HSBC's unique cross-border deal with US to buy renewables certificates

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A unique cross-border deal will see a California company sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Alberta wind power facilities to offset the emissions of a British Columbia-based bank. HSBC Bank Canada will buy 11,000 MWh of RECs from 3 Phases Energy Services, enough to offset 100% of the electricity used in 50 bank branches and two technology centres in British Columbia. Vision Quest Windelectric will supply the certificates. The three-year deal is the first step to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the bank's facilities across the country, says HSBC's Sharon Wilks. The HSBC Group, the Canadian subsidiary's international parent, has committed to becoming carbon neutral in its operations. The offer from 3 Phases in California for Canadian derived green certificates was more attractive than local alternatives, says Wilks. Steve McDougal, business development manager for 3 Phases, sees potential for more companies to look at greening operations on both sides of the US/Canada border. "We are increasingly talking to companies in the United States that are starting to think about greenhouse gas emission reductions and environmental impact and they realize they have operations in Canada. So we hope they will choose to make commitments in Canada for their facilities there."

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