Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
For 2018, investments in renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets helped Verisk become carbon-neutral for the second year in a row.
Verisk conducts its annual emissions inventory in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a globally recognized standard developed in conjunction with the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For 2018, Verisk once again balanced 100 percent of its global emissions through a combination of purposeful energy reduction initiatives and investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.
The results were reported as part of Verisk’s response to CDP’s annual climate change questionnaire. Learn more about our results and view our emissions history.
Renewable energy certificates are tradable, nontangible energy commodities that represent the environmental benefits of generating 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy. Verisk purchased RECs representing more than 34,000 MWh of electricity during 2018, supporting renewable energy projects—wind, hydro, solar, and biomass—in almost every country or region where we have offices. The largest projects were the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm in the United States, the Burn of Whilk Wind Farm in Scotland, the Bhandardara and Chuzachen hydroelectric plants in India, and the St. Leon Wind Farm in Canada.
Carbon offsets support emission reductions that take place outside the company’s operations, each one representing a metric ton of carbon and carbon equivalents avoided or reduced. For 2018, Verisk used them to offset more than 17,000 metric tons of carbon and carbon-equivalent emissions. The offsets were generated by efforts to reduce emissions at landfills in New York, Utah, and West Virginia.
Third parties, including Green-e Climate, Green-e Energy, and the Climate Action Reserve, verified and certified all projects according to international standards.
While we’ve implemented many important energy saving initiatives during the recent past, we decided to invest in RECs and offsets based on the belief that they would be an immediate step forward—reducing Verisk’s global greenhouse gas emissions for the near term to a degree that the company could never achieve otherwise.
In the context of the company’s growth and CDP’s revenue-based intensity calculation (which excludes business travel), our 2018 emissions are about 11 percent lower now than when we first measured emissions four years ago.
Here are examples of initiatives that have helped reduce our energy consumption during the recent past:
- increasing the number of LEED and ENERGY STAR® properties in our office portfolio
- completing major office renovations in our Jersey City headquarters, AIR’s headquarters in Boston, and Verisk Maplecroft’s headquarters in Bath, UK, which involved installing LED lighting and other energy saving features
- continuing the migration of data processing activities to Verisk’s eastern and western data centers and taking advantage of processing efficiencies offered by cloud services
- consolidating operations where possible, including various offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Singapore during 2018
- improving fuel efficiency in our automobile fleet year over year