Rare gemstones and beautiful jewelry have long captured the admiration of cultures around the world, but as is often the case, the industries behind highly-prized items such as gems and jewels require energy-intensive and environmentally damaging mining and manufacturing processes.  “Rare Earth Element” mining involves an expensive and protracted process to “find and prove” the source location, develop a mine construction and operation plan, obtain funding, then pursue the permitting for the mine, which will typically require a positive environmental impact study including post-operation mine closure and environmental restoration.

While not able to solve the entire mining industry’s emissions challenges, CarbonFree® Business Partner Sastaa made a commitment six years ago to take responsibility for its own environment impact by neutralizing its operational emissions.  Sastaa is a Dutch import and wholesale business specializing in rubies, sapphires and emeralds. For the past six years, Sastaa as a company and owner Dan Thu Nguyen as a private individual have mitigated annual operational carbon emissions from office energy consumption and business-related travel by supporting Carbonfund.org’s global reforestation projects. 

“A carbon-free commitment is a crucial part of the total commitment to an ethical and healthy life," states Dan Thu.  Sastaa’s example of forward-thinking leadership and assumption of responsibility is characteristic of the long-term CarbonFree® Business Partners we will be featuring this year.  If your business has not taken steps to institute a meaningful sustainability program that includes carbon emissions mitigation, take a look at our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program for 2013 – a simple and affordable way to help fight the negative impacts of climate change and hasten the transition to a ZeroCarbon™ world.      

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The electronic delivery of software applications, rather than mailing physical DVDs and CDs for manual installation on computing networks and workstations, is an important component to reducing operational emissions.  Recent studies have calculated that replacing traditional distribution of DVD/CD disk kit software with Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) can result in at least an 83% reduction in carbon emissions. 

CarbonFree® Business Partner Kivuto Solutions offers green software distribution solutions through ESD, enabling users to download software and avoid the carbon emissions attributable to product packaging and shipping.   Previously known as e-academy, Kivuto seeks to maximize software availability for organizations by reducing the total cost and environmental impact of software distribution. 

But Kivuto decided it was important to do more and wanted to join the national movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming.  Recognizing that its own operations still created a significant carbon footprint, Kivuto took the proactive step to calculate its annual operational emissions.  Kivuto then chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to mitigate its emissions by supporting Reforestation and Forest Preservation projects that absorb carbon emissions now and for years to come.  

Electronic software delivery may be part of a lower carbon world, but IT systems use a tremendous amount of electricity.  Carbonfund.org encourages companies to follow examples set by business partners such as Kivuto to take the next step towards operational sustainability by supporting carbon sequestration projects, energy efficiency innovation and renewable energy source development. 

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Environmental conservation is a broad, global goal that will only be achieved by the aggregate of actions taken by small businesses and individuals in communities around the world.  Carbonfund.org is engaged in large-scale initiatives, such as the development of our forestry projects in Brazil, but we continue to offer simple and affordable ways for any person, family or start-up business to make a difference in the fight against the negative impact of climate change.

Our personal emissions offsetting programs and CarbonFree® Business Partnerships help everyone to be part of the solution to climate change.  New CarbonFree® Partner Citizen Yogurt is a great example of a local business putting its community and environmental mission into action.  Citizen Yogurt in Raleigh, North Carolina is a 100% locally owned and operated family business, offering self-serve frozen yogurt with bold and unusual flavors and toppings, and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Citizen Yogurt’s community involvement includes sponsoring local swim teams, sports clubs and organizations in their neighborhood.  They sponsor charitable donation nights where at least 10% of the night’s revenue will go to community organizations.  The yogurt shop features sustainable bamboo hardwood floors and their yogurt comes from rBST-free cows. 

“Citizen Yogurt has chosen to take a different path to success.  We have committed to running our business in the best way possible – including the impact on the environment and community.  Carbonfund.org’s transparency, not-for-profit status and strong partner list help make that goal easier to achieve,” states Charles Park, Owner and President of Citizen Yogurt. 

Citizen Yogurt joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program this year, neutralizing their annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere through reforestation efforts, energy efficiency innovation and renewable energy technology development. Their CarbonFree® Business Partnership program underscores their commitment to sustainable operations and helps to create awareness in their local area about mitigating carbon emissions and encouraging customers to think about environmental commitments in their own lives. 

We believe that Citizen Yogurt is leading by example as a great model for environmental commitment while serving up tasty froyo treats to the Raleigh community.

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