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Chevy Buys IdleAir CO2 Credits

Chevrolet says it will purchase up to 75,000 metric tons worth of carbon credits created by the IdleAir truck stop electrification project.

Chevy is supporting various energy-efficiency, renewable energy and conservation initiatives in its goal to prevent up to 8 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere between 2010 and 2014. To date, it has secured commitments for nearly 7 million metric tons.

The car brand won’t disclose project-specific investment numbers, but says it will spend up to $40 million to reach the 8 million metric ton goal.

To use IdleAir, long-haul truckers pull into a designated space and install a reusable plastic window adapter. This accepts a unit connecting the cab to a heating and cooling air vent, TV, power outlets, internet and other conveniences. The truck engine can then be turned off, saving fuel and reducing emissions.

IdleAir says its users save a gallon of diesel fuel per truck per hour. Drivers typically rest at night, so IdleAir uses off-peak power and has begun installing solar panels on some of its overhead trusses to provide solar-powered electricity. The carbon it reduces is verified and follows the American Carbon Registry methodology for GHG emission reductions through truck stop electrification.

Virgin America has also worked with IdleAir in its carbon-offset program.

Chevy says it was the largest corporate buyer of voluntary carbon reduction credits in the US by volume for 2011, as tracked by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, a nonprofit environmental news and data source.

Its other carbon credit investments include:

  • Collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to manage about 20,000 acres of Bethlehem forest in Pennsylvania, to improve ecosystem habitats and produce a long-term supply of timber for local mills.
  • Investing in the 132 MW Dempsey Ridge wind farm in Oklahoma. The project has 66 wind turbines on 7,500 acres of agricultural and grazing land.
  • Improving forest management projects in California, avoiding commercial timber harvesting and allowing existing trees to grow on a 13,913-acre tract along the Gualala River. 
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