carolina Forestry Projects

The Pocosin Lakes Forest Conservation Project, Pungo River Forest Conservation Project, Noles North Avoided Conversion Forest Project and Noles South Avoided Conversion Forest Projects are all forested land that will not be disturbed by human development. Without this protection, the forests would be converted to grow wheat or corn. Forest conservation plays a vital role in protecting freshwater systems like lakes. The forests around the lakes act as natural water filters and purify the water for all who use it. The projects also support healthy populations of red wolf, bald eagle, black bear, and various bird species.

Refrigerant Exchange – Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances

The RemTec facility in Bowling Green, Ohio uses an argon arc plasma destruction device to achieve 99.99 percent removal. The majority of refrigerants originated in California, and all were sourced within the United States.


Scenic View Daily Methane Reduction Project

Scenic View Dairy was the first digester project in the state of Michigan and the first digester project in the US to generate both electricity and pipeline grade natural gas. The project provides important co-benefits such as improved water and soil quality and odor control.

Corinth Abandoned Mine Methane Recovery Project

DTE Methane Resources (DTEMR) operates the project. The mines included in the project were all abandoned between 1926 and 1998. The methane is extracted and then transported via a 29-mile pipeline system to a gas processing plant, also located on-site, and then sold to natural gas markets. More information can be found on Verified Carbon Standard’s website.