The Climate Trust | History

History of The Climate Trust

June 1997

Organization founded

The Trust was created as the only qualified nonprofit organization to administer the Oregon Carbon Dioxide Standard, the nation’s first legislation to curb emissions of carbon dioxide

August 1999

Our first compliance partner

The Iberdrola Renewables’ Klamath facility becomes the first power plant to commit money to comply with the Oregon Standard through The Climate Trust

May 2001

Our first offset project

Successfully contracted and funded our first offset project, focused on carpool sharing

December 2003

Our first offset delivery

Received our first offset delivery from an innovative wind financing project, with all contracted tons delivered 8 years early


Advisor to RGGI

Served as an adviser to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first market-based regulatory program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

December 2006

Named a top tier provider
of global offsets

Clean Air Cool Planet, a nonprofit dedicated to finding solutions to global warming, named The Climate Trust as a top tier provider of global offsets in its, Consumer’s Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers


Advisor on the formation of the Verified Carbon Standard

Served on the Steering Committee for the VCS, a quality assurance provider for carbon credits bought by businesses and consumers

September 2007

NW Natural’s Smart Energy
Program Partnership

Selected by NW Natural to help design and launch Smart Energy, a voluntary carbon program that allows customers to offset their natural gas emissions

September 2007

Named an ideal model for
federal regulation

Listed as a model organization in the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Recommendation for a Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset Program

November 2007

Founded the Offset
Quality Initiative

Spearheaded the creation of the Offset Quality Initiative, an effort to provide leadership on greenhouse gas offset policy and best practices for the industry

May 2008

Colorado Carbon Fund
Program Partnership

Selected by the Colorado Energy Office to design and implement the Colorado Carbon Fund, the first and only state-sponsored voluntary carbon program in the U.S.

November 2008

Named top ranking offset provider

Listed as a top ranking North American offset provider by Carbon Concierge’s, Carbon Offset Provider Evaluation Matrix

July 2011

Led efforts to update the
Oregon Standard

Successfully campaigned to update the Oregon Carbon Dioxide Standard to include projects that reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions; much more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide

September 2011

First Avoided Grasslands Conversion Transaction

Partnered with Ducks Unlimited to secure the first purchase of avoided grasslands conversion offsets with Bonneville Environmental Foundation

March 2012

First Methane Reduction Project under the Oregon Standard

Partnered with Roseburg Energy on the first methane reduction project under the updated Oregon Carbon Dioxide Standard; also the first project under the Climate Action Reserve’s Landfill Project Protocol

June 2012

Managing The Colorado
Carbon Fund

Took over management of the Colorado Carbon Fund and announced their second statewide carbon mitigation project, a fuel efficiency venture in partnership with
J.B. Hunt Transport Services

June 2012

Happy Anniversary!

The Trust celebrates its 15 year anniversary





Milestone emission reductions

The Trust announced the reduction of 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gases—equivalent to eliminating the emissions from approximately 200,000 cars

March 2013

EPRI Aggregation Report

Released a groundbreaking report on successful strategies for developing high quality offset aggregation projects in the agriculture and forestry sectors on behalf of the Electric Power Research Institute

April 2013

Dairy & biogas bill signed into law

Initiated by The Trust, House Bill No. 1154 was signed into law by WA Governor, Jay Inslee, allowing biogas projects to earn revenue for their clean energy benefits and for reducing the carbon impact from producing dairy products—two separate and valuable commodities

September 2013

A diverse collection of projects addressing climate change

The Trust celebrated a powerful response to the release of our expansive Request For Proposal—submissions sought over $47 million in funding to support greenhouse gas reduction projects

January 2014

A collection of carbon market predictions

The Trust announced its inaugural prediction list of 10 carbon market trends to watch in the year to come

January 2014

Grassland Methodology

Along with key partners, The Trust developed the groundbreaking Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands to Cropland Production Methodology

February 2014

Rewarding farmers for reducing environmental impacts

The Trust launched the first ever credit transaction to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture, in partnership with Delta Institute

February 2014

Carbon Pricing Mechanisms Report

Released an influential evaluation of potential carbon pricing mechanisms for the State of Oregon to guide legislative decision-making process

March 2014

Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award

The Trust was honored with the Commitment to Quality Award by the American Carbon Registry for our time-tested dedication to focusing on the quality of offsets procured on behalf of voluntary and regulated carbon market clients

May 2014

Named a top offset supplier nationally and globally

The Trust was recognized by the Ecosystem Marketplace Carbon Markets Survey as a Top 20 offset supplier globally, and a Top 5 offset provider in North America

August 2014

Milestone Climate Investment

The Trust committed its $10 millionth dollar to purchasing offsets from the Katahdin Iron Works Ecological Reserve Improved Forest Management project

October 2014

Bold New Look!

The Trust unveiled a new look, with a redesigned website that showcases our meaningful work and leadership role in the carbon market

October 2014

100 Best Nonprofits Award

The Trust was ranked among the 100 Best Nonprofits to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine

November 2014

Five-Year Report

Released Plowing New Pathways, The Trust’s third comprehensive performance report to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council; the body responsible for overseeing our activities on behalf of regulated energy facilities

November 2014

Protecting Prairielands

The Trust negotiated the purchase of the first-ever verified carbon offsets from the avoided conversion of at-risk grasslands to cultivation

January 2015

Assessment of blue carbon potential on Louisiana's coast

The Trust and partner Tierra Resources released a two-year assessment of the potential to develop blue carbon projects on Louisiana’s coast; estimating that carbon finance revenue can provide up to $1.6 billion in critical funding to assist with wetland restoration over the next 50 years

February 2015

First project to generate California Carbon Offsets under the ARB protocol

Farm Power Northwest’s Lynden anaerobic digester project, is the first project in The Trust’s portfolio to generate California Carbon Offsets under the California Air Resources Board (ARB) protocol; an important step into another compliance market for The Trust

March 2015

Methane to Electricity

The Van Warmerdam Dairy digester is The Trust’s first California project and an important first step towards future work in the state

April 2015

First Avoided Forest Conversion Offsets in California Market

The Trust purchased the first-ever California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) from an Avoided Forest Conversion project; conserving more than 3,700 acres of pristine southern coastal habitat near Charleston, S.C.

April 2015

Launch of online application for conservation finance

The Trust launched our online application process, making it easier to express interest in conservation finance for carbon reduction projects in the forestry, agriculture and biogas sectors

April 2015

Mobilizing Conservation Finance

Released Mobilizing Conservation Finance Report, a look at catalyzing mitigation and sequestration in the forestry and agricultural sectors through investment into offset projects

June 2015

Harmonizing Clean Power Plan with Oregon Law Report

Released Harmonizing the Proposed Clean Power Plan with Oregon’s Existing Law and Policy, an in-depth look at the contents of The Clean Power Plan, and what it will mean for Oregon

June 2015

Creation of Glass Door Committee

Launched a Glass Door Committee of external expert advisors to provide insight and transparency on our carbon credit acquisitions efforts; a first-of-its-kind committee structure for The Trust

July 2015

New Face and Mission

The Trust unveiled a new brand design reflective of our refined business model; uniting the different facets of our business through a dynamic visual system and transparent, inspirational messaging.

August 2015

Saving Oregon Trees

The City of Astoria reached an innovative agreement with The Trust to reduce their harvested timber in return for carbon credits. This is The Trust’s only Oregon-based forest carbon project; a key sector for the state.

September 2015

100 Best Nonprofits Award

For the second year in a row, The Trust was ranked among the 100 Best Nonprofits to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine

September 2015

$1M USDA Grant Award

The Trust was awarded a sizable Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA to launch an investment fund to finance forestry, grassland conservation and livestock digester projects

October 2015

Crediting Farmers for Nutrient Stewardship

Released Promoting Increased Nutrient Use Efficiency Through Carbon Markets, a year-long assessment of the potential to create a scalable nutrient management program for farmers

January 2016

Carbon Investment Fund Launches

The Trust launches a firt-of-its-kind carbon investment fund to provide early-stage funding for U.S. offset projects in the forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester sectors

May 2016

A New Home for the Colorado Carbon Fund

As The Trust shifted to a new climate finance business model, the change necessitated finding a new home for the program; with administration transferring to CO-based NGO, Natural Capitalism Solutions

June 2016

Celebrating 19 Years with a Milestone Reduction

Just in time for The Trust’s 19-year-Anniversary, we celebrated 3M metric tons of GHG emissions reduced—a milestone equivalent to eliminating the emissions from over 630,000 cars for one year!

October 2016

$5.5M Program Related Investment

The Trust executed a milestone contract with the David & Lucile Packard Foundation—securing a $5.5M Program Related Investment to seed our first-of-its-kind carbon investment fund

September 2016

100 Best Nonprofits Award

For the third year in a row, The Trust was ranked among the 100 Best Nonprofits to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine. The Trust also secured a spot among the Top 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon.

September 2016

Sustainability at Work Gold Certification

The Trust achieved Gold level certification from the City of Portland for sustainable workplace practices.

May 2017

Top 10 for Innovative and Effective Workplace Practices

For the second year in a row, The Trust was honored with a When Work Works Award for exemplary workplace practices.