NYSE Euronext goes carbon neutral

NYSE Euronext goes carbon neutral

03/08/2011

NYSE Euronext (NYX) announced today that it is making the entire company carbon neutral.  Building on its existing energy efficiency and conservation efforts, the company announced today that it has purchased renewable-energy certificates and carbon offsets that together neutralize the remaining environmental impact of the company’s global operations, making it the only global exchange operator and technology provider to achieve such a status.

“Balancing out our environmental impact is now a core component of our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen of our global community,” said Chief Executive Officer Duncan L. Niederauer.  “By matching our energy use with these certificates and offsets, we are both mitigating our carbon footprint and helping to accelerate the low-carbon, renewable-energy economy. We are proud to be taking this leadership position among global exchange groups and we will continue to seek out responsible and effective ways to contribute to a sustainable environment.”

Revenue from the sale of renewable-energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets (COs) provides important economic support to projects involving renewable energy and greenhouse-gas-emission reduction projects.  By financially rewarding these projects for their environmental benefits, RECs and COs help encourage the development of similar projects.

This year’s purchase makes NYSE Euronext carbon-neutral for 2010.  The RECs and COs, which are Green-e certified, are purchased retroactively; so that the company can measure how much energy was used and purchase the appropriate amount of certificates and offsets to match it.

The RECs, purchased from 3Degrees, a recognized leader in the field, match the company’s electricity usage.  Each REC represents the generation of one megawatt-hour of electricity from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, low-impact hydroelectric, or biomass.  The carbon offsets, also purchased from 3Degrees, represent one metric ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions reduced or avoided.  All aspects of carbon emission at NYSE Euronext were taken into account, ranging from electricity usage and onsite generators, to vehicles and employee travel.  The project involved months of planning, assessment, measurement and verification.

NYSE Euronext’s green power and carbon balancing commitment will help avoid an estimated 91,508 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.  Using calculations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, this amount is equivalent to the CO2 emissions generated from consuming or burning 212,809 barrels of oil, or the emissions from the use of electricity at 11,105 average homes, or the carbon sequestered annually by 19,511 acres of forest preserved from deforestation.

This initiative complements other energy efficiency and conservation efforts at NYSE Euronext.   For example, earlier this year the company completed the installation of an array of solar electricity panels at its Basildon, England data center, which is the largest installation of its kind in the United Kingdom.  It is capable of meeting up to 20 percent of the data center’s current power requirements.  NYSE Euronext is actively considering similar initiatives for its U.S. locations.  The company also was named last year to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Carbon Disclosure Project’s S&P 500 Leadership Index.