The Climate Trust | A YEAR IN REVIEW | The Climate Trust



The Climate Trust mobilizes conservation finance to maximize environmental returns.

Who We Are

Building upon a legacy of innovation and leadership in
the carbon market, The
Climate Trust accelerates
the pace of carbon mitigation through conservation finance. We value air, water and soil through the development, purchase and sale of qualified offsets and a relentless investment in people and projects with environmental purpose.




ACR award winner logo COLOR with R

Letter from The Climate Trust’s Board Chair

This has been a year of major milestones for The Climate Trust. As we celebrated our 17-Year Anniversary, we also recorded our $10 millionth dollar spent on carbon offsets—equivalent to the emissions from over 350,000 cars. The milestone investment went towards purchasing carbon offsets from a forestry conservation property in Maine.

We were able to modernize and advance our business through the development of a refined business model—offering greater potential for impact through investments in critical early-stage projects—and unveiling of a fresh new look for the organization, including a redesigned website.

The Trust was named in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon list, as well as being honored with an Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award by the American Carbon Registry.

Under the leadership of Sean Penrith, a strategic new board member was welcomed to the Board of Directors, adding decades of environmental and financial expertise to the current membership. The Trust’s internal team also benefitted from two key hires, and continued with the commitment to transparency efforts via our new online portal—sharing resources, providing a clear delineation of services, information on how to work with us, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of projects.

When looking back at 2014, we are proud of our accomplishments. Some highlights include a comprehensive report evaluating the Potential Carbon Pricing Mechanisms for the State of Oregon—that has helped inform and educate policymakers across the Pacific Northwest. We also published a thorough Five Year Performance Report to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council; the body responsible for overseeing The Trust’s activities on behalf of regulated energy facilities.

The Trust was involved in developing a groundbreaking methodology for emission reductions from the Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands to Cropland, as well as negotiating the first-ever purchase of verified carbon offsets from the avoided conversion of at-risk grasslands with Chevrolet.

Additionally, The Trust agreed to purchase offsets from its first California project (that turns methane into electricity), and from America’s first merchant food waste digester, JC Biomethane. Early in the year, The Trust and partners, completed the first-ever nitrous oxide emissions offset transaction, rewarding a Midwest farmer for voluntarily modifying nitrogen fertilizer use on his fields.

The Trust is proud to build upon a legacy of innovation and leadership in the carbon market. We look forward to working with partners to continue that trend in 2015, as we galvanize our offer to deliver favorable conservation finance to the market.

Laura Beane E-SignatureLaura Beane
Board Chair, The Climate Trust


Publications and White Papers


Total tons GHG reduced



Contracted emissions reductions (tons)



Total committed to projects





And I Quote

“The Climate Trust’s new business model builds off of their significant expertise in carbon mitigation and fosters growth in environmental markets—critical components to the significant climate benefits enabled by the exceptional Climate Trust team.”
-Laura Beane, Chair, The Climate Trust Board of Directors

Portfolio Update

In 2014, The Climate Trust promoted innovative technologies and projects by investing in high-impact sectors: agriculture, biogas and forestry. Our expanding portfolio has created tangible benefits for communities and the environment—all while meeting rigorous, third-party standards.


Cumulative Tons Retired

CHART Cumulative Tons Retired

Total Offsets Contracted By Sector

Offsets Contracted Since 2010 By Sector

Offsets Contracted Since 2010


Media Highlights

Project Milestones

Preserving Maine Forest

AMC-View-from-Lauries-Ledge_Photo-courtesy-of-AMC-1024x394The Climate Trust purchased carbon offsets from The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Katahdin Iron Works conservation property in Maine. By encouraging natural forest growth on AMC’s 10,000-acre ecological reserve, the project preserves stored carbon in the forest and enables an additional revenue stream through the sale of carbon offsets.

Reducing Nitrous Oxide

Myron OrtnerThe Climate Trust partnered in completing the first nitrous oxide emissions offsets transaction, rewarding farmer Myron Ortner for voluntarily modifying nitrogen fertilizer use on a 40-acre field in Michigan. Fertilizer application adjustments can generate revenue while maintaining crop yields and reducing the harmful impact of N2O.

Grassland Methodology

Myron OrtnerThe Climate Trust partnered with five esteemed organizations to develop the groundbreaking Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands to Cropland Production Methodology. The methodology estimates the emissions avoided from preventing the conversion of grasslands and shrublands to crop production.

Protecting Prairielands

AMC-View-from-Lauries-Ledge_Photo-courtesy-of-AMC-1024x394Chevrolet had the distinction of purchasing the first-ever verified carbon offsets from the avoided conversion of at-risk grasslands to cultivation. This innovative project, negotiated by The Climate Trust with BEF on behalf of Chevrolet, secured nearly 40,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Methane to Electricity

The Climate Trust agreed to purchase offsets from the Van Warmerdam Dairy digester; a facility that turns methane gas generated by cow manure into electricity. This is The Trust’s first California project and an important first step towards future work in the state.

New Biogas Model

The Climate Trust agreed to purchase the greenhouse gas reductions from America’s first merchant food waste digester, JC Biomethane. The project will amass approximately 25,000 tons per year of organic materials from businesses throughout Eugene, Corvallis and Portland.

And I Quote

“The Climate Trust is an essential part of making the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council’s (EFSCs) carbon dioxide standard successful. I have the privilege of being on both the EFSC and Climate Trust boards and I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the amazing growth and leadership from Sean and his team.”

-Renee Dowlin, Vice Chair, The Climate Trust and EFSC Board of Directors

Consolidated Financials

All Climate Trust investment portfolio holdings are filtered against stringent social and environmental criteria for results consistent with The Climate Trust’s mission. In adherence to the fossil fuel declaration, The Trust does not hold securities with any of the top 200 carbon emitters listed in The Carbon Underground, or in any excluded categories (i.e. alcohol, coal power generation, or repressive regimes). The Trust’s investments give preference to companies that consistently engage in activities that include, alternative energy production, community investment, and disclosure of carbon.

Financial Chart 2014 Annual Report


Accomplishments and Accolades

Client Spotlight

Prologis Mitigates their Impact

When it came to addressing global climate change, Prologis looked to its own backyard; supporting an innovative transportation project that moves goods throughout the state with trains instead of trucks.

CH2M HILL Reduces Carbon Footprint

After implementing internal reduction efforts, CH2M HILL chose to mitigate their impact by purchasing certified offsets from The Trust’s innovative Afognak forestry project.

donor thanks

Our Incredible Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge gifts received from the following valued donors in 2014. Our elite Leadership Circle is made up of individuals who contribute $250 or more, and organizations that contribute $1,000 or more to support The Climate Trust. Foundations have been vital in providing generous grants to support special initiatives; the real cornerstone of our sustainability efforts.

Thank you to our current donors and those who have contributed in the past. Our work is made possible by your support, as well as collaboration with our valued project partners and clients.



Philanthropic Support

The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Hess Corporation

bluemoon fund

The Fertilizer Institute


Individuals $250+ | Organizations $1,000+

Rolf Anderson

Laura Beane

Bill Noellert

John Schlinke

Mike Stuart

Anonymous via Schwab Charitable Fund

Anonymous via United Way

Sam Wheeler Fund of OR Community Foundation

And I Quote

“How refreshing to work with a group of people who are so ambitious in reaching our shared vision with such a high level of support and cooperation.”
-Leif Halvorson, The Climate Trust

“I appreciate the supportiveness of our team and how they rally around one another to meet our shared goal of improving the climate.”
-Sheldon Zakreski, The Climate Trust


Board of Directors



Laura Beane Chair, Iberdrola Renewables

Renee Dowlin Vice Chair, Retired, Port of Portland

Arya Behbehani Secretary, Portland General Electric

Neal Sacon Treasurer, United Fund Advisors

John Audley Freelance

Peter Fisher Partner, Human Investing

Stephen Hall Troutman Sanders LLP

Odin Knudsen Real Options International

Patrick Proctor Stash Tea

Nini Redway Retired, Deputy Treasurer for the CA State Treasurer

Robin Smutny-Jones Iberdrola Renewables



Laura Beane Chair & Treasurer, Iberdrola Renewables

Renee Dowlin Vice Chair, Retired, Port of Portland

Arya Behbehani Secretary, Portland General Electric

John Audley Freelance

Peter Fisher Partner, Human Investing

Stephen Hall Troutman Sanders LLP

Patrick Proctor Stash Tea



Tom Dempsey Avista Corp.


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The Climate Trust
65 SW Yamhill Street, Suite 400
Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: 503.238.1915
Fax: 503.238.1953