In a blog post last month, I wrote about how climate change science is set to be taught unevenly in the US curriculum. It’s great that middle and high school age kids in the US are going to learn about climate change. Unfortunately, the Next Generation Science Standards are voluntary and could take years to implement. So is there an option if we want our children to learn about global warming now?
The non-profit Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) fills this need. Their mission is to, “educate high school students on the science behind climate change and inspire them to take action to curb global warming”. One look at their website and you can see they are on the right track in reaching their target audience. It’s packed with social media links and interactive blog entries.
Since the fall of 2009, ACE has reached more than a million high school students at over 1,550 schools. While this is impressive, there are some teachers and parents who oppose the presentations, believing climate change to be a controversial and/or political issue. However, all of the climate science ACE presents comes from peer-reviewed published science articles, with a focus on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4). The IPCC AR4 is one of the most heavily researched science reports in history.
ACE’s efforts don’t end with their presentations. They also offer Student Action Programs to help get kids started right away. Then ACE grooms student environmental leaders who influence peers and lead change.
With the help of an ACE grant, Daniela Lapidous and Shreya Indukuri installed energy monitoring technology at their school. Saving both energy and money led them to expand the project to other local schools. Their project’s success brought them to the White House’s attention, where a mere two years after their first ACE presentation, they advised Energy Secretary Steven Chu on their smartmeter project that reduced their school's electric bill by 13%. Daniela wrote about her experience on ACE’s blog, “Hot and Bothered” and is a co-founder of SmartPowerEd.org.
It’s inspiring to see the ripple effect that climate change education can bring about. And getting information about global warming to high school aged kids is critical and a conscious choice. "They're going to be the generation to feel the impacts [of climate change] hardest and first," says Matt Lappe, ACE's education director. "And so in some sense we target high-schoolers and young people in general, because they really have a right to know climate science."
We should all take a page out of the next generation’s book. Not only are they learning about global warming, but they are taking the next steps to do something about the problem. Taking charge of the future is what it is all about since they’re the ones that will have to live with the consequences if we don’t.
Most Corporate Social Responsibility programs include Scope 3 employee business travel and commuting in annual operational carbon emissions calculations. Often, a review and audit of business travel patterns and choices reveal options to reduce the resulting business travel carbon emissions, and sometimes reduce the costs of business travel.
Since 1978, CarbonFree® Business Partner Topaz International has been a leader of audit and support services to the corporate travel industry, with the mission to deliver world-class customer service to its clients, including over half of the Fortune 1000 companies located in over 80 countries.
In 2007, Topaz International implemented several initiatives to streamline its operations and reduce its carbon emissions. Topaz became a 100% virtual organization, eliminating all office space and employee commuting, and joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its remaining carbon footprint and become a zero impact company to the environment. 2013 marks the sixth consecutive year that Topaz International has maintained this commitment to a CarbonFree® environment by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects, and reforestation projects around the world.
“This is our effort to make earth a better place to live today and in the future. Each person and company must do their part to improve our environment for our children and working with Carbonfund.org is a great place to start,” asserts Bradley Seitz, President and CEO of Topaz International.
A great example of following our motto, “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Topaz International leads the corporate travel audit services industry by practicing what they preach to their clients and by operating CarbonFree®.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology describes cloud computing as offering the potential for tremendous cost savings and increased operational agility to organizations. Another key benefit of cloud computing is the access to up-to-date versions of numerous business technology platforms and applications. New Carbonfund.org Business Partner Spyrel adds to the benefits of cloud computing by providing their customers a service partner whose operations are CarbonFree®.
As part of its own corporate sustainability initiatives, Spyrel maintains carbon neutral operations by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency innovation projects. Their status as a CarbonFree® Business Partner provides a market differentiator and underscores Spyrel’s commitment to market leadership in the area of environmentally-sound business practices.
An example of Spyrel’s innovations in energy efficiency is their TREES Technology (Tools for Reporting Energy Efficiency Services), which helps utilities measure the energy efficiency performance of their service delivery, thus reducing energy waste. As the least expensive unit of energy is the one that’s never used, Spyrel’s TREES solution also contributes to the company’s overall sustainability initiatives.
"Our environmental commitment is helping customers enjoy powerful productivity gains by leveraging innovative cloud computing platform based applications for specific business verticals,” explains Imtiaz Khan, CEO/President of Spyrel. “By partnering with Carbonfund.org, we will be able to achieve that goal ensuring corporate sustainability is empowered.”
Spyrel’s leadership in supporting energy efficiency technology development and becoming a carbon neutral business demonstrates their long-term commitment to these corporate sustainability goals and to supporting Carbonfund.org’s overall mission.