Terms of Service

Tradewater, LLC Terms of Service

(updated and effective August 1, 2021)

Terms and Conditions (“Terms”)

These Terms are entered into by Tradewater, LLC. (“Tradewater”, “we”, “us”, or “our”) and you. Reference to “you” or “your” in these Terms means the entity or individual that has consented to these Terms by any binding method of acceptance of these Terms. Clicking on, accessing or using the website tradewater.us (the “Website”) constitutes acceptance of these Terms and your agreement to be bound by these Terms. If you disagree with any part of the Terms then you may not access the Website.

These Terms may apply to participants of Tradewater’s Carbon Neutral Collective Program (“Program”) if they interact with any Digital Property; however, such participants are also subject to the terms specific to their participation in the Program.

Digital Properties Definition

“Digital Properties” refers to the Tradewater website (tradewater.us and all subdomains) and any associated online or downloadable Tradewater sites or applications.

Restrictions on Use

You may access the Digital Properties only for use by your business or household consistent with this agreement and as expressly provided for by Tradewater. You may not use the Digital Properties for any other purpose or in any other manner. You may not, for example, (a) modify, publish, distribute, transmit, systematically download, use automated means to index or extract data from, participate in the transfer or sale or rental of, translate, create derivative works from, frame, co-brand, or in any way exploit any part of the Digital Properties other than for internal business use or as specifically permitted in this agreement, without Tradewater’s written consent, or (b) use the Digital Properties in any harmful or illegal manner or interfere with any party’s use or enjoyment of the Digital Properties. You agree to cooperate with Tradewater in causing any of your unauthorized use of the Digital Properties to immediately cease.

Tradewater will take all reasonably necessary steps to investigate suspected violations of this agreement. Tradewater reserves the right to involve and fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities and comply with court orders requesting or directing Tradewater to disclose the identity of anyone engaging in conduct that is believed to violate the law.


Tradewater reserves the right, for any reason whatsoever and without prior notice or liability, to terminate or suspend access to our Digital Properties immediately.

All provisions of the Terms which by their nature should survive termination shall survive any termination of your access rights to the Digital Properties.

Intellectual Property

All Tradewater trademarks (whether registered or unregistered), graphics, logos, designs, page headers and button icons, trade dress, and other works of authorship are the intellectual property of Tradewater and neither they nor any confusingly similar versions may be used by you.

Minimum Age

By agreeing to these Terms, you represent that you are at least 13 years of age.

Privacy Policy

Tradewater will protect your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy. By using this Website, you agree and accept all of the terms of our Privacy Policy. Our Privacy Policy may be accessed at: tradewater.us/privacy-policy.


Tradewater does not offer refunds.

Tradewater Carbon Credits; How your Payment is Used

Tradewater generates carbon offset credits in accordance with recognized carbon offset protocols established and governed by independent, third-party registries, including the American Carbon Registry and the Verified Carbon Standard (or VERRA) (“Registry” or “Registries”). The carbon offset credits are issued and stored by the applicable Registry and each offset credit, once issued, has a unique and distinct serial number.

When you make an order and payment to Tradewater, the corresponding number of credits are identified for retirement. Tradewater then retires the identified number of credits on a Registry. The serial number corresponding to the retired credits is entered into Tradewater’s internal tracking system, linked to your payment, and that concludes the process.

What you will receive in return for your payment

Within one business day of receipt of your payment, you will receive an email confirming your order and payment (“Confirmation Email”).

You will subsequently receive a second email informing you that your credits are retired (“Retirement Email”). It is expected that this will occur within one week following payment. The Retirement Email will confirm that your payment led to the retirement of a specific number of carbon offset credits, and it will identify each credit retired by serial number and carbon offset project.

In some instances, your order will be fulfilled by retiring fractions of one or more carbon offset credits. This would occur if your order included a credit fraction (e.g. you paid to retire 1.5 credits) (“Scenario A”) or if your order was used to fulfill a prior order that included a credit fraction (e.g. the person before you paid to retire 1.3 credits and you paid to retire 10 credits, resulting in a cumulative retirement of 11.3 credits) (“Scenario B”). Under either scenario, three things will occur: (1) the credit fraction portion of your order (either the additional .5 credits you ordered in Scenario A, or the residual .3 credits from the cumulative order in Scenario B) will be retired only after another user subsequently pays to retire credits equal to or in excess of the remaining fraction; (2) the Retirement Email corresponding to your entire order will arrive only after that subsequent fractional retirement; and (3) the Retirement Email will provide the serial number and carbon offset project number for a whole credit, but reference the fraction corresponding to your order (e.g. in Scenario A, you will receive a Retirement Email listing two offset credits and containing two serial numbers, but the second offset credit will reflect that your order was for only a .5 fraction of the second offset credit).

Each serial number and project number provided in a Retirement Email will be traceable to a particular carbon offset registry that you will be able to separately trace through the Registry. You will also be able to request a copy of the retirement certificate (“Retirement Certificate”) issued by the Registry if you send an email request to info@tradewater.us.

Please note that the Retirement Email (or the Retirement Certificate, should you request it) is a representation of the carbon offset credits retired by virtue of your payment. It does not itself have any intrinsic, extrinsic or market value. It is not transferable on Tradewater’s books and records.

Nature of Payment

Please note that although Tradewater’s goal and programs are designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment, Tradewater is not a public charity and payments to Tradewater do not constitute tax deductible charitable donations.

Disclaimer and Limited Liability

EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS, TRADEWATER MAKES NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER IMPLIED OR EXPRESS, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE (this disclaimer may not apply in your state). All our estimates regarding the quantity of carbon credits or emissions reductions represented by your payment are estimates only and subject to change.

In no event shall either Tradewater be liable to you for indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages of any kind, including, without limitation, loss of revenues or profits. In no event shall Tradewater be liable for any failure to perform to the extent caused by or resulting from any cause or circumstance beyond its reasonable control and which, by the exercise of due diligence, it could not have reasonably prevented or overcome. All damages shall be limited to and shall in no event exceed $100.

Your sole and exclusive remedy for dissatisfaction with the Digital Properties and the carbon offset credits offered through this Website is to stop using the Digital Properties.


To the maximum extent permitted by law, you shall indemnify Tradewater, its subsidiaries, affiliates, licensors, service providers, content providers, employees, agents, officers, and directors from and against all third-party claims, liabilities and expenses, including legal fees and costs, relating to your use of the Website or your breach of any representation or obligation contained in this agreement. Tradewater reserves the right, in its sole discretion and at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any claim for which you are obligated to provide indemnification under this section. You shall fully cooperate as reasonably required in the defense of any claim.

Governing Law

These Terms will be interpreted, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, U.S.A. without regard to its provisions governing conflicts of laws.

Dispute Resolution/Arbitration

Any dispute arising under these Terms, the Tradewater Privacy Policy, the use of the Website or Digital Properties shall be subject to mandatory arbitration in Chicago, Illinois, in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association, and the arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties. However, in such arbitration, the arbitrator shall not have the authority to vary these Terms.

You acknowledge and agree that you and Tradewater are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class action or representative proceeding. Further, unless both you and Tradewater otherwise agree in writing, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims and may not otherwise preside over any form of any class or representative proceeding.


We reserve the right to make changes to these Terms. We will inform you of any material changes to these Terms by posting on our Website. By continuing to access or use our Website after those revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised Terms.

All information included on the web pages or pop-ups linked to in these Terms is incorporated into these Terms by this reference, with the same effect as though fully set forth herein.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us at info@tradewater.us.


Emission reductions are considered permanent if they are not reversible. In some projects, such as forestry or soil preservation, carbon offset credits are issued based upon the volume of CO2 that will be sequestered over future decades—but human actions and natural processes such as forest fires, disease, and soil tillage can disrupt those projects. When that happens, the emission reductions claimed by the project are reversed.

The destruction of halocarbon does not carry this risk. All destruction activities in Tradewater’s projects are conducted pursuant to the Montreal Protocol , which requires “a destruction process” that “results in the permanent transformation, or decomposition of all or a significant portion of such substances.” Specifically, the destruction facilities Tradewater uses must meet or exceed the recommendations of the UN Technology & Economic Assessment Panel , which approves certain technologies to destroy halocarbons, including the requirement that the technology achieve a 99.99% or higher “destruction and removal efficiency.” Simply put, this means that Tradewater’s technologies ensure that over 99.99% of the chemicals are permanently destroyed. During the destruction process, a continuous emission monitoring system is used to ensure full destruction of the ODS collected.


Some carbon offset projects necessarily rely on estimations or assumptions when calculating the emission reductions from project activities. Forestry projects, where developers make assumptions about the carbon that will be sequestered over future decades if trees are conserved, are a perfect example. Such projects sometimes result in an overestimation of the environmental benefit of the project.

Tradewater’s halocarbon projects avoid the issue of overestimation by consistently conducting extremely precise testing and measurement of the amount of refrigerant destroyed in each project.

  • Every container of ODS that Tradewater destroys is weighed by a third-party using regularly calibrated scales. The ODS is then sampled by a third-party and analyzed by an accredited refrigerant laboratory to determine its species and purity. These two steps combine to ensure that credits are issued only for the precise volume and type of refrigerant destroyed.
  • The destruction facilities that Tradewater uses continuously monitor the incineration process during destruction events to ensure that over 99.99% of the ODS is destroyed. This monitoring is mandated by regulatory protocols and is part of the verification process to which projects are subjected.
  • Tradewater accounts for the project emissions created during the collection, transport, and destruction of ODS, and the number of offsets issued is reduced by a corresponding amount. The protocols that we use also build in other reductions to account for substitute chemicals that will be used to replace the destroyed refrigerants. Tradewater publishes this information in the documentation for all its ODS destruction projects. These documents outline how the material was obtained, the project emissions calculations, the test results, and the amount and type of ODS chemicals destroyed, among other information.
  • Additionality

    It is a basic requirement of all carbon offset projects that the underlying project activities are additional. “Additional” means that the projects would not happen in the absence of a carbon market. Tradewater’s halocarbon projects simply would not happen – and the gases would be left to escape into the atmosphere – without the sale of the resulting carbon offset credits. This is because there is no mandate to collect and destroy these gases. It is still permissible to buy, sell, and use halocarbons that were produced before the ban. There are other reasons halocarbon destruction projects are additional:

    • There are no incentives or financial mechanisms to encourage halocarbon destruction. According to the International Energy Agency and United Nations Environment Program, “there is rarely funding nor incentive” to recover and destroy ozone depleting substances in storage tanks and discarded equipment. And collecting, transporting, and destroying halocarbons is time-intensive and expensive. The burden to collect and destroy these gases therefore remains prohibitive outside of carbon offset markets—meaning that if organizations like Tradewater do not do this work, nobody else will.
    • Countries are not focused on the need to collect and destroy halocarbons. The Montreal Protocol has been celebrated as a success because of its production ban. This success, however, ignores the legacy gases produced before the ban and is a blind spot for government regulators. In the U.S., for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a Vintaging Model in the 1990s to estimate the quantify of ozone depleting substances left in circulation. Based on the inputs and assumptions put into the model, the EPA predicted that no CFCs would be available for recovery beyond 2020 in the United States. But this prediction did not prove accurate. Tradewater has collected and destroyed more than 1.5 million pounds of CFCs globally in recent years and continues to identify thousands of pounds per week.
    • International carbon accounting standards do not require corporations to measure or track emissions tied to halocarbons, and refrigerants are specifically excluded from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) commitments. These commitments derive from emissions reporting under the GHG Protocol, which requires companies to report on emissions only from new generation refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but does not establish any obligation to report inventories or emissions of refrigerants still in use, such as CFCs and HCFCs. All these factors combine to make Tradewater’s carbon offset projects highly additional. As Giving Green, an initiative of IDinsight, concluded: “Tradewater would not exist without the offset market, so this element of additionality is clearly achieved.” The case for additionality is not so clear for some other project types, such as forestry and landfill gas carbon projects. For example, some forests are already being conserved for their beauty, or for use as parks, and generate carbon offset credits only because those conservation efforts do not yet have full formal protection in place to avoid deforestation in the future. Similarly, methane from landfills can be used to make electricity or captured as compressed natural gas, thereby creating additional revenue streams to support the activities, beyond the sale of carbon credits.