Earth Day Initiatives Promote Practical Action on Climate Change
Bethesda, MD. April 19, 2006 — Calvert, the nation’s largest family of socially responsible mutual funds, announced today that it is going ‘Carbon Neutral’ for Earth Day. This means that the company will offset its office carbon dioxide emissions, a key contributor to climate change.
This year, Calvert will offset 1,485,000 kWh of its annual electric energy usage through Carbonfund, and through this offset, will support an array of renewable energy projects throughout the nation. “The program is a powerful way to translate one’s commitment towards a better energy future,” said Lily Donge, a Social Research Analyst at Calvert. “Calvert is doing a lot to mitigate climate change – through our advocacy and dialogue with companies, our involvement with other investors on climate risk, and now through offsetting our own electricity footprint.”
This carbon neutral initiative is just one part of a multi-faceted strategy Calvert has created to address the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change. Calvert released today a web-based special report: “Turning Up the Heat on Climate Change” that outlines Calvert efforts to address climate change. These efforts include research and advocacy with companies to raise awareness about the risks and opportunities presented by climate change and Calvert investments in companies with alternative energy projects. To read the report, go to www.calvert.com/climate.html.
To implement the carbon neutral program, Calvert partnered with Silver Spring, MD, based non-profit Carbonfund.org. Calvert is also encouraging employees and shareholders to calculate their carbon footprint, reduce their emissions, and offset the remainder by going carbon neutral themselves.
In this special report, Calvert provides a carbon calculator and a link to allow individuals to contribute to Carbonfund.org to retire renewable energy credits to offset their own emissions. Calvert also provides a practical list of actions each individual can take to reduce their energy consumption. In addition, Calvert is also encouraging shareholders to write Congress to support federal legislation to address climate change and to write to leading companies to congratulate them on taking steps to mitigate their impacts.
“Calvert continuously looks for ways to involve shareholders in making a difference in the world,” said Paul Hilton, Calvert’s Director of SRI marketing. “That’s why we needed to go beyond offsetting our own emissions and give our shareholders a way to learn about the issue and take action. In this way we can help create a community of change.”
Carbon offsets - also called renewable energy certificates or ‘green tags’ – enable individuals and businesses to offset the emissions they are responsible for in their normal activities, like home, office, driving or air travel emissions. For instance, a clean, carbon-free wind farm can offset the carbon dioxide produced by a coal-fired power plant that powers a home. Carbonfund.org is a non-profit organization whose goal is to make carbon offsets and climate protection easy, affordable and a normal way of life for every individual and business.
“Calvert is a respected investment industry leader, and we are very pleased that Calvert is taking this important step with Carbonfund.org,” said Lesley Marcus Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “Climate change is happening now, and will have a major impact on investment decisions throughout the world. The fact that Calvert is taking this step to lead by example and educate is tremendous.”
Calvert, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is best known as a leader in the field of social investing, celebrating 30 years of helping investors reach their financial goals. Calvert manages thirty-two mutual funds with over $12 billion in assets under management. In 2000, Calvert created the Calvert Social Index™, a benchmark for measuring the performance of large, U.S.-based socially responsible companies.
Carbonfund.org reduces the threat of climate change by making it easy and affordable for any individual or business to reduce their carbon footprint and support climate-friendly projects. With its easy-to-use calculator, low offset cost per ton of CO2, and certified offset projects, Carbonfund.org is proving that anyone can reduce their impact on climate change easily and efficiently. Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization, and a member of the EPA’s Green Power Network, the Chicago Climate Exchange and Ceres.