Combining offsets and biogas certificates in your sustainable gas offering
Michael Weber | Dec 4th 2018

Dr. Samuel West’s museum demonstrates that successful product launches are not easy. South Pole has concentrated lessons learned from supporting our many clients in the energy sector for over a decade into an 8-step guide for gas providers looking to launch a new green gas offering.

  1. Consider which combination of biogas with biogas certificates, biogas certificates without the underlying gas supply, and carbon offsets works best for you. There are a variety of approaches you could use to reduce, replace and neutralise emissions associated with natural gas. Which one or combination you choose can depend on factors such as market positioning, cost, and availability. For instance, current products marketed as biogas typically contain from 1-10% of biomethane combined with other solutions. You may also want to consider whether certifying your product as carbon neutral may support your sales.
  2. See what other companies in the market are offering. Is there an opportunity to develop a unique product that differentiates you from your peers or an offering that has become the market standard that you need to match? Understanding what combination of biogas solutions and carbon credits competitors are offering could help you to identify gaps in the market.
  3. Understand what is driving your clients to purchase sustainable gas products. For instance, many clients may also measure and report their carbon emissions. Some may even have achieved net zero emissions for their organization in order to differentiate their offering for their own customers. Whether they want to meet certain reporting standards or prove to your clients that they are a sustainability leader, understanding your customers’ pain points will allow you to develop a product that meets their needs.
  4. Provide customers with tips on how to reduce their energy consumption. Compensating emissions associated with gas is not enough.  Addressing climate challenges requires all sectors of the economy to become more energy efficient.  Consider providing your customers with advice on how to reduce their gas use to boost your green credentials and the integrity of your offering.
  5. Test the integrity of your claims. Navigating different environmental products, financial instruments, and markets can be a complex business. Expert advice from an experienced organisation acts as a safeguard to prevent any misunderstandings or misinterpretations between you and your stakeholders by checking the claims you make for your products are accurate and credible.
  6. Educate your customers. Provided customers are confident in the environmental credentials of a product, many do not need or want to understand the underlying technical details. However, for those that do want to understand their purchase in more depth, developing clear explanatory materials is helpful. You may want to publish Q&As or even explainer videos on your website.
  7.  Educate your sales people. Even experienced sales people will benefit from a deeper understanding of the products they are selling and the environmental claims they can credibly make. Consider organising a workshop to talk them through the technical aspects of the product.
  8. Communicate the positive impacts of the projects you support to maximise the benefit for your company. Whatever approach you choose, communicating how the projects you are supporting deliver tangible benefits can help engage your audiences. Whether investors, employees, or customers, these projects give you inspiring stories about how you are working to protect the planet and transform people’s lives.

 

Michael Weber
Senior Manager Sustainability & Renewable Energy

+49 177 8930 663 | Skype: michweb
m.weber@southpole.com | www.southpole.com

This article is also available in German.

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