Our Zero Carbon Footprint
For 2017, investments in renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets helped Verisk become carbon-neutral for the first time.
Verisk’s annual emissions inventory is conducted in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a globally recognized standard developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. For 2017, 100 percent of Verisk’s global emissions attributable to Scopes 1, 2, and 3 (business air travel) activities were balanced by our investments in renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.*
The results were reported in conjunction with Verisk’s response to CDP’s 2018 Climate Change Questionnaire.
Renewable energy certificates are tradeable, nontangible energy commodities evidencing that 1 megawatt of electricity has been generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable source. Verisk purchased RECs representing more than 28,000 megawatts of electricity during 2017, supporting renewable energy projects—wind, hydro, or biomass—in almost every country or region where we have offices. The largest of the projects was the Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Farm in Nebraska.
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 2017, Verisk used them to offset more than 14,000 metric tons of carbon and carbon-equivalent emissions. The offsets were generated by efforts to reduce emissions at landfills in New York, Texas, and Utah.
All projects are verified and certified according to international standards by third parties, including Green-e Climate, Green-e Energy, and the Climate Action Reserve.
The decision to make such investments was premised on the belief that RECs and offsets 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. Nevertheless, Verisk advanced purposeful emission reduction efforts within its operations, including:
- the installation of LED lighting (among other improvements) in conjunction with our Jersey City headquarters renovation
- the installation of LED lighting at AIR’s headquarters in Boston and the migration of data processing activities from Boston to our Eastern Data Center in New Jersey
- improved fuel efficiency in our automobile fleet, which has increased miles per gallon for eight consecutive years
*The information in the inventory was subject to internal reviews and, for select content, external reviews. We engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent accounting firm, externally to assure our 2017 emissions data. Its review was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.