Drive Neutral – A Great Holiday Gift Idea

drive_neutral33.gifThinking about what to get your friends this holiday season? How about something that’s materially intangible, holds real value, and promotes both ecology and economy? Drive Neutral certifications are avilable in three different classes to offest the carbon emissions of any vehicle. Once “neutralized”, drivers get the satisfaction of knowing that for the next year, their car’s carbon emissions will be offest by real reductions in the emissions of companies who trade carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange.
The CCX is a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions market in North America. CCX requires members to lower their CO2 emissions by 1% per year in 2003 through 2006 for an overall 4% reduction below a baseline of their average emissions in years 1998-2001. The CCX incorporates free-market mechanisms to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions, and is the same kind of cap-and-trade program operating in countries that are participating in the Kyoto accord treaty. When you buy a DriveNeutral certificate, DriveNeutral will retire carbon credits on the exchange, eliminating the associated future emissions permanently. Plus you get a nifty decal for your car!
DriveNeutral is a program run by students at the Presidio School of Management.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

9 responses

  1. I’ll get one of the Drive Neutral guys to properly comment, but my understanding of the difference is:
    1) It’s a non profit vs. TerraPass being for profit
    2) It’s simpler – all funds go to retire carbon credits on the CCX vs. TerraPass investing in Wind Energy and other things.

  2. Oh — and for Penguin — In the link in my previous comment, I tried to figure out what the difference was between the two. They work a lil differently, but have similar goals —

  3. Thanks for the info Nick, green LA girl… interesting conundrum. I have a TP. I like TP’s business model better because I WANT people to make money on environmental ideas. That way I know they’ll be around for a while and that they are putting their efforts into innovating new products/services, rather than fund-raising. In fact, when I met the TP people at the SF Green Fair, I was specifically interested in their business model and only signed up with them because they were a for-profit enterprise. However, now that I’ve read a bit about them, I like better what DN does with the money. Again, it is market-based and they are looking to impact the supply and demand of carbon credits and create an incentive for companies to stop relying on them and actually reduce CO2. Triple Pundit, would it be possible to have TP and DN discuss their approaches here? I think this is very interesting and would love to hear more about each of them.

  4. DriveNeutral certifies its customers’ offsets because CCX members’ emissions are reviewed on an annual basis by the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD). Therefore their reduction credits are auditable. No other offset methods can make that claim.
    In addition we are innovating a form of personal accountability that bridges the language (and action) gap between environmentalists and corporations.
    As for the for-proft vs. non-profit model, we are going to be sticking around for awhile for a number of reasons but rest assured that our income is not solely generated from fundraising efforts.
    Lastly, DriveNeutral, as an enterprise of Presidio School of Management, not only supports CCX but also sustainable businesses in general. Presidio’s MBA program in Sustainable Management educates and empowers sustainability entrepreneurs, managers, professionals and leaders.
    Please let me know if you have further questions.
    Thank you,
    Jason Smith
    CEO DriveNeutral

  5. Late to the thread, but let me try to outline what we hear from customers as the major reasons for purchase.

    1) Verification. TerraPass is 3rd Party certified. No one else is. What does this mean? Well it means that the Center for Resource Solutions looks at our sales records, and verifies that we have reduced enough carbon. No one else does that (What Jason is referring to is project level verification and auditing). See Verification on our page.

    2) TerraPass is the biggest. We hear from customers that they don’t want to “buy a star”, that they want to be part of something that is having an impact. TerraPass has thousands of customers, and has been featured in 38 news articles (CNN, NYT, FT, B-Week, Fortune, etc.) and about 400 blog posts. See News on our page.

    3) Diverse and impactful projects. We don’t simply blindly buy on the CCX. Each project is hand selected to ensure that we are paving a path for America’s clean energy future. See Projects on our website for more info.

    Good thread, would be interested in hearing from others as well (or Nick, why don’t you repost on the front?). Our holiday shipping deadline is Monday (rush services until the 23rd)

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