Bay Foundation (CBF), Washington
Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES) and Sterling
Planet will celebrate their unique public-private partnership today
with their fourth annual tree planting event. WGES employees, customers
and other volunteers will plant approximately 1,400 native trees and
shrubs at Gravel Springs Farm in Union Bridge, Md., and a contribution
of $135,000 to CBF's Carbon
Reduction Fund will be presented, with $84,375 donated by WGES and
$50,625 by Sterling Planet.
Laura Pagliarulo, Manager, Green Products, Washington Gas Energy Services; Dr. Beth McGee, Senior Water Quality Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Rob Schnabel, Restoration Scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (Photo: Business Wire)
Held the weekend after Earth Day, the volunteer effort will contribute
to improving the air and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay region. The
native trees and shrubs will restore 5,000 feet or 10 acres of stream
bank, preventing pollution and runoff into the Roop's Branch stream,
which ultimately flows into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay.
The trees will also absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Volunteers at
the event will include students from Northern Virginia Community
College, a WGES customer that matches 35 percent of its natural gas use
with WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets, as well as WGES residential
customers based in Carroll County, Md. This is the first year that WGES
customers will participate in the annual event.
"Washington Gas Energy Services is wholly committed to providing
affordable, market-driven options that allow residents and businesses to
easily reduce their environmental impact," said Harry Warren, president
of Washington Gas Energy Services. "This tree planting enables us to
stand eside our customers and make a difference in our local
environment today and into the future due to the unique structure of the
WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offset product."
WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets reduce a natural gas customer's carbon
footprint by matching local certified carbon offsets to the customer's
natural gas use. A portion of the proceeds from all offsets purchased
support the Carbon Reduction Fund, which is managed by CBF and used to
develop future clean air and water projects, such as tree plantings,
throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Since its launch in 2010, the
partnership has provided more than $540,000 in total contributions to
the Carbon Reduction Fund. WGES sources carbon from two local projects,
J.B. Hunt Intermodal Transport and the Worcester County, Md., Landfill
Gas Project, which provide reductions in greenhouse gases, particulate
emissions and nitrogen runoff. This distinctive approach creates both
current and future benefits for the local environment.
In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, all WGES standard
natural gas supply contracts for residential and small commercial
customers include a baseline match of carbon offsets to natural gas use
of 5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. Large commercial customers
have the option to customize the percent of their natural gas that is
matched with carbon offsets; both residential and small commercial
customers can choose natural gas matched with 100 percent WGES
CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets. Each year the average household enrolls in
100% WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets, their home's environmental
footprint is reduced at a level equivalent to removing one car off the
road for one year.
"This tree planting, and the significant donation of $135,000, will help
to save the Bay and improve local air and water quality today and into
the future," said Dr. Beth McGee, senior water quality scientist,
Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "This partnership and accompanying volunteer
efforts exemplify the cooperation and innovation we will need to finally
make our waters clean enough for swimming and fishing."
Carbon Reduction Fund projects have supported the planting of more than
10,000 trees in Maryland's Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick
and Talbot counties to date. Over a 50-year lifespan, the environmental
benefits of these trees equates to removing approximately 1,900 cars off
the road for one year.
"Our partnership with Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Washington Gas
Energy Services results in tangible benefits for the environment of the
Chesapeake Bay region," said Alden Hathaway, senior vice president of
business development at Sterling Planet. "At Sterling Planet, we
recognize that we must continue to explore sustainable business
opportunities for citizens and organizations to work together to lessen
their impact on our environment."
To learn more about WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets and the Carbon
Reduction Fund, visit http://www.wges.com/carbonoffsets.
About The Chesapeake Bay Foundation:
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the only independent 501(c)(3)
organization dedicated solely to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake
Bay and its tributary rivers. Across the six-state Chesapeake watershed,
CBF sets the agenda, serves as a watchdog, and speaks out on behalf of
the Chesapeake Bay to business, government, and the public. www.cbf.org
About Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.:
Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive
energy providers in the mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gas Energy
Services supplies electricity, natural gas and green energy options to
commercial and residential customers in Delaware, the District of
Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 2011, the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) named Washington Gas Energy Services the
Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category.
Headquartered in Herndon, Va., Washington Gas Energy Services is an
affiliate of Washington Gas, the regulated natural gas utility, and a
subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). www.wges.com
About Sterling Planet:
Named EPA Green Power Supplier of the Year for 2013 and 2012, Sterling
Planet delivers innovative energy solutions that benefit the
environment. Since 2000, the Atlanta-based company has offered business
and residential customers renewable energy certificates as an easy,
affordable way to reduce the impact of everyday electricity use. The
comprehensive portfolio of solutions also includes carbon offsets, White
Tags® energy efficiency certificates, green power project development,
green partnerships with electricity and natural gas providers, and a
Sterling Analytics IT platform that companies of all types are using for
sustainable energy, water and carbon management. Sterling Planet's four
cornerstone activities - analyzing, greening, energizing and building -
promote environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140426005021/en/
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