Green-e is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions, which offers independent certification and verification of renewable energy products from utilities and other electricity providers — including solar electric, wind, geothermal and hydropower, as well as biomass and biofuels. Paper manufacturers can be certified through Green-e if they use 100-percent renewable energy, and must recertify their renewable energy use every year to maintain this credential.

The number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is electricity production, says Jeff Swenerton, communications director for the Center for Resource Solutions' and the Green-e program. He acknowledges this is shocking to many people because it is widely believed that the source would be pollution from vehicle engines.

Green-e allows paper manufacturers to be certified through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and the organization ensures through its auditing process — a review of the chain of custody of the renewable energy from its point of generation — that the credits meet strict environmental quality criteria.

Today, more than 300 products carry the Green-e logo. To display it, the business must meet minimum requirements for its operations, and purchase or generate 100-percent renewable energy for the product manufacturing.

"As an independent third party, we're in the position to evaluate and audit these companies' claims and not have a stake in their operation," says Swenerton.