Reducing Greenhouse Gas Voluntarily


The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is the world's first and North America's only rules-based, voluntary, legally binding integrated greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry, and trading system. Members of the CCX can voluntarily commit to a legally binding agreement to achieve absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The CCX, which began trading in 2003, operates on a cap-and-trade system. Members who beat the targets have surplus allowances to sell or bank, and those that have emissions above the targets must purchase CCX Carbon Financial Instrument contracts to achieve compliance. Third-party verification is provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a financial regulator in the US. Its objectives are to apply financial innovation and incentives to advance social, environmental, and economic goals.

Member Boise Inc., Boise, ID, for example, has committed to achieving an absolute greenhouse gas emission reduction of 6% below its baseline — a four-year average of the years 1998 to 2001 — by the end of 2010. Alexander Toeldte, president and CEO, Boise Inc., said the company has already reduced fossil fuel use per ton of production at its paper mills by 28% from 1996 to 2007 and increased its renewable energy use to 64% of total energy consumption during the same period.

“We are committed to comprehensive sustainability in our social, environmental, and economic actions,” said Toeldte. “Reducing energy use improves our financial performance and supports our stewardship principle of managing our businesses to sustain environmental resources for future generations. Our participation in the Chicago Climate Exchange will allow us to capture greater value from our greenhouse gas reduction efforts.”

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