What we do at Cloverly may seem too good to be true.

We provide an easy way for people to use carbon offsets and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to compensate for the carbon footprint of ecommerce deliveries and other everyday activities.

We've gotten questions from some who wonder how that's possible. So we want to explain exactly what we do and why we think it's helping to move the world toward sustainability.

Today's consumers love the steady flow of one-day-shipped packages arriving at their doors. Is Cloverly really saying we can magically wipe away everyone’s guilt about the carbon costs of that convenience?

No.

Here's what we do say: The offsets and RECs in our portfolio can compensate for carbon emissions by avoiding, offsetting, or sequestering the same amount of carbon elsewhere in the environment. That can make the shipping of online purchases carbon-neutral—because on a net basis, it’s not contributing any additional carbon to the atmosphere.

In addition, by creating new demand for those instruments, our customers help encourage the development of renewable energy generation and other technologies to fight climate change.

We look forward to the day when electric vehicles charged entirely from renewable energy zip our packages to us, and when we humans have reconfigured our infrastructure so that our daily activities have no negative impact on the environment. We're doing what we can to bring that day closer.

Here's a quick explanation of how offsets and RECs work:

  • Offsets: A carbon offset certificate represents the reduction of 1 metric ton, or 2,205 pounds, of carbon dioxide emissions. The emissions may be reduced through capturing and destroying a greenhouse gas, producing energy using a clean and renewable resource, or capturing and storing (sequestering) greenhouse gases to keep them out of the atmosphere. Buying offsets helps fund projects that do those things.
  • Renewable Energy Credits (sometimes called renewable energy certificates): Each REC certifies that 1,000 kilowatt-hours (1 megawatt-hour) of electricity has been generated by renewable means and delivered to the electric grid. RECs represent the rights to all of the environmental benefits of generating energy by clean, renewable means. Again, buying RECs helps fund solar and wind farms and other renewable-energy projects.

Offsets and RECs are helping the world transition toward a zero-emissions future. Some environmentalists say the transition is moving too slowly. They want to jump as quickly as possible to zero emissions power generation and a 100% electric transportation fleet.

We'd love that! We view offsets and RECs as instruments for speeding that process along, using market forces to accelerate demand for emission-reducing projects.

For our portfolio, we target high-quality, certified offsets, the ones that actually deliver the carbon avoidance, sequestration, or offsetting that they promise—and that represent genuinely new endeavors, not a tree-planting or landfill gas capture project that would have been done in any case.

The RECs we source are the same as those purchased by big companies and utilities to meet their sustainability and legal compliance goals, meaning that more projects will have to be built to make up for the supply our customers buy.

We are also radicals when it comes to transparency and think you should be, too. You can check out all of the RECs and offsets we have in our portfolio at any time by going to cloverly.com/offset-map.

Our founders created Cloverly not because they wanted to hop on some green gravy train, but rather because the green train was neither green enough nor fast enough. They felt personally uncomfortable about the carbon costs of shipping all those boxes that they oh-so-conveniently dispatched to their doors. They wanted to accept responsibility for their contributions to the world’s carbon problem and help work toward a solution.

Here's how we feel, bottom line: We’re doing something to make our lives more sustainable, and we’re helping others to do the same. By giving as many people as possible the ability to push in the direction of sustainability, we can take charge of moving toward a decarbonized future.