ACCO Membership Terms & Policies
This page outlines ACCO’s membership policies and benefits. ACCO reserves the right to update and/or amend the contents of this document at any time. Click here to download a printable version of this document. If you have questions or require additional information, please contact ACCO Executive Director Daniel Kreeger at dkreeger@ACCOonline.org.
ACCO Membership Agreement
To commence or renew your Membership, a primary contact must sign or execute the ACCO Membership Application. Execution of the ACCO membership application represents a binding contract with ACCO for annual membership. The application must be signed each year to signal the member organization’s official agreement to renew and to avoid the suspension of benefits or cancellation of the membership. ACCO will issue an invoice for payment upon receipt of the executed sponsorship application. Membership becomes effective upon the date signed. Payment is due upon the effective date and must be paid within 30 days.
The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) was founded in August 2008 and incorporated in Washington, DC in January 2009. In April 2012, ACCO amended its articles of incorporation and was re-established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
ACCO’s mission is to advance the knowledge and skills of those dedicated to developing and directing climate change strategies in the public and private sectors, and to establish a flexible and robust forum for collaboration between climate change officers. We also work to:
- Assist in developing, promoting and implementing best practices and standards in the private and public sectors regarding climate change strategies;
- Educate industry and government on the importance of employing qualified professionals, developing sound organizational structures and inducing culture change at all levels; and
- Provide a forum for the exchange and enhancement of best practices, industry standards, and innovation in the area of greenhouse gas management.
ACCO provides members with an extensive set of programmatic activities designed to support and enhance their knowledge, collaboration, and action on climate change issues. Current member benefits are posted at:
Multi-Year Membership Commitments and Discounts
Gold and silver organizational members can sign up for multi-year membership and receive a discount. Discounts are available for 2-year and 3-year commitments, and payments can be made either up front or in annual installments.
Membership Term Length
2 Years (Save 10%)
3 Years (Save 20%)
For 2-year commitments paid in installments, the member will be invoiced the full amount in year 1 and the aggregate discount for the 2 years will be applied in year 2.
For 3-year commitments paid in installments, the member will be invoiced the full amount in year 1, 1/3 of the aggregate discount for the 3 years will be applied in year 2, and the remaining 2/3 of the aggregate discount for the 3 years will be applied in year 3.
Organizational Membership Eligibility
ACCO is dedicated to working with business to achieve a just and sustainable world. We pursue our mission in part through an open membership policy, which makes all organizations interested in improving their approach to climate change response strategies, regardless of sector, location, or other factors, eligible to join ACCO. ACCO does not set a standard for climate change mitigation or adaptation performance that must be achieved as a condition of membership.
Private foundations and government entities who provide at least $10,000 in funding annually to ACCO will be granted basic organizational membership status for the duration of the funding/grant.
Benefits and features of membership are restricted to direct employees of the organization and are not available to members of the organization, as the following examples illustrate:
- Academic Institutions: ACCO features and benefits are only available to faculty and other direct employees of the school and are not available to students or alumni. Passwords and access to benefits may not be shared in any context.
- NGO and Other Membership-Based Organizations: ACCO features and benefits are restricted to employees of the organization and may not be shared with members of the association. Passwords and access to benefits may not be shared in any context.
ACCO management reserves the right to refuse entry into the membership should it deem the organization to be inconsistent with its mission.
Individual Membership Slot Allocation for Organizational Members (added February 2013; modified in January 2017)
Any bronze, silver or gold organizational member may allocate up to two (2) individual membership slots provided under their organizational package to people in external and/or unrelated organizations under the following conditions:
- A membership slot may not be allocated to an employee of a consultancy or professional service firm, or any independent consultant. In essence, this slot may only be allocated to an employee of a non-consulting corporate entity, government entity or academic institution. Employees of NGOs will be considered on a case-by-case basis;
- Any such request is subject to the approval of ACCO's executive director or board of directors;
- An organization may only be the recipient of one individual membership slot for a maximum of one year. After that point, that organization must join ACCO as an organizational member (or the individual must join as an individual member) in order to enjoy ACCO member benefits.
- The individual who is allocated the membership slot will get the benefits of ACCO individual membership (not the benefits of the organizational package from which that slot originated). For example, if a gold member assigns one of its slots to an individual at another organization, that individual will not be able to attend ACCO events for free as though he/she was a gold member.
Membership for Individuals and Sole Proprietors
ACCO also offers individual memberships to climate practitioners in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community. There are no restrictions to eligibility for membership .
Membership dues must be paid in advance and in full and are non-refundable. Non-payment of membership dues constitutes a breach of contract and will result in immediate cancellation of membership.
ACCO accepts payment by checks in U.S. funds drawn on U.S. financial institutions (made payable to "ACCO" or "Association of Climate Change Officers"), electronic funds transfer, or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express—processing fee applies). Payment in non-U.S. currencies is accepted only by wire transfer.
ACCO Member Dues: Charitable Contributions
ACCO is incorporated in Washington, D.C. as a 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofit organization, The following guidelines apply to members interested in claiming their annual membership dues as a tax-exempt charitable contribution:
- Gold – $5,000
- Silver – $2,500
- Bronze – $1,250
- Basic – not eligible
- Individual – not eligible
Sponsorship credit is provided to organizational members in the bronze, silver and gold categories. Sponsorship credit may be applied toward ACCO events and publications as follows:
- ACCO Wholly Owned Events: These events, produced and administered solely by ACCO, are eligible for usage of sponsorship credit.
- ACCO Partner Events: These events, in which ACCO shares financial responsibility and/or revenues with other organizations, are not eligible for the traditional usage of the sponsorship credit. Alternatively, a reduced credit can be used per the guidelines below.
If ACCO does not receive a signed sponsorship application from a member company during the member year, any unused balance/credit will automatically expire at the end of the membership year and will not roll over into the new member year.
Dedicated research and synthesis resources are provided to organizational members in the silver and gold categories. Research credit may be applied toward projects deemed to be consistent with ACCO’s mission and capabilities. In order to apply research credits, members should execute the research request form and submit to members@ACCOonline.org.
If ACCO does not receive an executed research request form from a member company during the member year, any unused balance/credit will automatically expire at the end of the membership year and will not roll over into the new member year.
Participation in Peer Exchanges, Solutions Groups and Grant-Funded Initiatives
All ACCO members are eligible to participate in ACCO's peer exchanges, solutions groups and grant-funded initiatives. Non-members may be invited to participate by ACCO’s executive director. "ACCO solutions groups" are defined as ACCO-sponsored and led multi-organization efforts to understand, analyze, and take action on an issue or climate practitioner concern. Invitations to participate are extended based on a consensus of ACCO leadership, group chairs/co-chairs and current members.
Peer exchanges are formed when a group of at least four (4) ACCO members request establishment of a group aimed at facilitating regular exchanges of knowledge, experiences and resources in an informal, but safe and neutral environmental.
Opportunities to participate in grant-funded initiatives vary from year to year.
When a parent company joins ACCO, membership dues are based on the annual revenues of the parent company and all its subsidiaries. The benefits of the parent company’s membership will be applied to direct employees of that parent company and may be shared with employees within any fully owned subsidiaries.
A subsidiary company may join ACCO independently of the parent company in selected circumstances; the parent company does not need to be anACCO member. Membership dues for the subsidiary are based on the annual revenues of the subsidiary as identified in audited financial statements. The features and benefits of the subsidiary’s membership are restricted to employees of that subsidiary and may not be shared with employees of the parent company.
With the exception of government entities, ACCO membership may not be held by individual branches, brands, business units, committees, franchises, sectors, departments, functional groups, operating groups, divisions, or sales offices without express consent of ACCO. ACCO considers and allows exceptions to this policy where there is strong evidence that a 1) global parent membership will be considered in the future, and/or 2) the operating unit presents a significant opportunity to create positive impact through a relationship with ACCO.
Definitions of Terms Used in this Document
- COMPANY: A privately owned or publicly traded business entity engaged in legal commerce for the profit of shareholders and/or owners. Companies are defined as corporations or limited liability partnerships (LLP’s) with more than 50 employees.
- PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FIRMS: Definition: A professional services firm is an organization whose primary function is the rendering of services such as: accountants, actuaries, appraisers, architects, attorneys, business consultants, business development managers, copywriters, engineers, law firms, public relations professionals, recruiters, researchers, real estate brokers, carbon and REC traders, renewable energy project developers, etc.
While not limited to licentiates (individuals holding professional licenses), if the nature of the professional activity is construed by ACCO management to be consistent with those of a professional services firm (or its employees), then the prospective member must abide by the guidelines established above regarding eligible categories of membership.
- HEADQUARTERS: The main office of a company; implies the existence of a branch or operation reporting to it. Also called head office.
- BRANCH: A secondary location of a company reporting to a main office called headquarters. Branches carry the same name as their headquarters and can report only to them. Branches are not considered subsidiaries.
- PARENT: A company with more than 50 percent of the voting stock of another company or corporation (the subsidiary), therefore fully or partially controlling the subsidiary. Parent companies may include conglomerates.
- SUBSIDIARY: A separately registered company with more than 50 percent of its voting stock owned by another company (the parent), therefore either fully or partially controlled or owned by that other company, and the revenues, profits, and losses of which are absorbed by the controlling (parent) company. Subsidiaries may include geographic locations of a company’s operations as well as joint ventures.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In the event that a member company merges with or acquires another member company during the membership year, each company will retain separate memberships until the earliest renewal date for either company. For professional services firms, membership dues for the new, merged organization will be due based on the total revenues of the merged organization. No credit will be given for outstanding months of the later renewing organization’s membership dues.
All relevant parent/subsidiary rules apply to the merged organization.
- EARLIEST RENEWAL DATE: Of the renewal dates for the merged companies, the renewal date which falls earliest in the calendar year.
A subsidiary and its parent company may each hold individual memberships; the subsidiary is not required to relinquish its membership should its parent company join.
- PARENT COMPANY MEMBERSHIP ABSORBS SUBSIDIARY’S EXISTING MEMBERSHIP: If a parent company joins after a subsidiary is already an ACCO member, and the subsidiary does not wish to maintain its own membership, the parent may receive an adjustment on the amount of its first year membership dues. This adjustment will be valued at 50 percent of the subsidiary’s paid dues less sponsorship credits included in the membership package, prorated based on the remaining months of the subsidiary’s existing membership. The adjustment will be made at the time the parent company joins.
- PARENT MEMBERSHIP REMAINS DISTINCT FROM SUBSIDIARY’S MEMBERSHIP: Where a subsidiary desires its own primary contact and direct access to ACCO staff expertise, the subsidiary’s membership must hold its own membership, separate from that of its parent company. If a subsidiary chooses to maintain its own membership separate from the parent, then no sequential membership discount may be given to the parent as described above.
Annual membership dues for a subsidiary wishing to retain its membership after the parent company has subscribed as an ACCO member will be 50 percent of the normal dues rate at the basic organizational level, and 75% of the normal dues rate at the bronze, silver and gold levels. This special subsidiary annual membership dues discount applies regardless of whether or not the parent or subsidiary was the initial member.
Individual Membership Eligibility
Employees of companies (except professional services firms), academic institutions, government entities and non-profit organizations actively engaged in the climate change profession are eligible to join ACCO as individual members based on the criteria below. ACCO retains the right to review individual member candidacy on a case-by-case basis to ensure that membership would be mutually beneficial for the individual, ACCO, and ACCO’s members.
Student membership in ACCO is not currently available except with the approval of ACCO’s executive director (reserved for students conducting research and support work for ACCO).
Terms of Membership
The following policies apply to all memberships.
Membership in ACCO is not an endorsement by ACCO of the member’s policies or practices. Members may not use a statement regarding ACCO membership as an endorsement.
ACCO does not contribute to, endorse, lobby, or in any way support political candidates or specific pieces of legislation.
Non-Solicitation and Business Development Policy
ACCO members may not engage in commercial solicitation or distribute mass communication of any kind to other ACCO members. ACCO will place significant weight on other members' concerns and complaints when making the judgment that solicitation has taken place.
ACCO reserves the right to suspend or cancel membership related to violations of this policy.
Use of ACCO Name and Logo Policy
The ACCO logo and word mark are proprietary and may not be used without permission, nor may they be used as a statement of endorsement.
Paid members in good standing may include the ACCO logo, a statement of membership, and/or a link to the ACCO website (www.ACCOonline.org) on their company’s website only with prior approval from ACCO’s executive director or under special circumstances as defined by ACCO (such as under a Conference Sponsorship agreement).
To obtain permission to use ACCO’s word mark or logo, please contact dkreeger@ACCOonline.org. The ACCO logo and word mark may not be used by members after membership expiration or cancellation.
ACCO respects the privacy and confidentiality of personal information and does not rent, sell, give, exchange, or otherwise share personally identifiable information with other individuals or organizations. ACCO’s membership database and mailing lists will remain confidential and never be shared or sold to third parties.
ACCO’s practice is to make its organizational member list public, and as such, ACCO reserves the right to publish the names of member companies and individual members’ employers in ACCO and external communications, including publicizing new member companies via social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter). Members who wish to opt out of these disclosures, and/or make their memberships confidential, may do so by contactingdkreeger@ACCOonline.org.
ACCO will include contact details for the primary contact of each member company in our Member Directory, which is only available online to paid members in good standing. To "opt-out" from inclusion in this directory, please contact dkreeger@ACCOonline.org.
ACCO will deliver selected member benefits to members via email including various publications and invitations to events. ACCO assures that members will receive no more than 5 special communications per month beyond the standard member benefits, except in special and/or unique circumstances.
Current ACCO organizational members are publicly posted online at www.ACCOonline.org. To "opt-out" of the public member list, please contact dkreeger@ACCOonline.org.
For new members, the Membership Year is a twelve-month period that begins the month immediately after the effective date on the signed Membership Agreement. For example, if ACCO receives a signed Membership Agreement on the 12th of May, the membership year begins June 1st of that year, and ends on May 30th of the following year.
For renewing memberships, the Membership Year is a twelve-month period that begins on the 1st day in the month the company originally joined ACCO, and ends the last day of the 12th month from that date. For example, if the membership year ends on June 30th, the renewal date is July 1st. The membership year does not change regardless of the actual payment date.
ACCO designates one person at each Member Company to be the "Primary Contact," generally the person who initiated the membership or who acts as the key decision-maker regarding the company’s membership. A member organization may have more than one Primary Contact if necessary. The Primary Contact receives communication from ACCO about maintenance and management of the membership and is the person responsible for executing the membership renewal application each year to officially notify ACCO of the organization’s intentions to renew. Primary contacts will also be responsible for usage of sponsorship credits and dedicated research resources included in ACCO organizational membership packages.
- RENEWAL NOTICE: A Membership Agreement will be issued 45 days prior to the renewal date to notify the Member organization of its impending renewal date. Upon return of a signed membership renewal application, an invoice will be issued. Payment is due within 30 days of receipt of invoice.
- DUES OBLIGATIONS: If the Member organization desires to change its membership category during the course of the member year, it may be appropriate to adjust the dues obligation. This adjustment is performed during the renewal process. ACCO does not refund Member Dues during the course of a member year. To determine the appropriate dues level, please refer to the dues chart on the renewal notice or contact ACCO’s executive director.
Professional service firms who experience a substantial change in annual revenues may adjust their membership category accordingly. However, changes in membership categories will be applied at the renewal stage. Adequate support for the change in revenues must be supplied as detailed in the Annual Membership Dues section above.
Cancellation of Membership
The following are valid reasons for cancellation of ACCO Membership:
- The Member, at the conclusion of any membership year, may cancel membership by contacting ACCO or electing not to sign the Membership Agreement for the renewal year.
- If the Member fails to sign the renewal Membership Agreement within 30 days following the renewal date, ACCO will cancel Membership Benefits.
- If a Member submits a signed Membership Renewal Application but fails to submit payment against the invoice within 30 of the invoice date, ACCO will cancel Membership Benefits.
- ACCO reserves the right to cancel a membership if a Member organization violates ACCO’s Membership Policies and Benefits.
Alternative Membership Dues Payment Methods
- IN-KIND MEMBERSHIP: An exchange of products or services by the member for equivalent value of membership dues.
Member organizations may pay their annual membership dues with "in-kind" contributions at the discretion of ACCO. In-kind payments must be approved annually by ACCO.
Contact Member Services
For comments or questions about ACCO’s Membership Policies and Benefits, please contact ACCO’s executive director at dkreeger@ACCOonline.org or call +1 202.496.7390.