“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, but 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 in excess of 1M Tons of CO2 offsets annually that are verified and registered on the American Carbon Registry. 

To learn more about Greentrees, visit green-trees.com. 

Grotegut Dairy Farm

Grotegut Dairy Farm is a 3,900 milk-cow operation located in Newton, Wisconsin.  the biogas control system consists of two anaerobic digesters, the first of which was installed in March 2009 and the second in early 2011.  Solids are separated from the digester effluent by two screw presses.  Biogas is captured and destroyed via combustion through multiple destruction devices: one boiler, two lean-burn engines, and two open flares.  Project activities reduce the GHGs that were being released into the atmosphere prior to the biogas control system, as well as provide renewable electricity for the farm and grid.  

To learn more about Grotegut, visit their 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. Historically, they have been grazed and have been left 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 overall 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.