On Tuesday, Biogen, one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies, announced that it has achieved operational carbon neutrality.  This important sustainability milestone was reached through a multi-year initiative to reduce carbon emissions from global operations and by investing in environmental projects to offset the remaining carbon emissions that could not be eliminated from business activities, including emissions from its suppliers’ operations, employee commuting and business travel. 

The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, philanthropy and diversity are highlighted in its 2014 annual Corporate Citizenship Report, which Biogen also released on Tuesday. 

To achieve carbon neutrality, Biogen has reduced carbon emissions through: 

  • Investments in sustainable technologies and highly efficient facilities and manufacturing processes including energy-efficient heating and cooling, power through co-generation, and advanced distribution systems to conserve water.
  • Coordination with its top suppliers to help manage their overall environmental impact and encourage regular reporting of their energy usage and carbon emissions in order to set and meet reduction targets. Currently, about 70 percent of the carbon emissions associated with Biogen’s business comes from its suppliers.
  • Investments in programs that fund wind, solar and low-impact hydroelectric power in the United States, Denmark, and Switzerland. Biogen is also investing in landfill gas projects that take naturally occurring methane gas and use it to produce energy.

Biogen followed the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard methodology, the most widely used international accounting tool for quantifying and managing carbon emissions, in calculating carbon emissions from its global operations.  These calculations were validated by third-party auditors to confirm Biogen’s statement of carbon neutrality. 

Biogen’s leadership in operational sustainability has received numerous and wide-reaching recognition.  Earlier this month, Biogen achieved the number one ranking on the Newsweek list of “Top Green Companies in the World 2015,”.   In January, Biogen was also named the most sustainable company in the world on the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 list, and was named the biotechnology Industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World last October.  

Carbonfund.org Foundation is proud to continue to partner with Biogen in achievement of its milestone carbon neutrality goals.  

New Carbonfree®Business Partner Pacifica Beauty is a 100% vegan, cruelty-free natural beauty company committed to creating effective products that meet the highest beauty standards, while using natural ingredients and focusing on sustainable packaging and practices.  Guided by compassion, the team at Pacifica treats women, animals and the planet with love and respect. 

To enhance this commitment, Pacifica recently calculated its estimated annual operating emissions, including office energy usage, business travel, employee community and paper usage.  In order to neutralize the negative impact of its annual emissions, Pacifica made a donation to Carbonfund.org to support reforestation and forest preservation projects around the world.   

“Our company was founded with a belief that if compassion is our number one business practice, we have to be good stewards of the earth,” explains Brook Harvey-Taylor, President of Pacifica.  “We chose to work with Carbonfund.org as they are one of the most respected carbon partners in the industry.  They also make the process of becoming carbon neutral simple, clear and direct.”

Pacifica’s commitment to 100% vegan products also demonstrates a commitment to operating more sustainably.  The company focuses on using recyclable materials in all packaging as well as natural ingredients in their products.  These measures and their use of carbon offsets and clean energy to neutralize operating emissions, and to promote educational efforts to fight climate change, set Pacifica apart as a leader in the sustainable beauty products business.

 

Monday, 08 June 2015 19:24

Healthy Goods Celebrate Fifth Year Carbonfree®

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The folks at Healthy Goods have a passion for healthy living. Their mission has always been to find the highest quality, naturopathic, herbal, and whole-food supplements that support the body's innate wisdom to heal. Seeking out the best nutrient-dense, raw, certified-organic, and Non-GMO superfoods from exotic locations around the world, Healthy Goods brings its customers better health the way nature intended - from food.

Healthy Goods is located in Central Oregon, where its warehouse sits nestled between mountain ranges, forests, rivers, lakes, and high desert terrain. It is the perfect location for the adventure-loving, eco-conscious, and health focused team to find inspiration.

Healthy Goods also believes that its responsibility to customer health goes beyond the products it offers. This year, Healthy Goods celebrates its fifth year as a member of the Carbonfree® Business Partnership Program, offsetting the carbon footprint of delivering products to its customers.  

Years ago, the Healthy Goods team recognized that their healthy diet options often came from distant lands, thus increasing the carbon footprint due to packaging materials and shipping emissions.  In order to reduce these emissions, Healthy Goods took several steps to reuse and recycle shipping cartons and packing materials wherever possible, use recycled paper tape for sealing shipments and recyclable fill materials instead of bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts.  Then, to neutralize the remaining shipping emissions, Healthy Goods joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program five years ago.  The Carbonfree® Partner program makes it simple and affordable for Healthy Goods to mitigate its remaining operational emissions, including all shipping emissions and all employee commuting emissions, on an annual basis.       

"As individuals, we're extremely excited about the locavore movement. But since Healthy Goods specializes in superfoods that are typically grown in exotic places, our company hasn't been able to participate,” explains Tom Burke, CEO of Healthy Goods.  “By purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org, we're able to import and deliver our foods to the ultimate consumer carbon-free. Our products now have a smaller carbon footprint than foods delivered by farmers to the local farmers' market!"

Healthy Goods also participates in their power company’s Blue SkySM Renewable Energy program, which supports a blend of 100% Pacific Northwest renewable resources from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  This initiative further neutralizes Healthy Goods’ annual operational emissions, and together with the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, underscores Healthy Goods’ leadership position as a truly sustainable provider of healthy raw vegan foods, supplements and personal care products. 

A good wealth management firm helps its clients get their financial house in order - a great one makes sure its own house is in order, and is accountable to clients and to operational sustainability as well.  New Carbonfree® Business Partner Waymark Wealth Management, located in Westborough, MA, does just this.  The firm made the commitment to neutralize its estimated annual operating emissions by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program earlier this year and supporting Carbonfund.org’s forest preservation projects around the world.

The values based independent wealth management firm helps individuals and families align their personal values with their investments and financial decisions.  The firm also works to minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible.  Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sean Fair participated in the NYC People’s Climate March in 2014 with many other investment companies to show the need for the investment community to take the lead on investing in a sustainable manner.  The staff strives to operate as paperless as possible, and use recycled and 100% wind powered generated paper products when required.  The company car is electric, and this year, the firm is starting an annual golf tournament to support the local land trust.

“We are all a part of a very delicate and often times misunderstood ecosystem,” expresses Sean Fair, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Waymark Wealth Management.  “Environmental and social stewardship must be a priority for everyone if this world is to become the place we all want for our children and future generations.  Simply shirking ownership or kicking the proverbial can down the road is no longer an option.  We want to help people understand that with every dollar you spend whether it is at the grocery store, buying clothes, the car you drive or money invested in the stock market, you are essentially giving those companies “votes of approval” for how they do business.” 

“If we all want sustainability then we need to make sure that we are investing and spending our money with companies that are helping the world achieve that goal.  To that end, we are proud to partner with a great non-profit like Carbonfund.org to make sure our company is helping do its part.”

Summer is fast approaching, and as temperatures climb and everyone heads to the beaches, thoughts turn to the delights of creamy, cool summer ice creams.  New Carbonfree® Business Partner Beachy Cream is helping to satiate ice cream lovers through its store in Santa Monica and through grocery stores and restaurants in the broader southern California area.  Beachy Cream manufactures and sells only certified organic ice cream, all of which is made in small batches, with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, such as dairy products from Straus Family Creamery and produce from the local farmer’s markets.

This year, Beachy Cream made the important decision to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, to expand on its responsibilities as a Certified Santa Monica Green Business and to neutralize 36 metric tonnes of operating emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction, clean energy and forestry preservation projects.

“At Beachy Cream, we are committed to organic because we believe it is the best hope our planet has for improving our environment and all living beings,” explains Ann Ryan, CEO and Founder of Beachy Cream.  “We are honored to be partnered with Carbonfund.org and share its vision, values and goal to fight global warming.”

With tempting flavors like Strawberry Balsamic Swirl and Candied Ginger, along with several vegan flavor options and hot dogs, chili, grilled cheese and more at the Santa Monica shop, Beachy Cream is sure to lead the organic ice cream revolution and stand out as a sustainable business operation as well.  Carbonfund.org is pleased to welcome Beachy Cream to the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program.    

Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A), an architectural, interior design and planning practice headquartered in Cambridge, MA with over three decades of service to its clients and community, attributes much of its success and cultural alignment with the green building movement. In 2000, TK&A joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to enhance and expand the firm’s expertise and became an early adopter of pursuing Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their clients’ projects, including the first LEED certified buildings on the campuses of Washington University, Boston College and a LEED Core & Shell (CS) Pilot Project. In 2009, TK&A joined “A Better City,” a consortium of Boston-area businesses whose goal is to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through their “Challenge for Sustainability” program.  TK&A engaged in the program and has taken the steps to initiate annual reporting of its own business operations through a Corporate Social & Environmental Responsibility Report, including a detailed accounting and neutralization of the firm’s annual operational carbon emissions, in partnership with Carbonfund.org.

Since 2011, TK&A’s firm-wide carbon emissions offset program has resulted in a balancing of 1,877 metric tonnes (MTs) – over 4 million pounds - of CO2 emissions from its operations (504 MTs in 2014). The emissions neutralization program has had the same positive environmental impact as planting 48,000 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.

TK&A plans to continue tracking and offsetting operational emissions while simultaneously engaging staff to help reduce the firm’s impacts on the planet, engaging staff in daily mindfulness of sustainable behaviors that benefit the business and their practice.  These efforts culminated in The City of Cambridge awarding TK&A two “Go-Green” awards in 2012 in the Large Business Category for “Transportation” and “Climate Change.”

Carbonfund.org congratulates Tsoi/Kobus & Associates on its progressive positions on operational sustainability and reporting, and for continuing to achieve Carbonfree® business operations.

 

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) announced its first ever Carbon Emission Offsets Sponsor—Intacct—for the 15NTC (Nonprofit Technology Conference) this past March in Austin, Texas.  Through the generous sponsorship of Intacct, and partnership with Carbonfund.org, NTEN was able to offset the impact of 971 metric tonnes of CO2 produced by the event’s activities. 

This is a big number, but what does it mean? 

The effects of 971 metric tonnes (2.14 million pounds) of CO2e are equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by: 

  • 204 passenger vehicles - or
  • 348 tons of waste sent to the landfill - or
  • 88.6 homes' energy use for one year - or
  • 109,261 gallons of gasoline consumed 

"We believe that as conveners putting on large annual events to bring our diverse community together, it's important to make sustainability a part of our planning process and culture, especially as many of NTEN's members are environmental organizations," explains Eileigh Doineau, Development Manager for NTEN.  "When thousands of people come to our events, the food, travel, and hotel room turnover generates an immense amount of carbon emissions. It's really important to us to show our community that we're doing our part to mitigate those effects."

With Intacct’s event emissions offset donation, Carbonfund.org purchased and retired third-party validated carbon offsets on the behalf of NTEN.  The CO2 emitted from 15NTC through attendee and staff travel, hotel nights, and meals was neutralized through the purchase of carbon credits that support forestry preservation and replanting projects in Texas and other parts of the Southern United States.

 Carbonfund.org thanks both NTEN and Intacct for making 15NTC a Carbonfree® Event and for setting an example for other environmentally responsible conference and event organizers.  

Earth Day 2015 is here!

Celebrate with Carbonfund.org by supporting our latest forest preservation and biodiversity conservation project, the Envira Amazonia Project. Located in the far-western state of Acre, Brazil, the Envira Amazonia Project will conserve almost 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of fragile rainforest, protect thousands of plant and animal species, including many that are threatened and endangered, and provide forest conservation education, jobs and training, economic benefits, and health and education enhancements for the local people living on the land.

The Envira Amazonia Project is one of the world’s largest REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries) projects, and the project now is slated to be among only a handful of projects to earn triple Gold certification from the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) for exceptional community, exceptional biodiversity, and exceptional climate change adaptation benefits.  

In addition, the Envira Amazonia Project will mitigate the release of more than 12.5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, produce the highest quality, third-party validated carbon credits, and ensure that these lands will not be converted to cattle ranches or suffer the ravages of deforestation.

To celebrate Earth Day 2015, we're offering an Adopt and Acre program in Envira Amazonia. Simply make donations in $50 increments for each acre, with a 10-acre minimum, using our "quick donation" field and you'll receive 5 metric tonnes of carbon credits per acre along with contribution to the biodiversity monitoring program, community education and jobs, and the long-term plans to build schools and health clinics.

We're also continuing to offer our Plant-a-Tree Dine-for-Free program for Earth Day celebration donations, if you prefer this option.

Please join us in celebrating spring, Earth Day 2015 and the introduction of our Envira Amazonia Project to our expanding forest preservation work in Brazil.

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