CNBN In-Depth Client Profile: Chevrolet

Carbon Advantage for Chevrolet: $40m Carbon Reduction Initiative (CRI)

CNBN framed Chevrolet’s strategic objectives/stakeholder engagement process to pioneer the largest US voluntary 8m ton CO2 carbon investment -- delivering measurable business advantage


  • Raise “green” brand awareness – esp. in younger target market
  • Drive more efficient grid for EVs via new carbon incentives
  • Shift stakeholder perceptions of Chevy’s sustainability leadership

Carbon Stories


  • CNBN designed for Chevrolet the largest 8m ton US carbon $40m investment strategy w/stakeholder advisory board
  • CNBN pioneered new carbon methodology to create energy efficiency project credits to open access to Chevy carbon capital for dozen US universities with Campus Clean Energy Campaign
  • Secured GM’s first ever Best Global Green Brand award ‘14
  • Awarded EPA stakeholder partnership & Enviro-Leader 2015
  • CNBN convened #CleanEnergyU virtual dialogue: top trending throughout 2015 -- driving student social media engagement w/30m impressions
  • Invites to White House Roundtable as Campuses pledge to Act on Climate
  • Chevy’s legacy continues with Second Nature and new clean energy road collaborations

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Chevy’s CRI Defined New Paradigms For Carbon Market Leadership

CNBN designed the US's largest voluntary GHG reduction goal with Chevrolet’s 2010 8m ton CO2 commitment – a new threshold from which other companies’ GHG credit investments were then set correspondingly higher (e.g. Disney, Microsoft)
US voluntary volumes rise dramatically from 4m to 30m t/yr

CNBN pioneered US’s first energy efficiency carbon performance methodology -- to open the door for universities to access Chevrolet's carbon capital to accelerate their clean energy efficiency performances
“A once in a decade achievement”: Prof Koester, Ball State

Chevy’s Campus Clean Energy Campaign: “transformative leadership”

"With Chevy this was MOON SHOT leadership … to transform the rules of the game"t

“Chevy created an entirely new template in the carbon market that multiplied their own leadership by empowering others to take the same high road.”
The Road to a Clean Energy Future

Campus Clean Energy Efficiency Credits: Ground breaking Methodologies/Projects

CNBN designed/wrote Chevy’s ground-breaking campus methodologies, accredited by VCS – whose projects delivered on Chevy’s demanding business objectives



  • Accelerate US grid beyond Chevy’s supply chain towards more energy efficient practices -- as foundation for EV autos’ lower carbon performance
  • Pioneer energy efficiency carbon credit projects in US voluntary market
  • Open doors for universities to access new carbon capital – beyond Chevy’s – to drive US energy efficiency practices
  • Engage millennial students on campuses


  • Campus efficiency credits pioneered new paradigm, delivering benefits beyond companies’ own supply chains -- to key market sectors where they have only indirect influence
  • $m’s directed to dozen new campus Chevy clean energy efficiency projects
  • Hailed as a “moonshot” goal that delivered transformative leadership to change the rules of the game
  • Second Nature non-profit now taking Chevy legacy forward to expand campus credits for new purchasers
  • Extends capital sources to drive US efficient grid beyond Chevy’s $40m
  • Radical new approach to engage millennial students as clean energy leaders via #CleanEnergyU dialogue

Ground breaking Methodologies/Projects: Chevrolet Campus Project Partners

Campus carbon revenues contribute 5-25% of projects’ required incremental capital

Compelling Campus Business Case: Contribute 5-25% Required Incremental Capital

“The scale and business case behind Chevy’s innovations are impressive for campuses: we could see up to a 2.5% increase in return on investment. This can really move the needle for campuses’ investments.”


“Chevy’s carbon credit funding transforms what we can achieve at UWSP.  My office’s budget is $16k a year; after certification and student intern costs, I have about $6k left to drive change.  Chevy’s revenues transform this picture: we’re investing now in state of the art residential wind turbines that are not only a visible symbol of our GHG reduction progress but will also anchor students’ research to help our community learn which installations will work best on their buildings too!”
— Dave Barbier, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

“The financing made available through Chevrolet can seed the creation of green revolving loan funds at colleges and universities; with such initial capitalization, colleges and universities can continue to pay forward the impact of current efficiency yields toward additional conservation and energy use reductions.  This is a virtuous circle that empowers campuses to pursue deep systems-thinking efficiencies.  It’s a great way to find new roads to travel together towards a clean energy future.”
—Prof. Bob Koester, Ball State University

Innovative Marketing/Communication Results: For Chevrolet CRI and #CleanEnergyU

Chevrolet Brand Value

chevy logo


  • Increase Chevy’s brand value
  • Change perception of the brand


  • Secured Chevy’s first Interbrand Green Brand rating by 2014
  • Successfully repositioned the brand according to stakeholders
  • Stakeholder perceptions shifted from “dinosaur”, “old school manufacturer” to “transformative leader … alongside Google on steps of the White House”.

#CleanEnergyU Millennial Engagement

clean energy U


  • Pioneer Chevy’s Carbon Reduction Initiative’ social media campaign to effectively engage young target market


  • CNBN convened #CleanEnergyU social media conversation, co-designed by student leaders
  • Gained 30m social hits in just three 2015 dialogues, all top trending on twitter
  • Opens new virtual conversation w/student & clean energy leaders
  • Invited by White House to introduce Campuses Act on Climate Roundtable, Nov 2015

Campus Clean Energy Campaign: “repositioned the brand successfully”